Valentine's Day: Celebrate Best Friends, Not Boyfriends

 

Back in elementary school, I loved Valentine’s Day. Everyone did. We got heart-shaped construction paper cards from our best friends, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty tear-outs from our good friends, and a sugar rush from all of the chocolate hearts.

Valentine’s Day wasn’t about getting a cootie-ridden boy to hold your sweaty hand. Valentine’s Day was about celebrating the friends you loved—and loved you. So why should things be any different now that we’re grown up?

Sure, every year I want a boyfriend more and more (tick, tock goes the biological clock), but every year I also gain friends, lose friends, and learn more and more about how important they really are. I mean, experts are constantly boasting the benefits of girl-on-girl friendship, such as increasing endorphin and serotonin production and lower blood pressure, which encourages better overall health and longevity. But you don’t have to have any medical tests to know that you feel happier, less stressed, and even healthier when you have close friends. And sometimes, you just need to cry on your best friend’s, not your boyfriend’s, shoulder.

So let’s get back to what made Valentine's Day so great when we were kids: friendships. This year, let’s show our friends how important they are. You don’t have to do it with construction paper, Elmer’s glue, and glitter, but come on, who doesn’t love glitter?

Date Your Bestie My best Valentine’s Day date ever was with a girl. My best friend, to be exact. We sent flowers to each other’s apartments, dined at a fancy-pants restaurant no man could stomach, and saw a completely unrealistic rom-com starring the likes of Hugh Grant. So whatever your idea of a perfect date is, do it with a friend. I guarantee it will be more fun than it would be with an icky boy.

Just Dance Guys either don’t like to dance or can’t dance. So take advantage of night and go dancing with your girlfriends. Contact with the male species is strictly off limits. Don’t even think about talking to that smoldering specimen of a man at the bar. OK, if you really have to, be stealthy about it and wait until your friends go to the bathroom.

Give Girl Gifts No girl really wants a drugstore Teddy bear holding a fuzzy, red heart. We want fun, handmade accessories, playful fragrances, books, and tons of other things only our best friends would know is on our wish lists. Surprise your friend with that certain something she’s been eye-ing for months. I promise she won’t hide it under her bed (with all of those bears).

Have a Slumber-Party Throwback In childhood, the social event of the season was the slumber party. Now that we’re grown up, why do we think we all have to go home at the end of the night? Keep the party going with all of your childhood favorites: cookie dough, truth or dare, and chick flicks (Clueless, anyone?). Plus, this time around you can mix in some (spiked) grownup favorites.

Play Secret Valentines Don’t count this one off as cheesy just yet. OK, it is cheesy…but in a silly way that is awesome when friends are around. So gather your group of gals, draw names, and send your valentine goodies throughout Valentine’s Day, or even the whole week before the big day. Valentine’s Day night, have a party where you all reveal whose secret valentine you are. The best part: each person has two valentines.

photo: DigitalVision/Thinkstock

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