In the movies, single girls in the run up to Valentine’s Day are always depicted lamenting their single-ness, either downing bottles of pinot with the girls or stuffing their faces with chocolate in their PJs in bed. There’s almost always a certain amount of swearing and hysterical crying involved too. I’m sure you know exactly the type of scene I’m on about.
While they can be funny and, tragically, somewhat relatable, I’ve had enough of them. They make women look so pathetic, implying that we can’t be happy without some bloke buying us roses and a teddy bear every February, and we’re incapable of enjoying our wine and our chocolates without a significant other to share them with. Whilst it’s a cliché to say ‘we don’t need a man’, we really don’t.
That’s why I’m renouncing Valentine’s, and embracing Galentine’s instead.
Galentine’s Day is typically celebrated on the 13th of February, the day before Valentine’s, and basically entails getting together with the women you value most in your life and letting them know you appreciate them. It’s a celebration of the love born of friendship rather than romance where gifts are optional.
Whilst it’ll be difficult, nay illegal, to physically meet up with our girlfriends this year, there’s nothing stopping us from calling them to thank them for being in our lives, organising a group Zoom celebration or dropping off chocolates on doorsteps. Normally I’d suggest going out for a fancy dinner with the girls or indulging in a takeaway, but there’s no reason we can’t still treat ourselves to those things at home and celebrate ourselves and our friendships.
For the past few years, my best friend and I have been exchanging cards and flowers for Valentine’s. We’ve basically reclaimed the holiday and refused to wait around for that movie romance when we could be showing one another that we love each other instead. This has really helped me avoid the sadness and stigma about being single on Valentine’s which the media tries to perpetrate every year.
Valentine’s Day can be a tough time for a variety of reasons – toxic relationships, break ups and specifically this year, isolation – and you’re completely within your rights to ignore its existence completely. I wouldn’t blame you; it can be a bit nauseating on principle. But Galentine’s is the perfect alternative. Celebrating friendships generally involves just as much joy, but without all the soppiness and stressing about which is your sexiest outfit.
Why should I be sad this Valentine’s when I have such amazing women around me?