I’d love to share some easy last minute ideas on how to celebrate a Platonic Valentines Day!
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m as shocked as anyone to realize this, especially since I haven’t had a serious romantic relationship in years. But February 14th isn’t just a day for traditional lovers. It is also the day I came out of the closet as queer. It is the day I chose to stand up and show the world who I am. It is a day about self acceptance.
It is a day on which I commemorate loving myself.
After my divorce I started a tradition. Each year for Valentines day, I ask a single friend of mine to be my Platonic Valentine. Every time I do, it creates so much joy and surprise that I can’t help but wonder why more people don’t do this.
There are so many ways to love and be loved. That’s part of what inspires my Affectionate Animal series, in which I strive to paint as many different expressions of loving connection as I can. To me, deconstructing what our ideas of “love” are and reconstructing something that works for us is what lies at the heart of being queer.
I don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. I haven’t even had a date in longer than I can remember. But I remain open and curious to what the universe has in store, and I believe in the power of connection.
Love saves us, in the end, from a world of isolation, both in the giving and the receiving.
If you would like to send someone a little love this Valentine’s Day, consider one of these ideas:
1. Mark the Calendar
Schedule a time to meet for drinks or take a walk and catch up. The anticipation of plans warms the heart as much as the actual plans themself. Quality time is one of the most cherished things we can share.
2. Write a Letter
Artifacts of our connections, like letters and notecards that we send through snail mail, have a way of anchoring our relationships with a weight that online “likes” and “reblogs” do not carry.
Breaking bread together is one of the oldest forms of intimacy, and it doesn’t even have to be fancy to hold meaning. Invite a loved one over for spaghetti or pbjs. Light a couple candles to make it feel special. Or make time to play a board game afterwards.
4. Book Club
Read your best friend’s favorite book, then talk with them about it. This has been my favorite way to show my kid I love them lately, by reading the Percy Jackson books they are obsessed with, then watching The Lightning Thief TV shows on Netflix with them.
5. Early Spring Cleaning
Make a pact with your friend to each fill up a box with things you don’t need anymore and drop it off at a second-hand store together. Maybe even stay for awhile and thift something new to cherish once you get home.
We’ve all heard Marie Kondo’s mantra “Does this spark joy?” It’s time to apply that to your relationships, as well, and make time for the people who spark joy in your life by letting go of those who don’t.
6. Lend a helping hand
When you feel isolated or lonely, one of the most effective ways to dig your way out of that is to uplift others. Talk about your friend’s hard work or business online, raving about them. If your friend has an event or a project, spread the word about it. Use your voice to spread awareness of others’ dreams, and that will strengthen your connections.
7. Say “I love you.”
It’s so simple, but many of us go so long without hearing simple words of affirmation. It’s never too late to say it, and it’s never too much.
My Affectionate Animal series is available as art prints, notecards and stickers. You can buy them in my online shop.