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Bending Valentine’s Day traditions

Graphic by Audrey Garcia

For many, Valentine’s Day is filled with romantic candle-lit dinners, smooth jazz and heart-felt moments. For others, it’s jam-packed with dread. This passionate holiday can be daunting to those concerned about finding someone special to spend it with. 

Since its conception, Valentine’s Day has been framed as a holiday dedicated to a non-platonic pair of people looking to spend a memorable, romantic night together. But for those who find themselves single during Cupid’s month, the holiday serves as a grim reminder of loneliness. It’s not uncommon to feel inadequate when standing by yourself in a room of love doves. 

But the truth is, we need to move past this restrictive and rigid interpretation of Valentine’s Day. In recent years, many have pioneered a new interpretation of the holiday. While spending this day alone might make you feel like a loser, it doesn’t have to. 

Your decision to treat yourself to a nice dinner, movie and pint of ice cream is completely dignified. It’s certainly better than making yourself feel bad about falling short of traditional expectations. 

Embarrassed to be seen in public eating alone? Take a friend with you. Valentine’s Day has been portrayed by the media to be a time dedicated to romantic partners in search of love or lust, but in reality, this holiday is about appreciation and an expression of love for others. It seems we often forget that love is not intrinsically romantic. 

Platonic appreciation is not just an option we should haphazardly consider, it’s something we should encourage for ourselves and others. So, the next time you’re sitting alone in a room on your third pint of ice cream, just remember, it isn’t sad. It’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.  

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