How to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Friends

If you’re anything like me, you may have found yourself single this Valentine’s Day season. That’s totally okay, and it's important to remind yourself that this is still a holiday to celebrate. 

Mass marketing, which pushes the idea that Valentine's Day is for couples only, has forgotten that friendships are relationships too — important ones. We love our friends sometimes more than partners that we’ve been with. The first many years of our lives are shaped by the formative friendships that we develop in daycare, preschool and elementary school. Although it seems that middle school marks the beginning of many relationships, plenty of people wait much longer to dive into one. Regardless of relationship status at any age, friends always seem to remain an important force in life.

If these friendships are so important, why don’t we care more about them? Why don’t we find more ways to be affectionate towards those that we don’t kiss on the lips or cuddle in bed with? Valentine’s Day can be about platonic relationships as well, and we should start to look for ways to celebrate those as well.

  1. 1. Best Friend Date Night

    A gif of Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation

    Just like in a romantic relationship, alone-time with a close friend (or several) is often needed. There are many things you can do together, mostly the same as with a significant other, that could harbor great conversation, learning and appreciation for each other. Here are some ideas:

    - Go to dinner at a nice restaurant (preferably take-out due to the pandemic)

    - Have a charcuterie board picnic (if the weather permits)

    - Spend the day at a museum

    - Go to a bookstore and choose a book for each other

    - Paint and sip

  2. 2. Get Them a Gift

    pink christmas gift

    Of course, if you can’t afford anything, don’t worry about it. The main point is, your friends are allowed to be spoiled too. Some people get down in the dumps when they feel like they don't get to spoil a special someone with gifts, love and affection.

    Your friends can be the special someone in this time between relationships if you want to shower them with…anything positive, really! This can be something that you’ve heard them speak about for a while, but of course, if you’re out of ideas, you can always just ask them if there’s something you can get them. If they insist on nothing, don’t push. And remember: small things can matter so much!

  3. 3. Watch Romantic Movies

    Movie Theater Popcorn

    Sometimes, the easiest way to view romance on this sickly sweet day is to view relationships that are fake.

    Fictional relationships are often so unrealistic that you can distance your own life from them without a second thought. Even better are movies about romance that aren’t in the chick-flick realm, such as “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” or “Howl’s Moving Castle.” These films may be about relationships and falling in love, but they aren’t so focused on the "cuddles and kisses in a daisy field" type of romance that you may be trying to steer clear of.

  4. 4. Talk About Your Feelings

    Three women talking with flowers

    ...possibly with a glass of wine to accompany you.

    Being romantically lonely probably isn’t a common topic of conversation between you and friends, but this may be the day to finally connect on the subject! You may be able to provide insight for each other –– sometimes we need someone else to tell us about ourselves –– that could be useful to your search for love post-Feb. 14 (and post-quarantine). You can learn more about yourself and each other by getting your emotions out on the table so that they don’t stay bottled up inside.

  5. 5. Make, Bake or Buy Snacks

    If talking about your feelings didn’t make you feel any better, or is too daunting, it’s totally fine to bury your feelings in sweets. Make some snacks to indulge in, and if you really want to be distracted, choose the ones that take more concentration to make, like multi-layer cake, macarons or eclairs.

    If you don’t feel up to baking or you don’t have the proper tools to bake, splurging a bit on store-bought snacks is a perfect alternative.

    Either way, after gorging yourself on whatever food you procure, you can fall into a food coma until Feb. 15 when society goes back to normal.