Galentine’s Day Is A Love Letter to Friendship


Galentine’s Day is a wonderful way to celebrate the platonic loves in your life. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Here at the Ram, we have had many spirited discussions about Valentine’s Day, many in appreciation for the so-called Hallmark holiday and just as many against. But this debate is irrelevant, because it misses the true, sparkly red heart of the cold, dark month that is February: Galentine’s Day.

The holiday, which originates from an episode of the sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” was initially perceived as a joke, a parody of the way women get so wrapped up in Valentine’s Day and an outlet for the, up until that point, unlucky-in-love protagonist Leslie Knope to express her wealth of adoration for those in her life. 

Now, Galentine’s Day is a cultural phenomenon separate from the show. Feb. 13 is celebrated by millions of people, typically women as the name would suggest, to express the love they have for the platonic connections in their lives. It also rebuffs the stereotype that women are crazy, love-obsessed monsters who solely desire to find the perfect Valentine’s Day date, and if they don’t find someone, then they are sulking at home and sobbing while watching Nora Ephron movies. No, Galentine’s Day makes space for the platonic loves of your life, and rejects the stereotype that women need to find romantic love in order to be happy.

And you know what? Sure, Galentine’s Day is cheesy — but aren’t all the best love stories?

This world is often a dark and pessimistic place, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some people can’t stand Galentine’s Day. They think it is just another capitalistic ploy to steal our money and pit women against each other. To them, I say: you’re missing the point.

Galentine’s doesn’t necessitate an extravagant celebration. While large dinners and orchestrated nights on the town are certainly very fun activities to do with your friends, that isn’t the only thing Galentine’s is good for. Friendship is found in the quiet moments: it’s having a standing coffee date in between classes, it’s eating French fries after a night out and laughing over nothing in particular, it’s resting your head on their shoulder while you’re watching TV.  

Don’t overcomplicate Galentine’s Day. Don’t give it the same amount of pressure that ruined Valentine’s Day. For the simple Galentine’s Day treat, just think of the little things. Write your friends a note, buy them their favorite candy, give them a hug the next time you see them instead of a “hey.” Whatever your love language is, use it to show your friends a little extra appreciation.

Galentine’s Day is also a beautiful holiday because Valentine’s Day, and all the marketing that goes into it, will have you believing that unless you have a significant other, you might as well be hibernating until March. Even though there has been a considerable effort to revamp Valentine’s Day to make it a generic celebration of love, the connotation remains, and it can still be a difficult day for those without romantic relationships. So Galentine’s Day is a perfect day to reflect on the relationships that you do have — the ones that sustain you while romantic loves come and go. 

More often than not, that platonic love will outlast your romantic one. Just 28% of college relationships last, compared to 87% of people who still stay in touch with their college friends. Now don’t go snapping Cupid’s arrows and giving up on love just yet — I just brought up those statistics to remind you that the relationships we have with our friends will likely be the most significant and long-lasting ones to come out of our college experiences, so it is worth it to remember to celebrate your friends at this time of the year. 

In a quote that is now making the rounds across TikTok, writer Dolly Alderton says, “Nearly everything I know about love, I’ve learnt from my long-term friendships with women.” Celebrating Galentine’s Day in college is to remember that maybe the great college relationship that has been lauded in virtually all media is the bonds you are forming with your friends. 

If you have a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day, good for you. If you don’t, also good for you. Regardless of how you celebrate Feb. 14, make sure you hug your friends a little tighter on Galentine’s, and remember that those bonds will be there long after the roses petals from your sweetheart’s bouquet dry up.

Nicole Braun, FCRH ’24, is an English major from Saddle River, N.J.