The Power of Platonic Relationships and Self Love
The traditional day for acknowledging and celebrating the one we love is upon us. Valentine’s Day is centered around all things romantic, filled with gifts, gestures, and activities that aim to show your significant other how much you care. It seems, though, it’s worth using Valentine’s Day as a chance to explore other types of love and affection that are important in our lives.
A day devoted to love doesn’t have to mean romance. Why not consider it an opportunity to foster friendships or make a little time for yourself?
Let’s find out why a focus on romantic love revolves around this day and explore some ways we can use Valentine’s Day to revere more than just romance.
Valentine’s Day’s Origins of Love
The day has a history of being connected with romantic gestures and relationships, although the story of its namesake does tell a bit of a dark tale.
Valentine’s Day gets its name from St. Valentine. In fact, some historians believe there were at least two men who went by the last name Valentine connected to the holiday’s history.
In one legend, Valentine was said to be a priest during the third century in Rome. During that time, the ruler, Emperor Claudius II, decreed that single men made better soldiers and outlawed marriage for young prospective military men. The story goes that Valentine believed this was a grave injustice and secretly performed marriages for young lovers. When his deeds were discovered, Claudius had him beheaded for his crimes.
Another version claims that a captive named Valentine had been jailed for attempting to help Christians escape beatings and torture in Roman prisons. Valentine was said to have fallen in love with the jailer’s daughter during his confinement and allegedly wrote her letters signed, “Your Valentine”, a common expression used still today.
February also coincides with the pagan festival of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival where women would participate in rituals said to make them more fertile in the coming year. Part of the tradition of Lupercalia was for young women to place their names in a large urn, and the bachelors of the town would draw a name. These two would become a pair for the year, with many of the matches ending in marriage.
Another aspect connecting the day with love and romance was the common belief during the Middle Ages that February 14th marked the start of birds’ mating season. In France and England at the time, they thought love was in the air, literally!
It seems influences from each of these stories make up our modern view of Valentine’s Day. However, even though romance is at the heart of each of them, there’s plenty of room in the day for respecting all types of associations.
The Importance of All Relationships
While a romantic relationship can certainly be one of the most important connections we make in life, don’t discount the impact that other intimate relationships have.
Even those with the best of boyfriends can enjoy the enrichment that friends bring to our lives. Consider yourself an important part of the equation too!
Prioritizing Platonic Connections
When we maintain and nourish friendships outside of romantic love and sexual attraction, we’re building a stronger foundation for all relationships.
Platonic relationships are usually the first ones we have with people other than our family members. It’s the way we begin learning how to care for others who aren’t related to us.
Platonic relationships serve as our connection to the world outside of our homes and families. They’re the segue to romantic love, teaching us communication, compassion, and how to set healthy boundaries.
Our platonic friends make up our support system and can often provide an important source of encouragement and confidence throughout life.
Make Me Time
Never neglect the importance of self-love! Sometimes the very best thing you can do to better a relationship with someone else is to make sure your needs are met first.
You can never give your best to someone else if you haven’t invested enough to be your best self. Mental health, physical wellness, and life balance can all contribute to healthy relationships, and caring for yourself means you’re keeping these qualities in check.
Great Galentine’s Day Activities
If you want to plan something with your closest pals on Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of entertaining options. Enjoy fun and fellowship with one of these great ideas.
Have some fun with food
Get together for a cookie baking and decorating party, enjoy a wine swap, consider a bring a board night, or go out for a fancy brunch or dinner. Remember to think Valentine’s theme!
Strengthen your bond with an energetic activity. Try an escape room or scavenger hunt for items around town. Hiking or biking are great options for outdoorsy groups. Bowling, mini-golf, and axe throwing are also great ways to get active together.
Spend the day at the spa together. Indulge in massages, facials, or any other relaxing beauty treatments that sound interesting to your posse. A mani-pedi date is also always a nice treat too.
Take it back to your teens
What girl group didn’t love sleepovers? Harken back to your younger years and host a slumber party. Pick a house or rent a hotel room. Queue up the rom-coms and bring plenty of snacks!
Make a reservation for your crew to participate in a painting party. Many local studios offer group classes where you can learn to create your own masterpiece with expert guidance. Try crafty activities like candlemaking, scrapbooking, or flower arranging, which capture the spirit of traditional Valentine’s Day gifts.
A Solo Valentine’s Venture
If the sanctuary and solitude of alone time are what you crave, treat yourself this Valentine’s Day with an individual experience. Let’s face it; our lives are hectic. There’s always something to plan or something to attend. Many of us juggle work, school, and family obligations that, although enjoyable, can cause us to lose sight of our center.
Add to that a constant barrage of social media, politics, and pop culture, and you may find yourself in need of a reset. Choose Valentine’s Day as your time to slow down on the stimuli and practice the self-love you deserve.
Pick one of these activities that lend themselves to being enjoyed alone:
- Participating in guided meditation
- Booking your favorite spa service
- Reading in your favorite genre
- Binging your favorite show
- Taking a nature walk
- Enjoying a warm bath
- Making your favorite snack or beverage
- Treating yourself to a gourmet coffee
- Buying a splurge item you’ve been eyeing
These prove it doesn’t take another person to make Valentine’s Day extra special!
It’s All About All Kinds of Love
Not being in a romantic relationship doesn’t mean you can’t reap all the benefits of the traditional view of Valentine’s Day! It can be special with your lover, enjoyable with your friends, and meaningful alone.
It’s fine for us to focus our Valentine’s Day activities on the important connections, romantic or otherwise, that make us uniquely human.
Red Moon wants you to realize the importance of all the relationships in your life and perhaps use Valentine’s Day to express your appreciation for them. Embrace the day for what it can mean for you and all your acquaintances!
Cherie Marquez is the co-founder of Red Moon, where she brings her talents as an entrepreneur, storyteller, and holistic health enthusiast. Cherie is also the founder of Take One Daily Media, a marketing, advertising, and design agency dedicated to using media in creative and progressive ways. For twenty years, Cherie has used marketing and design strategy to impact social change. You can connect with her on Linkedin.