Appreciating our friends this Valentine’s Day
Sienna White considers the importance of friendships and how we can safely celebrate them this Valentine’s Day
Three national lockdowns has been rough for relationships of all kinds. Popular news has been flooded with stories of couples now separated by distance, and the market is awash with ways to keep connections alive. A sorely neglected area, though? Friendship. It is especially hard for university students who are used to living with, or at least down the road from, their closest friends. The mental strain of the pandemic also means now is a time when strong friendship bonds are more important than ever.
For those who are both single and separated from their friends, Valentine’s Day may well be a date that provokes little more than a sigh and a resolution to ignore it. But it can actually provide the perfect opportunity to show our friends the love that seems to go much more unmentioned in comparison to romantic relationships.
Love languages don’t just apply to couples – so figure out yours! You could try your hand in the kitchen, making your friends some baked goods for them to enjoy on Valentine’s Day (or any other day).
You could send them a handwritten letter, perhaps including a few photos from happier times and making plans for future ones. If you don’t fancy trying your hand at writing or you’re bogged down in a sea of never-ending uni work, I recommend sending the ‘I think I Am in Friend-Love with You’ book by Yumi Sakugawa – the perfect way to tell them how much they are appreciated without needing to trip over the words yourself.
Arrange a Zoom call, with some games (and wine) to stave off the FOMO that would inevitably follow from scrolling Instagram and seeing an endless stream of loved-up couples. You could get dressed up, make a night of it – whether you’re apart or together.
It could even be something as simple as tagging them in a cute quote post on Instagram, or something silly that makes you think of them. The true meaning comes just from reminding them that they matter to you and you care!
So as Valentine’s Day (a.k.a. the most dreaded day on record for singles) approaches, it is worth keeping in mind that soulmates are not always romantic.
Our friends are the ones who will consistently be there for us; through the heartbreaks and the pandemics. They share our stories, our laughs, and more importantly our lives!
For many, it is the promise of seeing our friends again that keeps us going through this difficult time. What better way to celebrate something so overlooked on Valentine’s Day than by making a conscious effort to show them love on the 14th, and every day after that?