Galentine’s Day Celebrates So Much More Than Single Women: Here’s Why

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase "Galentine’s Day" being thrown around quite a lot recently. When you hear it, what comes to mind? Is it Leslie Knope’s iconic annual waffle brunch (Parks and Rec, anyone)? Is it a group of sad, single girls crying over packages of Valentine’s Day chocolates? Whatever comes to mind, chances are that your perception of Galentine’s Day has been heavily influenced by media portrayals of the holiday. (Spoiler alert: not all of them are good).

If you didn’t already know, Galentine’s Day falls on February 13th—the day before Valentine’s Day—every year. This holiday was created by women and for women to celebrate and uplift both your friends and yourself amid a month that seems reserved for those in relationships. I mean, Valentine's Day is practically unavoidable; you can’t walk into a single grocery store without being bombarded with red and pink balloons and romantic floral displays. Those who don’t have a special someone to celebrate with on the 14th can often feel left out from all the fun, and a Galentine’s Day celebration can be the perfect way to keep spirits high.

Leslie Knope explaining Galentine's day Giphy  Despite Galentine’s focus on single women, I think it’s important to note that the holiday can mean so much more than that. TV shows and movies often portray Galentine’s Day as a way for single girls to get their minds off of the men and failed relationships in their lives. Tell me you haven’t seen a scene where a female character calls her best friend and says something along the lines of “We’re going to get so drunk tonight and have so much fun you won’t even remember what happened with (enter male character name)”. As I said earlier, it was created by and for women, but such media portrayals of Galentine’s Day place the focus on men, even if it’s to highlight their absence. These portrayals stray away from the true meaning of Galentine’s Day by constantly bringing men into the picture unnecesarily.

it's always sunny be gone vile man FXX / Giphy

If not about sad, single girls, what’s Galentine’s Day about then? I think it’s simple: celebrating sisterhood and friendship! It’s about celebrating the beautiful friendships and the love and support that makes these relationships so special. It’s a day for all of us girls to lift each other up instead of tear each other down. I love that it comes right before Valentine’s Day because Valentine’s Day can be so divisive. Galentine’s Day, on the other hand, promotes unity and inclusion! Further, Galentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to practice some self-love! There’s absolutely no shame in being your own Galentine. If going out to parties and brunches isn’t your thing, no need to worry! You can still have an awesome Galentine’s Day celebration doing whatever it is that makes you most happy. So long as you’re celebrating yourself, you’re doing Galentine’s Day right.

group of friends Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

Thinking about Galentine’s Day in this light makes it more accessible. Both those who are single and those who are in relationships can join in on the fun! If you haven’t celebrated Galentine’s Day in the past, it’s not too late to start brainstorming ideas for how you might want to celebrate this year! Happy brunching, rom-com binge watching, Galentine-ing and self-loving!