Oh, Valentine’s Day, the day where everyone that has a significant other celebrates, and those that don’t spend the night watching Netflix and eating Ben and Jerry’s. We say that Valentine’s Day is a day for love, but we seem to ignore one of the most important types of love we have: friendship.
Friendship is a steadier kind of love. When we choose significant others, we go for the ones that make our hearts flutter, but the best friends we can make are those that steady us and are there for us through the roller coaster of life. We make true friendships with people who accept us for who we are, but also want to help us become the best we can be.
Most of the time, we take our friends for granted. These are the people that are there for us when we fail an exam and when we meet a cute person on Tinder. They help us make decisions, and we trust their judgement on the issues that are important to us. They often try their best to keep us from crashing and burning, and also share our joy when we succeed.
Love between romantic partners is often more volatile than platonic relationships. A major part of college culture today is relationship drama and falling in and out of love with people. The people you can really trust to stick around, however, are good friends. With people that are this important to our lives, we should take time this Valentine’s Day to show our friends, not just our crushes, that we love them.
As a society, we put so much stock into our romantic relationships. We brag about who we are going out with, we itemize each other and compare our partners to those of others. That is why it’s so refreshing to find people we can be honest with, rather than only showing the best parts of ourselves. The ideal friend is the one that can bring you back to yourself. They can build you up when you need it, but also aren’t afraid to humble you.
One "Parks and Recreation" episode decided to celebrate friendship back in 2010 by creating Galentine’s Day. The show's main character, Leslie Knope, recognizes the holiday by getting her girlfriends together for brunch to celebrate their relationships. The made-up holiday has persisted outside of the show to celebrate the friends that will un-ironically share alcohol and waffles with you. Its rise in popularity has also brought about quite a bit of merchandise as more ladies buy into the holiday.
Because it’s so centered on lovers, Valentine’s Day always has a tumultuous undercurrent of angst as imperfect people try to impress each other, all while trying to make romantic comedy dreams a reality. So instead of getting too wrapped up in Valentine’s Day anxiety, make some time to be with the friends that care about you.