Redefining Valentine’s Day: The Myth About February 14th

Sophie Miller, Contributing Writer

“Valentine’s Day is the absolute worst holiday,”

“Valentine’s Day just reminds me how lonely I am,”

“Valentine’s Day is so sad when you’re single.”

Chances are you have heard something along those lines in the past couple of weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day– but why? How can a holiday dedicated to celebrating love have so many negative connotations?  

By far, the largest myth about Valentine’s Day is that it is a holiday solely about romantic love. Almost all movies about Valentine’s Day typically involve the tribulations of a couple and contain a sickly-sweet happy ending. And, that is exactly what people love about them; they love the satisfaction and beauty of watching two people “fall in love.” Although romantic movies are uplifting and provide a sense of cheerfulness, they do often create false expectations regarding love in our personal lives. 

When it comes to giving Valentine’s Day gifts, according to most companies, there is nothing like getting your partner a heart-shaped box of chocolates or a fuzzy teddy bear to show how much you care about them. And there’s no doubt that watching couples give each other gifts in the midst of spending the day without a “special someone” can feel positively crushing. 

But, what if we redefined what Valentine’s Day and a “special someone” means? Love is not always romantic. Every Valentine’s Day since I was a child, my mom has bought little heart-shaped candies and cookies to celebrate how much she loves my siblings and me. And, over the years, celebrating Valentine’s Day with family and friends has become a tradition for me. My best friends became my “special people,” and my family members transformed into my Valentines. Last year, I spent the day trying different Valentine’s snacks and desserts with my friends, calling it “Galentine’s Day.” It wasn’t an original name, seeing as the concept of “Galentine’s” has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years through social media, but the idea of spending the day with the people you love – even if they are not your romantic partner – remains. 

Love has many definitions; it can be described as platonic, romantic, passionate, supportive, and so much more. When given the opportunity to celebrate a holiday meant for appreciating the ones you love, do not forget that the absence of one type of love does not detract from all the other love surrounding you. So, stop moping around and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with all the ones you love!