Breaking Free From Valentine’s Day’s Romantic Focus


Ashley Hawkins

Valentine’s Day is a national holiday that’s everywhere, yet you have to be in a relationship to celebrate it. Isn’t it time to change the holiday’s focus?

Lilah Ruud, Staff Reporter

Valentine’s Day is the day full of hearts, chocolates, and love. The focus of the holiday is to spend time with your special someone, treating each other to gifts, quality time, and other forms of appreciation. 

There isn’t anything wrong with this, but we need to shift away from romantic relationships to include all kinds of relationships. We should focus on the one part that we all know: love. Platonic love and familial love are both important kinds of love that we should shift our focus towards. 

The origins of Valentine’s Day are unclear, but no matter how it began, people often agree that the holiday revolves around romantic love. We have a day to celebrate romantic relationships every year, but almost half the population remains single, and it only seems to be growing. Most of the numbers tracking people in relationships seem to only count adults, but switching the focus of the holiday likely won’t affect children’s opinions.

As a child, romantic relationships aren’t really on your radar. When I was little, I would chat with my friends excitedly about the kinds of candy goodies we would receive in class. This isn’t much of a surprise as kids excitedly await any holiday when they can stock up on candy and gifts. The message of celebrating love and relationships wasn’t as important as the sugary treats.

When you start getting older, the social pressure to get into a relationship grows more and more every year. When people around you get into relationships and celebrate with their significant others, it can create the feeling that you are missing out. As I got older it became more common to talk about crushes and those you have feelings for, along with gossiping about friends who should be dating and those who already are. I have a fair amount of friends who are in relationships, and sometimes there are just some things I can never relate to having been single my whole life. 

With Valentine’s Day so focused on romantic relationships, it leaves little room for those who are single to celebrate the holiday in any capacity. It’s common to see people make jokes about the irony of spending consecutive years alone or treating themselves by going out. Some people have started a tradition of spending the day with their families, and these are the things that should join the common idea of a Valentine’s tradition. 

Many people have also begun to celebrate Galentine’s Day, which is on Feb. 13, and focuses more on celebrating the friendships you have, but it leans towards the female friendships. Although for some this gives the day to celebrate something in replacement of Valentine’s Day, it isn’t nearly as widespread, nor does it completely fix the issue of leaving people out. Galentine’s Day is still a completely separate day, leaving the fourteenth open for people to watch others celebrate their relationships. 

There’s no well-known holiday to celebrate being with your family or with your friends, but people celebrate romantic relationships on Valentine’s Day and on their anniversaries. Though people often celebrate with these people for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, the main focus of each of those holidays is not solely the relationships we have with each other. Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to be used to celebrate all relationships that we have. 

Celebrating your romantic relationships is never a bad thing, but with a national holiday, it should be more open. People should use anniversaries to celebrate each other and Valentine’s Day to celebrate all their relationships and love.