Valentine’s Day is when we honor our significant other, but why should this be the only love we acknowledge? After all, friendship is one of the greatest gifts, and without it, our lives be so much less joyful.
Galentine’s Day is, of course, not a real holiday. It was invented in 2010 by Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler’s character on Parks and Recreation. “Every February 13, 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,” she says. Now that’s a holiday we can get behind.
There is so much to be said about the love we receive from friendships. Studies have shown that having deep friendships gives meaning to the lives of older adults, helping them to feel less lonely and more connected to the world around them. Other research has shown that even our physical health is directly related to our friendships. One specific study of over 300,000 people found that those strong friendships have a 50 percent greater chance of survival than those with few friends, regardless of other risk factors. So if you’ve ever taken your girls night for granted, it might be time to rethink the value you’re placing on these bonds — or get one on the books!
Even though it’s not a real holiday, you can take Galentine’s Day as the perfect opportunity to let your closest friends know how much they mean to you and express gratitude for the extremely important role they play in your life.
In our culture, the love we share with our significant other is so often celebrated with anniversaries, weddings, and holidays like Valentine’s Day. But our friends — the ones who are there for tragedies large and small, the ones who ride with us along the ever-changing tides of life, the ones who are there to lend a helping hand or an ear to listen when it really counts — don’t they deserve to know that they matter to you, too?
So this Galentine’s Day, we’re encouraging you to take a moment to honor that deep bond you have with your closest gals. Take the time to grab your best friend or friends some flowers or chocolate. Even a simple gesture like a text or a phone call to say, “Hey, thanks for for being a great friend. I love you” can make her day. In a world where we’re not taught to value our friends despite all the love that they give us, let her know you appreciate her place in your life in any way you choose. Just be honest, and let it come from the heart. There is nothing more meaningful than gratitude.
Happy Galentine’s Day, from our hearts to yours.