Singles: stop the cynicism on Valentine’s

Gabriel Benson, Copy Editor

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the average person may feel one of two ways: excited or disgusted. Some percentage of the population, those with significant others whom they love and adore, will spend the day spoiling and showering their partner with gifts and affection. The other population, those who, like myself, are single.
Some single people see Valentine’s Day as a burning reminder of their unequivocal singleness. They scorn the candy hearts and sneer at the lovey-dovey mush of the day, and many may end up spending their evening with a Triple Chocolate Meltdown ordered out from Applebee’s and a bottle of wine. We’ve all been there, right?
Valentine’s Day as a burden is often exemplified on television. Recall episodes of “The Office” in which Michael started a lonely hearts club for the singles in the office. By proxy, this is the same attitude that is inherited by people all around America. Single people are depressed, disgusted, or angered by seeing happy couples around, and this is clearly rooted in insecurity about their own status as a single person. No holiday on the calendar should build some up at the expense of others; it should be something that everybody can celebrate with each other!
What these sad single people don’t realize is that Valentine’s Day could be and has been more than just for romantic couples. Back in elementary school, many of us may have brought valentines for every member of our class with little candies taped on the inside. I, for one, remember the hours I spent filling and addressing each of my Harry Potter valentines with equal and loving care. I fondly recall making a valentine mailbox out of cardboard and construction paper to later have filled with the candy of my friends (except for Alex G. who was a Jehovah’s Witness, poor guy).
What we don’t realize is that we can have this type of Valentine’s Day environment again! Valentines don’t have to be for significant others; they can be for your friends and family too! Not only does this do more to include those who otherwise might feel terrible that day, it fills another need that all relationships require: the reminder that we love and appreciate each other.
So definitely go get a bag of candy, break out those Harry Potter valentines that you thought for sure would be worth more by now (but aren’t), and slice up that chocolate cake from Applebee’s and share it with your loved ones (also stop eating at Applebee’s).
Plato believed that his namesaked “platonic love” was the attraction to the spirit as opposed to the body, and he believed it was the more valuable of the types of love. Why should we let a day in which only romantic love is celebrated be exclusive to just people in romantic relationships? The day can be for everybody, and it all starts with telling your loved ones that you love them. Except for Alex G.

This article first appeared in the Friday, February 9, 2018, Edition of The Echo.