Flying Solo this Holiday

It’s already the second month of 2023, which brings with it the next big holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. Often associated with a plethora of flowers, chocolate hearts, and giant stuffed bears, Valentine’s Day is widely considered an opportunity to shower your romantic partner with gifts, attention, and love.

However, not everyone is in a romantic relationship or has a desire to be in one.

Many people find themselves single on this love-filled holiday and see this day as one just like any other out of the year. However, even if you don’t have a partner to share the day with, Valentine’s Day can also be a great opportunity to show your friends and family how much you love them.

“Galentine’s Day,” which is a spin on Valentine’s Day dedicated to celebrating your platonic friendships, has been on the rise in recent years. It officially falls on the day before Valentine’s Day each year, but many people also celebrate on Valentine’s Day itself or the week surrounding the holiday.

Junior music industry student Eva Breiterman expressed, “This year, I’m spending time with my best friend by grabbing a pizza and chilling at their place.”

However, not everyone has plans for Valentine’s Day. Senior English student Jonathan Bailey said that he will not be doing anything outside of his usual schedule on that day: “Usually, my mom and I will go for lunch or dinner, but it won’t work this year with our [conflicting] schedules.”

So, what should you do for Valentine’s Day if you do not have a romantic partner?

Spend time with your family. If you live close by, pay them a visit to spend some time with them. Have a game night or help your parents make a nice dinner. Your family will probably appreciate you taking time out of your busy college schedule to come and see them and letting them know how much you love them.

If you do not live near your family, give them a phone call or video chat. You could even send gifts or heartfelt messages straight to their house. Online flower sites such as 1-800-FLOWERS will deliver flowers right to their doorsteps. This is a great way to show your family that you’re thinking about them even if you can’t be with them.

Valentine’s Day is also a great time to hang out with your friends and do activities you enjoy doing together. It can be difficult to find the time during the semester to spend time with friends outside of studying or eating at the dining hall. Take this opportunity to plan out something special for you and your friends, like taking a nice stroll through a park, going to your favorite stores, getting dinner out, or having a movie night together.

If you have the time and money, get together with some friends and do a small gift-exchange. You could set a budget and gift each other things like chocolates, gift cards, or self-care products. This could be a great way to get into the gift-giving spirit of the season and express your appreciation for your friends.

Gabrielle Sangataldo, a junior communications student, shared, “I’m going to get together with a group of my friends who are all single, and I plan to hang out to commemorate the day. We have a tradition every year of giving each other little gifts to celebrate that idea of platonic love.”

Most importantly, though, make time for yourself! Create a positive space for self-love and treat yourself on Valentine’s Day. If you love to read, gift yourself that book you’ve been wanting. If you’ve been feeling stressed out recently, have a self-care night complete with face masks, a fluffy robe, and some yummy-smelling candles. If you have a favorite restaurant, order takeout and enjoy a cozy night in.

Valentine’s Day should be a day to celebrate not only who you love, but what you love and what makes you feel loved. The idea of romantic love, although still important and a big component of the holiday, is not the only type of love there is. Don’t forget to show your friends, family, and yourself how much you love them this holiday!