Battling Valentine’s Day Blues

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Andrew Livingston

The Howards are celebrating this Valentine’s Day as a family, a fun alternative to the normal romantic celebrations (Photo courtesy of the Howard family, photo credits to Andrew Livingston).

In Queen’s Somebody to Love, Freddie Mercury sings what all the single lads and ladies are thinking during Valentine’s Day: “Can anybody find me somebody to love?”

If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone: only about 50% of people celebrate it anymore. On a day all about celebrating romantic love, it’s hard when you don’t have a significant other. 

However, romantic love isn’t all there is; you can celebrate other loves. According to the Greeks, there’s seven different types. In this article, we’ll be focusing the love of your friends, family, and yourself.

First off is the platonic love between friends, known as Philia in Greek. Spending time with friends can be the most fun a teen can have. While friendship is a lot about having a good time, it’s not all fun and games: it’s also important to value the relationship. The little things matter much more than you think. I can recount every single time someone said they would be there for me and I could talk to them anytime simply because it means so much to me. Just being able to listen to someone can relieve their massive burden. As you’ve likely been told before, the real friends are those who stay through both the laughs and the tears. Both being there for your friends and showing appreciation for these companions are important to any relationship. 

“I’ll be hanging out with my other single friends [this Valentine’s Day]…our ice skating rink has a Valentine’s Day skating event so I think I’m gonna wrangle up anyone who’s not doing anything else and go to that,” said sophomore Baylee Doyle.

Your gestures don’t have to be big to matter. Put their birthday on the calendar. Text them good luck before a big day. Look out for them, and ask if they’re okay. They may not mean much to you, but they could mean the world to them. 

“I’m a person very driven by physical touch usually, so [I show my friends love through] hugs…and I try to support them in everything that they do. Basically, I generally show love through physical affection and compliments,” said Doyle.

Next off is familial love, known as Storge in Greek. Family, depending on the person, can either be the most or least loved. Everyone’s situation is different, with their own perspectives and relationships; I won’t be trying to tell those with terrible home situations that they need to love abusive parents. However, with healthy and loving relationships, it’s important to show you love them back. 

“We always celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family…we have a special dinner, I get a special treat for our son and my husband gets special treats for our daughters,” said Susan Sevick, mother of three.

Family relationships can be hard — you have to deal with the same people for a majority of waking hours, which can be exhausting. But despite tensions and conflicts in day-to-day life, it’s important that you show your appreciation and love. This ranges from the simple, asking them how their day went, to the quality family time through a game or movie night. Simple actions can make their day, and good quality time can make their week. Despite the fights you may have, it’s always important to remember that while friends and relationships come and go, you’ll always have your family. 

Finally, there is an undervalued but very important type of love: self-love, known as Philautia in Greek. Self-love is not regarded with the significance it deserves. Younger generations, in particular, have humor heavily saturated in self-deprecation, so it’s naturally become imprinted into our culture to dislike yourself. It’s easy to forget that it’s okay to stop and take some time for yourself. 

Physically, your cleanliness is very important. Not taking care of your hygiene is not only bad for your body, but for your mind. Proper bathing, hair treatment, and skincare are important for being the best you. It doesn’t have to be boring, though. Let yourself relax and unwind. Get a bath bomb. Get a shower speaker and sing at the top of your lungs. Have fun with it — no one’s stopping you. Food-wise, it’s important to stay healthy and exercise regularly but indulging every once and a while never hurts anyone; it can even serve as a reward for your good lifestyle so far. 

“I’m not a big sweet eater, and I stay away from it because I try to eat healthy, but by God, I’m gonna eat an entire heart-shaped box of chocolates this year. They do say ‘eat your heart out’, after all,” said Doyle.

Mental health is also very important. Taking time for yourself should never be undervalued. Give yourself breaks, no matter whether it’s from school or people. You should always take school seriously, but mental health should never be put second. If it feels like it’s all becoming too much, take a step back. Your peace of mind is better than your mind in pieces.   

“With how much everything stressed me out last year, this year I’m being more conscious of my mental health. I didn’t treat my anxiety for a really long time, so I’m glad I’m finally doing something to change it,” said junior Catherine Wade.

Romantic love is not the only love that matters. The love of your everyday life between your family, friends, and self are ones that should be taken just as seriously as any romantic partner.

No matter the occasion, Valentine’s Day or not, you should always show your appreciation for those you love.