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Valentine's Day: Not exclusive to lovers

Platonic, romantic, and familial love should all be celebrated this year

Valentine’s Day, an entire day dedicated to red and pink paper hearts, chocolate and romantic tunes is for many, a day full of sweet memories and present-day fairy tales. Flowery aromas fill the air and poetic words float with turtle doves singing love songs. But this is not everyone's realities.

For others, the day could bring with it a repulsion that only a day like this one could bring. The day can exist as a reminder of all the things that were once a reality, but now seem as though they have been shelved, gathering dust for some time. Maybe for others, Valentine’s Day is one that holds within its possession sentiments of hope and anticipation for the futuristic special someone that may turn the corner at any moment.

However, this Valentine’s Day there is a proposition for something different. Instead of a holiday seclusive to only those in romantic relationships, what if it could be a day for love of all types? What if this year, Valentine’s Day was approached as an opportunity to truly celebrate all the people we love?

 An online survey conducted by YouGov reported that 32% of 1,180 American adults said they would be celebrating the holiday with a romantic partner. The survey concluded that 31% would not be celebrating the holiday at all. This implies that the same amount of people who will celebrate the holiday will choose to disregard it. Perhaps America has forgotten what this day is all about. It’s not about what one doesn’t have, it’s about what one does have. 

The point is this: sometimes, too many days go by between moments of gratitude for the people who have loved us well.

A report by the U.S. surgeon general showed that people ages 15-24 are experiencing a 70% drop in time spent socializing with friends. The report went on to depict how social connectivity affects health through biology psychology, and behavior.

Social connectivity is important in the functioning of all aspects of health—whether it be physical, emotional, or mental.

The encouragement this Valentine’s Day is to spend time showing appreciation to the people who have made an impact in your life.

As a college student at Otterbein University, the days come and go. Homework is assigned. Tests are taken. Sports games are won and lost. Art projects are completed. The same faces are seen every day for days on end. What if students and faculty spent this Valentine’s Day appreciating the faces they see every day?

The campus of Otterbein University could lead with encouragement and love on Valentine’s Day 2024.

My hope is that you get the discounted chocolate, and you enjoy every moment of it along with all the cheesy romance that comes with it.

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