Day focused on human connection adds appreciation to any relationship

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The time of the year when heart-shaped candy takes to the shelves is upon us yet again and we are faced with a crucial decision: do we embrace the season of love and buy all the big teddy bears we can carry, or do we cross our arms and scowl at the cupids and the sweetheart candies?

It is easy to be bitter about Valentine’s Day. Especially if you are single, just getting out of a relationship, or just have a grudge against love. But this traditionally cheesy holiday can be about so much more than those in romantic relationships. It can be broadened, with many alternate methods of celebrations.

Valentine’s Day can be about celebrating the close friends we have. As councilwoman Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation once explained, “My girlfriends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” This “Galentine’s Day,” as she calls it, is a day of celebrating the love in friendships.

What’s so bad about getting together with the girls and ripping apart bags of discounted pink and red chocolate hearts? Absolutely nothing. Heart shaped pizza and Chik-fil-A tins of chicken nuggets are not just for those in each other’s Twitter bios. Grab your ladies or boys, and get yourself some chicken nuggets.

And for many, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to send a card to the cutie in your math class under the geiz of celebrating the season of love. Fast forward 15 years and you could find yourself married with two kids. Who knows? The power of a punny card on a day set aside for love is unrivaled.

Valentine’s Day can also be about self-love. Take yourself to the movies. Take yourself out to get your favorite coffee and dinner. Because after all, the most important love we have and will ever have is the one looking back at us in the mirror.

Valentine’s Day does not have to have a price tag either. Gestures of love can be extremely inexpensive or free. It does not even cost a penny to make a playlist for that special someone in your life. Make cookies in the shape of hearts. Low budget, delicious, and it’s that something extra that Valentine’s Day allows.

Yes, it is important to celebrate love in its entirety throughout the calendar year. But life can get  busy. Things fall through the cracks and they are forgotten. Valentine’s Day was never implemented to limit the expression of love. Its implementation is to remind us that the loves in our lives deserve appreciation. Be it self love, platonic love, or romantic love. Whether you are planning to go on a dinner date for one, two, or twelve, there is no need to be anything but celebratory during this season of love.

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