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Single or Taken? It Doesn't Matter on Galentine's Day

Written by Rachel Strassel, Communications Strategist

Despite being perpetually single, I love Valentine’s Day. I know I’m supposed to hate it. The day has certainly garnered a bad rap over the years as a phony holiday concocted by card companies and florists to make money. But instead of rolling my eyes at the often-Hallmarked holiday, I choose to embrace it because, ultimately, it’s about love.

But I know it’s not everyone’s favorite, especially if you’re single; and odds are, you’re in that number. In the United States today, there are more single adults than ever before. According to the 2017 census, unmarried people over the age of 18 make up 45 percent of the population. Of that 45 percent, 53 percent are women.

So, if you find yourself without a romantic partner this Valentine’s Day, or if giant teddy bears, dozens of red roses and boxes of heart-shaped chocolate aren’t your thing, try celebrating Galentine’s Day. What’s Galentine’s Day? It’s only the best day of the year!

If you haven’t watched Parks and Recreation so many times you can quote every episode by heart (read: me), Galentine’s Day is a holiday — February 13th, to be exact — created by Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope. While February 14th is for celebrating romantic love, February 13th is for celebrating your girlfriends.

As Leslie so delightfully explains it, “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.”

What started out as an unofficial TV sitcom holiday in 2010 has since become a yearly feminist observance. According to Google Trends, Pinterest searches for “Galentine’s Day Ideas” have seen a 1,780 percent year-to-year increase. Galentine’s Day has very rapidly become a popular celebration for women because our female friendships are just as important — if not more so — than our romantic ones.

As the number of single men and women in the United States continues to rise, there’s more of a focus on platonic friendships. The structure of families continues to change, and we’ve become more dependent on our friends for the emotional and physical support we often reserved for romantic partners.

In a broader sense, Galentine’s Day has become synonymous with feminism, friendship and the solidarity of women. In a world once dominated by men, women are finding their voice. We’re fighting the status quo and standing up to celebrate our innumerable contributions to society.

But ultimately, Galentine’s Day is about love and friendship. Sure, we don’t need a day to celebrate our amazing friends, but often we get so caught up in the commotion of everyday life that we don’t always stop and appreciate those who love and support us unconditionally.

So, this Galentine’s Day, take the time to celebrate your soulmates, and heed Leslie’s wise advice: “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”

Anna LeDonne