Let me start this out by coming clean; I am in a relationship. I am not single, nor have I been single for a very long time. However, I don’t typically celebrate Valentine's Day with my boyfriend. In fact, I haven’t ever been with him on Valentine's Day because we have always lived in separate states and haven't been able to make the trip for a holiday like Valentine's Day. This being said, I have found ways to celebrate Valentine's Day in a way that doesn’t revolve around romance, and it showed me that Valentine's Day isn’t about romance at all. It is simply about love.

Valentine's Day has been considered the holiday for lovebirds for a very long time. But when it comes down to the history of Valentine’s Day, no one really knows which legend is correct, if any.

According to the website history.com, the most common legend of how Valentine’s Day came to be is that a man, Saint Valentine, went against the Emperor of Rome, Claudius II,  to marry young couples. Eventually, Saint Valentine was caught and the Emperor had him killed, starting the celebration of lovers on February 14. However, there are other myths and legends as well; one that sticks out is the legend that Saint Valentine was a man who attempted to help Christians escape from Russian prisons where they were being held, beaten and tortured. There are many more legends, but they all hold the common theme of the love and sympathy of the heroic Saint Valentine. Some legends lead to more romantic love, but others are more of a platonic love.

The history of Valentine’s Day is murky, but people chose to see its romantic aspects instead of the entirety of the popular tales. Platonic love is the most common factor in all of the tales. Saint Valentine would not have helped lovers get married in secret or helped Christians escape a torturous prison if he did not love those people. This shows that Valentine’s Day should not only celebrate the love you have for your partner, but also the love you have for the other people in your life. I am 19 years old, and every Valentine’s Day that I can remember my father has gotten me a small stuffed animal, chocolates or flowers. This is showing love to your family, an important yet forgotten tradition of Valentine’s Day.

In the last several years, groups of friends have decided to have our own Valentine’s Day parties. For the group of generally single girls, this newfound tradition has been labeled Gal-entine’s Day after a similar party was thrown on the hit show “Parks and Recreation.” This is a great way for girls to spend Valentine’s day! The theme continues with a Pal-entines celebration for the guys. Single or not, Gal-entine’s day is a fun alternative way to spend Valentine's Day. You aren’t required to spend Valentine’s Day with someone you are in a romantic relationship with, go out with your friends and remind them that you love them. Valentine's Day is not only for romance; it is also for showing love to those in your life who mean the world to you.

Sure, most people think of Valentine’s day as a day for couples. However, it is also a day for us to celebrate the love and friendships we are blessed to have in our lives. Overall, Valentine’s day is a day to say ‘thank you’ to those who have helped you through life. Write a letter to an old teacher, buy your friends some chocolate, curl up on the couch and watch a movie with your significant other. However you decide to celebrate this holiday, be sure to remember to show love for all of those you treasure in your life.

 

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