Valentine’s day, a holiday hallmarked by candy hearts, assorted chocolates, flowers, and all things love. The pink and happy ambiance of the day reminds couples of their love and appreciation for each other and gives those in relationships an excuse to be extra affectionate to their significant other.
For those of us in relationships, Valentine’s day represents 24 hours of gifts and love. But for many of us who are single, Valentine’s day looms over our shoulders like a giant, pink storm cloud.
For many years in a row I consumed chalky candy hearts, wondering if they tasted better when they’re from someone special. I received chocolates from my mom and many times got Valentine’s gifts from classmates, but these gifts always felt like obligatory participation prizes. I always imagined the pure excitement of receiving something like that from a significant other, and being able to spend a day dedicated to love with someone I truly adored.
While I’m very excited to have the privilege of spending V-day with someone special for the first time, I will never forget the many ‘Galentine’s day’ memories I have created with my close friends. These memories have solidified my view on Valentine’s day, it doesn’t have to be a holiday dedicated to romance.
Galentine’s day is recognized as the day before Valentines day, Feb. 13, and it is a day dedicated to showing appreciation and platonic love between girl friends. For some, this pseudo holiday may seem corny, but for the past few years I have celebrated this kind of tradition with a handful of friends.
This tradition started with me and my best friend exchanging small gifts, such as chocolates and cards. A holiday that I had once looked to with dread became a day I actually enjoyed. I had never realized before that Valentine’s day could be a vessel for celebrating all types of love, not just romantic.
Not only was this first Galentine’s day celebration a super fun way to spend the day, we also got the rare opportunity to share our appreciation for each other. In a lot of friendships it can feel like it really doesn’t need to be said that you care about each other. If you’ve known each other for forever it can be weird and uncomfortable to tell them how much you value them. But the rarity of these kinds of moments is what truly makes them special.
Giving each other something nice is surprisingly heart-warming and can remind you of the beauty of your friendship. It may seem like a small thing, but feeling that adoration from anyone (whether it be romantic or platonic) can really mean a lot to someone.
So whether you’re in a relationship this Valentine’s day or not, don’t forget that the holiday doesn’t have to be completely focused on romance. Even if you’re not a ‘gal’, the sentiments of Galentine’s day are important and I encourage you to show some love to your friends this Valentine’s day.