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Romantic love shouldn’t be the only kind of love celebrated, especially in times like these. Photo: Pexels/stock
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Love of all kinds

Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 this year? Or are you planning to take up the City of Ottawa’s initiative and celebrate on March 14? 

With the city’s initiative, it becomes relevant once again to explore a long-standing dilemma many of us face: celebrate Valentine’s Day with our partner (if we have one), or celebrate Galentine’s Day with friends (if we have some)?

Myself, I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with my partner. As a new couple, it’s very exciting. To me, it’s a time to reflect on our relationship. Not to celebrate the day itself, but to look back at our happy memories together so far. 

However, I believe that Valentines’ Day is often too commercialized. To celebrate this holiday, you might feel pressured to have a date or to be in a romantic relationship. Then, if you do fit the Valentine’s Day status quo, you must buy chocolates, flowers, or a big stuffed teddy bear. And finally, of course, you must also go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner. Overall, there is too much pressure to show your love for your partner — this shouldn’t be the case, alas it is. 

It’s a very artificial holiday. Valentine’s Day standards and expectations don’t often allow one to show their partner their full authentic self. We strive to achieve high romantic ideals portrayed by novels and movies, we want to be in The Notebook. 

Remember that you can do these acts to show your love for your partner on any day of the year and in any spontaneous way. You shouldn’t need a specific day on the calendar to tell them “I love you.

But with that said, romantic relationships come and go, while friendships can last a lifetime. So, why not also celebrate with friends you’ve known for a long time, those who will have a longer and a significant impact on your life?

By celebrating Galentine’s day, you can have a fun and relaxed day with friends in a stress-free environment. It doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant. This unofficial holiday was showcased in an episode of Parks and Recreation where Leslie Knope goes out with her lady friends to show them how she appreciates them for everything they’ve done for one another. 

However, Galentine’s Day is not only for women to get together, but anyone, single or taken, regardless of gender. One condition of this holiday is that you can’t bring your romantic partner as a plus one — it’s a day for the lads or the gals. You can get gifts for each other, go out and catch up with one another, and look back on happy memories. It could be as simple as, like in Leslie Knope’s case, having a waffle brunch. 

Finally, Galentine’s Day isn’t an anti-Valentines Day holiday — it’s an important opportunity to celebrate platonic relationships and your support system. Romantic love shouldn’t be the only kind of love celebrated, especially in times like these.