ALESTLE VIEW: All you need is love — of any kind — this Valentine’s Day

Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day by having candle-lit dinners or watching romance movies. No matter how you celebrate, there should be no explanation needed for why you don’t –- or won’t –- spend this upcoming holiday with a romantic partner. 

It’s easy to get caught up in what society expects you to do on Feb. 14 and who you spend your time with, especially on a college campus, but you can celebrate however you want without answering to anyone that expects different. Many people don’t want to have romantic partners at all. 

Wishing happiness for others in good faith is fine, but telling single people that they’ll find someone special can be hurtful and add to the already overwhelming pressure to be in a relationship for Valentine’s Day. Starting a romantic relationship with someone because you feel you have to is unhealthy for everyone involved. Just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re any less important or an incomplete person –- you can find your own happiness without a date.

When it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, you can also show love for your family and friends instead. At the same time, you don’t have to celebrate at all; every day is an opportunity to show love for the people in your life. You don’t have to spend money on your loved ones to show that you care for them. 

Communicating with those you care about and telling them you love them can be enough. If you still want to go out with a date, friends or family, there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember that everyone has different wants and needs, as well as cultural and societal backgrounds that shape what they think about Valentine’s Day, and if they even celebrate it at all. 

Those who are more cynical may do some form of Anti-Valentine’s Day celebration. Many use this as a way to push back against the consumerist nature of the holiday and the pressure it creates for couples and singles alike.  According to CNN, there $19.6 billion was projected to be spent on Valentine’s Day in 2018, which is part of why there has been a movement against the profiteering from the holiday.

Fans of “Parks and Recreation” and Leslie Knope sometimes celebrate “Galentine’s Day.” It is used as a day to celebrate female friendships — or friendships in general. Many celebrate it with brunch, like in the show. Some may do gift exchanges as well. It has become fairly common with several companies running Galentine’s Day promotions.

The point of Valentine’s Day is to show love for the people in your life, whether that be friends, family, significant others, or yourself. But if you want to watch a movie with a Valentine, call your family members, go out with friends or just sleep the day away; however you choose to spend this day is up to you.

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