Valentine’s Day is a corporate holiday. It was made to make money by selling chocolates and heart cards and stuffed bears holding heart cards or chocolates. The trope is to have some romantic time with candles and express your love for the “special person” in your life. The thing is, when they say “special person”, they usually always imply it to be a girlfriend or boyfriend. If we take Valentine’s Day and the abstract concept of love out of the frills however, who says that special person has to be someone you’re romantically involved with?

Love comes in all shapes and sizes, that’s clear if you’ve watched enough Disney movies. Still, we tend to fixate on romantic relationships because we’re the sort of creatures who like lifelong partners. Familial relationships and friendships usually don’t become as close as a romantic couple might become, at least in the West. What we need is support emotionally, and oftentimes that role is played by a romantic partner. Valentine’s Day is thus important for those relationships because it reaffirms, “Yeah, we do the boring routine stuff, but while you know I love you, let me remind you how much I genuinely like you and your company”.

HOWEVER, there is a huge missing element there. Just because Valentine’s Day is traditionally for romantic partners doesn’t mean you have to follow tradition. It’s designed to get you to appreciate those closest, and those closest aren’t always involved with you romantically. And that’s okay! Actually, most couples have anniversaries and so they already have a designated time to adore each other. On birthdays, an individual get crowded with friends and family. Valentine’s Day could offer a time to celebrate those individual friendships that get left out of the celebration loop!

In any case, even if you think you have no one special, you can always show appreciation and love for those around it. Love is not monopolized by romantic relationships, and seeing it like that will only limit the beauty of your life. We are never alone, so let’s thank those who have supported us, who have been with us! It matters. Stuffed bears and plastic hearts? Eh. Maybe not so much.

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