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February 10, 2014

A Different Take on Valentine's Day

Heart shaped rose wreath and lily of the valley
Image from The Graphics Fairy

As an asexual aromantic I find Valentine's Day and some of the notions that go along with it a bit . . . interesting.  The commercial laden, lovey dovey holiday can be a bit odd or even offensive to aromantics, people who are single, asexuals, and people who get tired of being bombarded by commercial holidays.  (And there are others I assure you)  Over the years I have formulated some of my own ideas about this holiday.  I am aware of people who vehemently view this day as Singles Awareness Day and others who will date someone just so they are not single on the day.  Over the years I have decided more and more that I feel it should be a day to express all love, not just romantic love.  As an aromantic I CAN love.  I love lots of people and things and ideas.  (Aromantics simply do not experience romantic attraction)  So one Valentine's Day I figure I can show my platonic love to my friends and family.  Think back on those early school days when you would bring small cards and candy or other sweets for everyone in your class.  At what age did we stop doing that?  And why?  Is there a notion in society that this holiday is reserved for lovers unless you are nine?  Or maybe I just don't see many people who continue the school day traditions of Valentine's Day.  

Vintage valentine baking
Image from The Graphics Fairy

    Then there is self love.  I follow Gala Darling and back in 2010 she declared February the month of Radical Self Love.  Self love is important no matter what anyone says and why not spend the lovey dovey holiday dotting on your number one.  You.  Not just buying yourself flowers and chocolates and wine.  But really caring and tending to yourself.  Eat well.  Fill the tub with your favorite bubble bath and bathe until tranquil.  There are lots of things that you can do to love yourself.  Take some time out of the holiday to be sure that you are happy.  

A while back I saw a wonderful picture on pinterest about Valentine's Day.  "Aromantic asexual in ur shops, eatin ur discount chocolate on Feb 15th." (See the pin here)  This gave me a wonderful idea.  Throw a party!  After Valentine's Day, so as to take advantage of the discount chocolate.  Not an anti-Valentine's Day .  Merely a fun, loving gathering.  Maybe even take some of the Valentine themes and use them in a new way.  Celebrate love.  All love.  Romantic love.  Platonic love.  Friend love.  Pet love.  Self love.  Fandom love.  Family love.  All love.  Just celebrate love!

Vintage friendship valentine
Image from The Graphics Fairy

I found a great post on Aromantic Aardvark while I was writing this post.   Valentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day, and What They Mean for Aromantics  In this post they talk about how romantic love is often held as the highest kind of love and how being single is sometime viewed as sad or a failure.  Check out the post for more on the subject.  They also mention Friendship Day.  I am not even sure if I have heard of this day before.  It sounds like a wonderful holiday to celebrate.  It is on the first Sunday of August.  That would be August the 3rd this year. I wonder if there are many people whom play up this holiday. It certainly does not get the commercial attention that Valentine's Day gets. Which is likely for the best. Here is Holiday Insights' page on Friendship Day. Maybe we can all make the first Sunday of August an awesome celebration of friendship.

However for now, perhaps we can change the tune of Valentine's Day. Make it less about who you are with and what they get you. Make it more about how much you love and how much you are loved. This includes how much you are loved by yourself. I am sure we could all love ourselves more. For more about self love and changing the tune of the approaching holiday check out these other bloggers. Mia Moore, from xo Mia, talked about starting a self-love tradition in her recent post, February Activities. Also check out the livestream Gala Darling did Saturday. It is filled with her great advice for surviving Valentine's Day.

What are your plans for the coming holiday? Are you going to do something different? Let me know?

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