It is easy to see Valentine’s Day as a time to be bitter about love lost, love lacking or love fleeting.
We find the aisles of our local supermarkets filled with heart-shaped goods and think about what we don’t have. We see happy couples on dates and, if we’re being honest, have trouble wishing them well.
Where did this obsession come from?
It seems that almost every other day of the year, the majority of us are content with being romantically uninvolved, but on this day, all the single ladies (and gentlemen) become slightly uncomfortable with the idea of being alone.
According to the History Channel, Valentine’s Day has something to do with Saint Valentine, but no one is sure exactly who that is or what this saint did.
One legend says that Valentine was a priest in third-century Rome. Valentine was, according to the story, killed for performing marriages after Emperor Claudius II outlawed them, saying that single men made better warriors.
The holiday was not deemed romantic until the late 14th century, and even then it may have been a day of romance simply because it was seen as the beginning of mating season for birds.
By the 18th century, Valentine’s cards were commonly exchanged between friends and lovers of all social classes.
Perhaps the key to being happy on this day, regardless of whether or not you have a significant other, is to treat this day as a day to celebrate the people you love in your life. There is no rule that says that Valentine’s Day is for lovers; there is no doctrine stating that the love celebrated must be the romantic kind, despite the popular narrative.
So this Valentine’s Day, buy your roommate a card, send flowers to your parents or buy chocolates for your best friends. Whether you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day, going on a date or spending time alone, we at The Penn hope your holiday is filled with love … even if it is just from your dog.