I’m celebrating my friends and myself on Galentine’s Day

A student shares how she celebrates Galentine’s Day instead of Valentine’s Day because she dislikes romantic attention.


While others will be professing their love to their romantic partners tomorrow, I’m celebrating Galentine’s Day, a holiday that celebrates girls spending time with their friends, today. 

Although I won’t be able to celebrate the way I normally would in high school because my friends are far away, I’ll be starting a new tradition with my friends I met in college.

Today, my friends and I plan to have a gift exchange, dress up, have dinner and go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

In high school, I celebrated Galentine’s Day, a holiday popularized by the television show Parks and Recreation, by cherishing quality moments with my closest friends. We often marked this occasion by dining out and hosting do-it-yourself parties and movie nights in our basements, just like on other holidays.

This day has always been something I looked forward to, not because I wanted to be showered with gifts and affection, but because I could celebrate the love I have for my friends. 

We could talk about anything and everything under the sun, from cracking jokes about being in a relationship to poking fun at each other for being single. 

I could never take Valentine’s Day seriously in any of my previous relationships because I was uncomfortable making a big deal out of it, especially in front of other people at school. I disliked the idea of all eyes being on me, so I did not want to be spoiled on Valentine’s Day, of all days. 

One year, a person I was flirting with but not dating at the time gave me a gift basket for Valentine’s Day. While I was grateful, I felt so awkward carrying the conspicuous gifts with me all day. Another year, I received a stuffed animal and a necklace from a close friend of mine. I was also very appreciative, but it was annoying being interrogated by my peers about who got me the presents. 

Whenever I received extravagant gifts, people assumed I was in a romantic relationship. I hated being bombarded with questions by people I barely knew.  

Don’t get me wrong, though. I do love a good gift exchange with my friends.

I enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them, so Galentine’s Day is an excuse to buy loads of candy to give to my companions. 

Now that we all go to different colleges across the United States, however, our tradition won’t be happening this year. Most of my friends stayed in my home state of Georgia, while others went to Washington D.C. and, in my case, Philadelphia. 

Although I’m a little bummed that I won’t be spending Galentine’s Day with my friends from back home, I’m excited to celebrate with my new friends at Temple University and spend some time by myself on Singles Awareness Day this Monday. 

After this long weekend, I’ll be reveling in my “me time” on Monday by watching one of my favorite movies, The Great Gatsby, even though Jay Gatsby is truly a hopeless romantic. 

It’s the little things like giving my friends gifts and taking time to myself that will make my weekend extra special.  

I don’t need a date or flamboyant gifts this Valentine’s Day. My love for my friends and myself is enough for me. 

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