Valentine’s shouldn’t just be about romance: the importance of friendship


Finding yourself without a significant other this Valentine’s Day? Going to spend the evening in your pyjamas, watching the Christmas Prince for the 1,000th time and crying into a bowl of frosted flakes? Wondering how it is you ended up alone again on the one day of the year you’re allowed to celebrate your romances with extra levels of obnoxiousness?

Valentine’s Day should not and does not have to be all about romantic relationships. Big Text.

Hear me out, as a residential commitment-phobe, I have always found myself both magically single and hecka depressed on Valentine’s Day. I can also tell you that no manner of reminding myself that ‘Valentine’s Day is a holiday to sell cards’ has ever actually convinced me that ‘Valentine’s Day is a holiday to sell cards’, because I am a hopeless romantic at heart.

Which is why I vote that we all start treating Valentine’s Day not only as a way to appreciate our romantic relationships —which if you do that’s totally awesome and I’m not here to steal your thunder — but as a way of addressing and appreciating all of our chosen relationships, including and especially the platonic ones.

Who says you can’t get dressed up, put on your favourite suit or dress and hit the town with your bestie? Why aren’t you allowed to sit in a coffee shop with your loved-one under the cut-out hearts just because you’re not going to be banging that loved-one later on? Who gets to decide that giving a bouquet of roses to your favourite friend is passe and not Valentine’s Day appropriate?

Let me tell you a thing: by attributing Valentine’s Day with all kinds of relationships instead of just romantic ones, we could have an impact on how we deem the importance of platonic relationships in general. The dichotomy that places the strength of your romantic partner above your friends is not only unrealistic, but places so much value on that romantic partner that they can’t possibly meet all of your needs/expectations because human beings are nuanced.

Plus friends are pretty awesome! I mean think about it, your friends are there for you through thick and thin, hold your hair back when you’ve had too much to drink and your body needs to purge your mistakes, see you without makeup and with hair that hasn’t been washed in x amount of days, sit with you in emerg for hours after you slipped on that patch of black ice, and they do all of this without the added benefit of, well, banging.

And do we have a day to celebrate these meaningful, unconditional, fulfilling relationships? Other than the Facebook Friendship day— big sigh —nope.

Romantic relationships are awesome, don’t get me wrong. Despite my commitment-phobe-ey attitude, I’m the first person who’ll pick up a romance novel, watch a romance movie, get teary-eyed at any movie/TV show/commercial/ad that features any kind of wedding. I love romance, but loving romance should not mean that that I need to be automatically upset/depressed if I’m single on Valentine’s Day. I have incredible relationships that are emotionally fulfilling, that bring me hours of happiness and joy, that fill those lonely hours so I don’t feel like a great big bag of nope for every other day in the year. Valentine’s Day should not have to be the one exception to that rule.

So instead of moping around in my usual defeatist way, this year I will be making reservations with some of my fav friends, am gonna dress the heck up because I absolutely can, and am going to enjoy and appreciate those friendships for everything they provide me. I urge any of you singletons, or couples even, to do the same.

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