The HUD Love Club

Valentine's Day: A day of love, not just lovers

By Siobhan

When you think of Valentine's Day, what do you see? Cupid striking two lovers, cheesy greeting cards, and chocolates packaged in heart-shaped boxes? The common theme is that it is the day for lovers. Emphasis on the "ers" part. Originating from ancient Roman and Christian traditions, it has evolved over the centuries.

The day, named after Saint Valentine, a figure shrouded in mystery, initially had little to do with love. It wasn't until the Middle Ages, with the popularization of courtly love, that February 14th began its association with romantic gestures. We traditionally see it as a day to celebrate romantic relationships or, more simply,  romantic love. But that's not the only type of love worth celebrating (especially when the story it originates from commemorates a different kind of love). Valentine's Day is a celebration of love in all forms - including the love for family, friends and, most importantly, the love for oneself.

The Many Faces of Love

People have infinite amounts of love to give. We spread it across many relationships in our lives. We see it through the support of family and friends, the affection between casual lovers, and in the peace of being content with your own company. The original tale of the martyr Saint Valentine tells the story of a man who cured the blindness of his jailer; the love of a man for a stranger. This Valentine's Day, let's celebrate love, just love!

Friendship: The Chosen Love

On Valentine's Day, why not celebrate the friends who've stood by you through thick and thin? Organize a "Pal-entine's" get-together. Exchange small tokens of appreciation, or simply spend quality time in each other's company. It's not about what you do, it's about who you do it with, and recognizing the importance of these friendships in your life.

Family: The Oldest Love

We often overlook the unconditional love that family provides. We don't have a day that celebrates all of the different familial ties. From sisters and brothers, to cousins and extended family, many of these ever-intertwining relationships can be a foundational and important relationship in your life. Use this day to show gratitude towards the people who help and support you. I can guarantee a "luv you" text to anyone will brighten their day - so why not brighten those who brighten ours?

Self-Love: The Truest Love

Throughout it all, remember to show love for yourself. It's incredible how much we give to others and how little we leave ourselves. Indulge a little - treat yourself to a spa day, unwind with good book, or try out a new hobby. Push yourself to prioritize your own happiness and celebrate you. Self-love isn't selfish, it's absolutely necessary.

Celebrating Love Beyond Romance

Valentine's Day has changed throughout history, so why not start some new traditions?

Love Isn't LOVE

For those of us in casual or non-traditional relationships, Valentine's Day can be a tricky day to navigate. From fears of triggering "the talk" or messing up a perfectly good situation, many casual daters shy away from the tradition, but it doesn't have to be so serious! By that, I mean you don't have to be "serious" to show someone you spend time with that you appreciate them. No matter what type of relationship you're in, your partner should feel cared for and respected - they're spending their limited time on this earth with YOU. So show a bit of appreciation!

So this Valentine's Day, let's challenge the conventional. Let's celebrate the love that exists within every facet of our lives. Here's to a Valentine’s Day filled with love, laughter, and the warmth of genuine connections. No matter the shape or hole they fill.

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