Celebrating those closest to you
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
I have been in a serious romantic relationship for the past five years—we are very much in love, it’s pretty gross. However, I still remember the sometimes-depressing loneliness that runs rampant this time of year. This is why it is so important to use this time to celebrate not only your romantic partners, but also all those platonic soulmates you’ve collected over the years. That’s right, I’m talking about friend dates!
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to embrace your singlehood by partying the night away with some of your besties, all the while getting your flirt on (mostly because I am not a writer for Cosmo and that type of strategy to handle the day seems incredibly played out and implies you should be sad but are pretending not to be). Instead, I want you to consider an honest-to-goodness celebration of the friendships you’ve formed. Often, as negative as it sounds, our friendships outlast our romantic relationships—especially at the point in our lives that many of us find ourselves in now. We’re in that coveted “college age” brand of young adulthood. Due to this, our friendships are arguably a far more defining influence on the people we become than any romantic partner we may meet. That’s not anti-romance, that’s just the way things work as we evolve and grow through our lifetimes.
This isn’t to discredit our romantic relationships—they are just as important to our ever-changing concept of love as any other form we may find. However, let’s not allow the spirit of the season to drive us in seeking out someone to celebrate with in a romantic way. This compulsion is not only unhealthy, it’s stressful as well. Especially when you probably have a perfectly good friend group to go out and enjoy a candlelit dinner with. Additionally, you’ll probably have infinitely more fun with a friend than you would trying to impress some stranger off Tinder.
I think the language we use to describe or ascribe love can be misleading. Associating love with the whole notion of two bodies with the same soul implies that you are incomplete on your own. You aren’t. No one needs a significant other to be a complete person, and the emphasis on these romantic ideals at this time have never helped anyone. That being said, humans are, by nature, social creatures. This means that although we may not need a romantic partner, we do need important personal relationships in general.
So, if you’re not in a romantic relationship, what better way to avoid the lovey-dovey pressure of February than to let everyone who’s most important to you know you appreciate their presence in your life? Valentine’s Day is about love, after all—love in all forms.