Valentine’s Day might be for lovers, but who says you need a partner to celebrate?
February 13 marks Galentine’s Day – a day to show the ladies in your life some much deserved appreciation. The special day originated in 2010 when Amy Poehler’s “Parks and Recreaction” character, Leslie Knope, introduced the concept to the world for the very first time.
“Oh it's only the best day of the year,” Knope declared. “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”
Since then, many women have adopted Feb. 13 to celebrate with their crews. But in case you need more than just the promise of brunch to start your own Galentine’s tradition, here are five reasons Valentine’s Day is better with your girlfriends.
1. Galentine’s Day helps you focus on the positive.
Valentine’s Day is often thought of as the loneliest day of the year for singles. After all, every February we're bombarded with store shelves lined with pink and red hearts, gushy advertisements on our TVs and, worst of all, selfies of excessively happy couples all over social media.
But instead of isolating yourself into a pit of despair, Galentine’s Day is a chance to refocus your energy and celebrate the love of family and friends. After all, these are the people in your life who will stick around even when relationships end, so why not show them some love?
2. You can celebrate whether you’re single or attached.
Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder knew exactly what they were talking about. Turns out space is the key to lasting relationships, and celebrating Valentine’s Day with your gal pals is the perfect excuse to get away from your partner.
“When partners have their own set of interests, friends, and time for self, that makes them happier and less bored,” psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Time alone also gives partners time to process their thoughts, pursue hobbies and relax without responsibilities to others.”
3. It gives you a chance to reconnect with old friends.
Friendships are important, but as we grow older, we sometimes lose sight of that.
According to a 2016 study, 25 is the age where our friendship circles start to dwindle down. The theory is that we realize who the people are that are most important to us, and try to make a greater effort to hold on to these friendships.
Thus, Galentine’s Day is the perfect way to reconnect with your BFFs and show them some appreciation. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to reminisce about all the trouble you got into in high school, or all the things your friend can’t remember from her bachelorette party last year? Call your friends. It’s time to catch up.
4. You don’t have to just do brunch.
The beauty of Galentine’s Day is that there are no set rules, meaning you and your gal pals can do whatever the hell you like! Not into brunch? No problem. Watch some empowering chick flicks, try rock climbing for the first time or enjoy a night out on the town.
But if you do have brunch, you can rest easy knowing your BFFs won’t judge you for scarfing down an entire plate of waffles and a side of bacon, while also indulging in a couple mimosas. In fact, they’d probably do the exact same thing, before turning to ask you what you’d like to share for dessert. Aren’t girlfriends just the best?
5. It reminds you how important female friendships truly are.
According to Dr. Irene S. Levine, psychologist and author of The Friendship Doctor, female friendships “are among the most meaningful but complex relationships in women’s lives. These unique bonds often run deeper than family ties and last longer than relationships with husbands and lovers.”
But why is that? Simply put, female friends are not only your confidantes, but they’re also your support system and partners-in-crime.
“That’s the basis of our mutual relationship,” Boston-based business columnist Kris Frieswick told the Seattle Times, “the mutual spilling, the purging and not being judged. These are women who accept you totally.”
And on top of all that, having close friendships also promises a number of health benefits.
For one, these friendships keep your stress levels in check. When people bond socially, oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” is released to help combat the negative effects of stress, such as high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.
Additionally, a research review from 2010 has shown that people with strong social relationships are more likely to live longer than those who are isolated.
So keep that in mind the next time you’re debating whether or not to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your girlfriends. Because chances are, it’ll benefit you in the long run to give the ladies in your life lots of attention.
Also on HuffPost