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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

For years, I have wrestled with my feelings about Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those polarizing Hallmark holidays that either makes your heart grow two sizes or your stomach a little queasy at the mere thought of it. As a hopeless romantic who literally swoons every time I watch Heath Ledger dancing on the bleachers while serenading Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You, I have always been a cheerleader for grand romantic gestures. I’m also convinced greeting card companies, florists, and chocolate shops all got together one day and said, “Hey, you know what would be a great idea? Getting couples to think that on one random day in February the giving and receiving of all the stuff we sell is the most romantic gesture in the world/the ultimate signifier that their relationship is healthy!!” 

I have spent many a Valentine’s getting together with my friends, watching rom-coms, eating an absorbent amount of sweets, and treating the day like any other. I felt perfectly content hanging with my girls and making fun of all of the mushy-gushy Valentine’s Instagrams invading our feeds. The cynic in me is still alive and thriving, but now that I am currently navigating my first relationship, my point of view has shifted a bit. Now I see Valentine’s Day as an excuse to put my responsibilities aside for a night to really give all my attention to the one person who always makes my day. 

It doesn’t have to be some grand, fancy dinner reservation with a private violist. Or a necklace engraved with both of our initials and a giant bouquet of roses. Maybe I used to think that’s what it had to be, and what it was going to be, but if falling in love has taught me one lesson so far, it’s that the little everyday gestures really show how much you love someone. Making coffee for each other in the morning, surprising one another with tight hugs, writing little notes, or even waiting outside of each other’s classes to walk home together. Those moments mean so much more to me than any piece of jewelry or bouquet of flowers.

LOVE spelled out with scrabble letter tiles
Pixabay / Pexels
Valentine’s Day used to feel like a sick joke meant to make single people feel bad about themselves and people in relationships throw themselves into a panic. Now I see that it’s just an ordinary day with a bit of a twist. The magical thing about loving someone is that you feel like that’s all there is to it. It’s as simple as waking up in the morning and realizing that you have a person out there who’s willing to lose track of time with you talking about nothing until the sun rises. Someone who makes your brain dizzy with all kinds of sweet things they say and small gestures they do. Someone who makes the lyric “all you need is love” not just a statement, but a reality. The rest is just pomp and circumstance, although, it can be fun sometimes to buy each other nice things or get dressed up for a night and hit the town with no plans. For this week’s playlist, I compiled a list of songs from artists like Rex Orange County and Banes World that capture the subtlety sweet spirit I’m going for this Valentine’s Day. I’ve got a few tunes from Snoh Aalegra, Tessa Violet, and oldies like Sam Cooke on there for when I’m feeling really lovestruck, too.

To those of you celebrating or protesting Valentine’s Day, my only advice is to keep things in perspective and really emphasize the love part of the holiday. Love comes in all shapes and sizes between all kinds of people, and that’s what makes it so incredibly wonderful. Love is no one-size-fits-all kind of ordeal so it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in sweats and eating pizza for one or if you hire a skywriter to spell out “to my beloved…” for someone. Love is everywhere whether it’s for yourself, your best friend, or even your neighbor’s dog. And if it’s for your SO, remember that they found you and fell in love and you found them and fell in love back and that on its own is something to celebrate. 

xoxo,

Emma

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Emma is a senior at BU studying Journalism and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Communications. She's originally from sunny Los Angeles, California. She is an avid fan of local bakeries and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.