Why You Should Show Love To Your Friends This Valentine's Day

Around this time of year, it can feel like everyone around you is in love. The fluffiness of Valentine’s Day, with all the roses, teddy bears and chocolates, is overwhelming when you aren’t in a relationship to be fluffy about. It can get a little lonely seeing cute anniversary videos on Twitter or the couple next to you smiling at each other over a meal or the same romcom you’ve watch every year. The thing to remember is that love is more than romance. The media makes relationships seem like all that matters in the world. Sure, they can be fun. But platonic love for your best friends is just as important as a romantic love. This Valentine’s Day, we should all make an effort to appreciate the platonic relationships we often take for granted. So instead of mechanically swiping on Tinder, take a moment to love and appreciate your friends.

It’s easy to let friendships, especially long distance ones, become primarily virtual ones. Texting and Snapchatting is much more convenient than scheduling a time to hang out or make a phone call. While friendships formed online can be just as valid as ones formed in real life, face-to-face, honest conversations are simply more fulfilling. As we get older, friendships require much more effort than they used to. When I was a kid, my whole day was just free time. I could literally walk to my neighbor’s house and ask her to climb a tree, and we’d have a great time. Now, everyone has school, extracurriculars and jobs. Planning out the time to catch up with a friend unfortunately just isn’t at the top of most people’s priorities. Stable friendships now are more meaningful. I didn’t have many real things to say or issues to work through as a kid. For me, at least, emotional health is more important now than ever before. So why is it that the time when we need friends the most is also the time when it’s hardest to keep them?

Even when you see people every day, it can feel like you aren’t really connecting with them. When everyone is stressed and you fall into the routine of life, there doesn’t seem to be much time for more than surface level interactions. It shouldn’t be this hard, though. A conversation doesn’t take up that much time. It’s just difficult to have the emotional capacity to worry about responsibilities as well as maintaining healthy relationships with others. However, I’ve come to realize that a good talk with a friend can be a great way to kickstart my motivation again. Conversation that gets me out of a rut isn’t a waste of time. If I just suppress my frustration and restless energy, I’ll either burnout or lash out. Neither of these are productive, and are definitely more harmful than just taking the time to talk to someone I care about.

It’s Valentine’s Day. We could all do with some love. If there are some friends that live far away, call them this Valentine’s Day. They probably miss you just as much as you miss them, and it’s always nice to hear a voice you haven’t heard in a while. All it takes is a little time out of your day to catch up with a friend and make them feel loved. The little things do make a difference, especially when they’re unexpected. It’s easy to take your long distance friendships for granted, but catching up with someone you’ve lost contact with really makes you appreciate them more.

If your best friend in college is single, too, take them out on a friendship date. (They’re usually more fun than a first date anyway.) Go out for lunch, buy each other flowers, or walk in the park. Things that are typically reserved for a significant other are often just as fun with a friend. Romantic love doesn’t have to be the only love you can express on Valentine’s Day! It’s good to love your friends. So, do it.