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This Valentine’s Day, Celebrate Your Platonic Loves!

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Valentine’s Day gets a great deal of fuss. This seemingly arbitrary date between New Year’s Day and spring break incites couples everywhere to present some tangible token of their love to their significant other. Heart-shaped chocolate boxes occupy rows upon rows in the Family Dollar candy aisle. Cutesy fliers for the Valentine’s Dance are plastered seemingly every 10 feet, and if you’re in a relationship, casual or otherwise, the day demands at least a momentary introspection: “Do I care about this person? Do I see us together long-term? Are we going to make it to prom? Next Valentine’s Day?”

In the midst of this, another type of less volatile, less ambiguous love ends up overlooked.

Yayyy platonic love!!


Sophomore year in the week following Valentine’s Day I had my first boyfriend. We had texted on the phone everyday during the year and a half prior. We had gone to dances together. We knew all the intimate details of each other’s family lives. I knew his birthday without the Google calendar reminder and every single one of his sibling’s names. I had confided in him all my fears, and we even got a ship name “Kylisa” (This was annoyingly coined before we had gotten together, but retrospectively is kind of cute.)

What temporarily was transformed into romantic love (we broke up after four months) initially had sprung from platonic affection, the type with no sexual motivator, but wrapped up in a promise to look out for one another just the same. In the time following breakups, the go-to instinct grips us to invest deeper in platonic relationships — the friend who, for hours worked with you on your theater audition piece or the one who first explained to you how the metro works and nearly missed their own train to make sure you’d take the right one. Yet and still, it should not take a personal mishap — whether it be a breakup or bad grade or the unavailability of fruit roll ups at the grocery store — to remember the value in non-romantic, no PDA, “ let’s go be weird together” love.

Platonic Love in the form of a Note

In the fog following a recent breakup, however, is when I realized I was less than a stellar friend. I was suddenly spending weekends with quirky, adorable friends that I had given little thought to in the weeks before. While conversing with them, I drifted to thoughts of the ex routinely and realized this had been a habit of mine for the longest. All texts initiating convo with them had only followed unanswered messages to the ex. Engrossed in the rhapsody of my first romantic love, I had completely neglected the platonic love that always had given me such fulfillment. I was meeting that love with indifference, as though romantic love was the upgrade and platonic love the outdated model. This Valentine’s Day, I aim to treat platonic love as the number one choice, just as much as romantic love and make sure every single one of my friends knows that my appreciation and love of them is unconditional. Here’s how:

  1.     A card to core friends who always have shown me love.
  2.     Ginormous hugs and reminders that they always are more than enough.
  3.     The promise to take my love beyond just gifts and show it in the way I treat them everyday.

For all Those Who have Shown Up for me


Noted psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs speculates that to develop into our most evolved selves we must meet physiological needs (food, sunlight) and safety needs (shelter, clothing), but he argues we must also meet our psychological need of love to progress towards positive self-concepts and self-actualization. Valentine’s Day is a time to revel in the love we share, but this Valentine’s Day, just remember self love and friendship as well.

Jolisa, 18, is a senior at Westminster Schools.

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