Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday of the year by far if you’re single (and honestly, if you’re coupled too — the pressure!), and not just because you can’t get a table at a restaurant or have to buy your own fancy chocolate. It’s because all of your friends want you to celebrate Galentine’s Day with them, whether you want to or not. In case you’re not familiar, Galentine’s Day, popularized by Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, is supposed to be celebrated on February 13 with all of your best girl friends, and you just hang out, eat and drink, maybe even gift some small thing. It’s a celebration of women, which we’re all here for. Except that for some nagging reason, we totally feel like it’s fine to hate Galentine’s Day, even though it feels like the rest of the female universe is all about it.
Hey, if you hate packaged expressions of love for any of the people in your life, it makes sense to hate Galentine’s Day.
Los Angeles event planner Emilee Sutherland told L.A. Magazine that she’s all about the trend and started celebrating it because she was the only married one in her circle and she “hated how much my friends hated Valentine’s Day.” She added, “Now more than ever, we need to take a moment on February 13, 14, 15 — or every freaking spare moment in our lives — to do something nice for our ladies and tell them they are awesome, they are badasses, and that they are loved.”
You can show your love and support the women in your life every single day, though. You don’t need Galentine’s Day to do it. Here are a few solid reasons to sit this particular party out.
1It’s not like we should have to choose one or the other.
The whole concept of Galentine’s Day seems to be for those women who “hate” Valentine’s Day because they’re single and really want a partner in their life. This is often more pronounced in heteronormative circles: Because a woman doesn’t have a man to shower her with love, she can at least get drunk with her friends and eat a lot of cheese. Which is an awesome activity you should definitely indulge in whenever you want to, but you don’t have to trash romance or fret over finding The One while you do it. Galentine’s Day can take that tone sometimes and it reinforces a lot of icky gender roles we’d rather do away with.
2It’s all turning into one big ad.
Modern Valentine’s Day is famously known for being a “Hallmark holiday,” or entirely made up by capitalist dudes in some board room. With Galentine’s Day, the retailers of the world get another chance to sell us things, usually with “girl power” slogans on them. (It’s also okay to hate the hypocrisy of the world being more than happy to encourage us to all get together and celebrate each other if we’re spending our money, but the minute we try to organize and advocate for our civil rights, a group of women is considered a dangerous thing.)
3Being single is not something we need a distraction from.
Galentine’s Day started as a way for women to distract themselves from being single, as if it were a chronic illness. Here’s the thing about being single: You’re allowed to be single and not hate it and also earnestly looking for a relationship. The whole “who needs a man when I got my friends” thing is true, for sure, but it’s alright if you look around the room and secretly long to be curled up in your bed watching Netflix with some imaginary, perfect partner. You can be an empowered strong woman and love the hell out of being in a relationship.
You’re also allowed to be single on purpose and enjoy it. Not everyone’s Galentine’s Day is centered around the absence of romance in a friend’s life, but a lot of them are. Instead of lamenting that relationship status, you should feel free to celebrate it if you want.
4Can we bring non-gals?
Putting the “gal” in Galentine’s Day doesn’t mean you can’t invite your gender non-conforming, male, or transgender friends, does it? Women-only spaces are great, but the Galentine’s Day events sometimes don’t feel very inclusive or productive.
5Not everyone has a sitcom-worthy squad.
For people whose besties live too far away, life can get a little lonely sometimes. Just like some people abhor Valentine’s Day because they just got dumped, other people hate Galentine’s Day because they don’t have their favorite friends around to celebrate it with. Galentine’s Day parties can feel really cliquey, so if you must celebrate, consider inviting the new girl in the office who just moved to town, too.
6Can’t we just stay in?
This is for all of our lazy ladies out there. If Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark and Galentine’s Day by a sitcom, then we can all agree that these holidays are totally made up. And they aren’t fun like the other made-up holidays, where at least you get good food and presents and fireworks by default. If you go out for Galentine’s Day, places are bound to be crowded and the savvier bar and restaurants will probably have “deals” that force you into a tasting menu or something, just like they do on Valentine’s Day. There’s really not a lot to love about any of that. Some friends are better off celebrating each other by staying in, binge watching The Bachelor, and getting busy on the group chat. We feel you.