Filed under Opinion Columns

Love Thy Friend

Love Thy Friend

Singles and non-singles are the two kinds of people that exist when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

For some, it’s great – there’s a day seemingly tailor-made to expressing how much you love your significant other. For others, it can be one of the worst times of the year. Businesses, peers, schools and nearly everyone else are advertising how great it is to be in a relationship and how important it is to find one.

There’s a very good reason the holiday is also referred to as “Singles Awareness Day” because nothing brings loneliness to the surface quite like seeing thousands of other people coupled together. The effects can range from one night in front of the TV with a drink to prolonged feelings of depression and inadequacy.

While we can’t stop the holiday displays from making us feel left out, we can still find plenty of ways to include our friends on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolates, flowers and candlelit dinners aren’t exclusive to couples, no matter what the retail displays tell us. Everyone likes chocolate, and a bouquet of flowers can brighten the day of platonic friends and girlfriends alike. Going out to dinner, as a pair or as a group, is a great way to ease someone out of feeling the Valentine blues.

When the spirit of Christmas rolls around, we’re all encouraged to reach out to those around us, to comfort the lonely. Valentine’s Day may not reach the same shopping or popularity scale as Christmas but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to bring happiness to all the people around us. At a time when the necessity of a relationship is perpetuated, ad nauseam, the best thing anyone can do for someone feeling singled out is to remind them that there’s plenty of affection to be found in their friends.

Send a heart-shaped card to a friend. Give your brother a box of chocolates. Send one of the Emporia State A Cappella Choir’s singing Valentine grams to the sad student in the back of your class.

It’s the holiday of love, yes, but love comes in so many different varieties that it’s a waste not to celebrate them all.

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