Valentine’s Day is not only for romance

By Ally Formeller

For many, Valentine’s Day is the epitome of romance. Hundreds of millions of red roses paired with 36 million boxes of chocolate are sold in the interest of romance.  

But Valentine’s Day is for love, not just romance — and there is a difference. 

Romance is typically something you feel with someone you’re in love with; romance is intimate, exciting and mysterious; romance can truly only be experienced with a significant other.

Love is a much different feeling. 

Love is a profound devotion and connection. Unlike romance, love can be felt for many people. While love can be experienced by couples, it’s also what parents feel for their children, or even what childhood friends might feel for each other. 

Valentine’s Day, while marketed as a holiday for couples and extreme displays of romance, actually has conflicting roots that mention both love and romance. 

In recent years, though, Valentine’s Day celebrations have started to expand to include friends and family. 

“Galentine’s Day,” which is a way for women to celebrate the bond they have with their female friends, is an increasingly common way to celebrate the holiday.

Despite the aisles upon aisles of red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and oversized stuffed animals telling you otherwise, being single and celebrating your bonds with your friends or family — or even treating yourself — is healthy. 

Celebrating the bonds and relationships you already have — whether it’s a significant other or friends and family — can show you just how important the people in your life are to you.

Spending Valentine’s Day romance-free can also take the pressure off a day that’s built up to be extra special. Many couples go out to dinner or buy expensive gifts for each other, but friends or family probably don’t feel obligated to do that.

Instead, friends can have a relaxing movie night together, or you can treat yourself by participating in your hobbies or treating yourself to your favorite food. 

No matter who you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with, take the time to make them feel loved and appreciated. That’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.