Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

Platonic love is in the air this February

Morgan Berryman, OMN Photographer
Avery Sinks (left) and Carly Steckler (right) enjoy a laugh at a Galentine’s day celebration on Feb. 10 in Corvallis, Oregon.

Red and pink artificial colors slowly fill the isles, chocolates and stuffed animals begin to be lined up nice and straight on the shelves and romance-labeled candles and bundles of roses fill the air with love. 

There is no denying that Valentine’s Day is on its way.

But there’s another type of love spreading through the air and with this love comes an alternative way to celebrate, a holiday dedicated to platonic love and appreciation: Galentine’s Day.

Promoted as a romantic holiday dedicated to people who are in relationships, Valentine’s Day is considered a special time to express the love you have for your partner/

However, with the constant advertising of Valentine’s Day in stores, commercials and restaurants, there seems to be no escape from this romance.

“I feel like a lot of stores or restaurants really push it at you, like, love, love, love, love,” said first-year psychology major, Lily Toenjes.

But it’s not all hearts and roses for those who have a Valentine.

Valentine’s Day has been marketed as a time to be mushy and let your romantic flag fly free but for some, the performance expected due to Valentine’s Day brings up more stress than heartwarming butterflies.

“There seems to be really specific, not rules but rules basically, to say you need to go out to a fancy dinner, you need to get your boyfriend chocolate, you need to get that kind of stuff,” said Callie Luth, an OSU alum. 

Beneath the rose gold tint, there can be a lot of unnecessary strain in planning the perfect dinner, the perfect place, the perfect clothes, all for the perfect Valentine’s date.

 “It feels like it puts pressure on things, where you have to do something if you’re dating someone,” said second-year mechanical engineering major McKenna Johnson. “It puts pressure on you that you have to get them a gift, and that you have to go out even if you’re busy.” 

Sometimes in wanting to create the perfect moment, it’s easy to let that get in the way of enjoying time with your partner.

“It never ends well for me,” Johnson said.  

But Valentine’s Day was not always like this. Most if not all of us, remember the excitement and inclusivity when Valentine’s Day rolled around in elementary school. 

Back then, everyone was everyone’s Valentine.

“I miss in elementary school when you give out Valentine’s to every single person,” Toenjes said. “You’re like, ‘I love you, you’re amazing.’”

Galentine’s Day offers that same inclusivity and acceptance without the possible pressures that come from planning a special date.

“It’s, I feel like, much more inclusive for people who don’t have a significant other but can still celebrate love in a holiday,” Toenjes said.

Kourtni Rader, owner of Seoul Sisters – a downtown Corvallis shop – hosted the boutique’s third-annual Galentine’s Day cookie crawl, teaming up with nine other local stores in Downtown Corvallis on Feb. 10.

“We decided to host a cookie crawl, a Galentine’s Day cookie crawl, to support local bakers and local shops that may have been impacted by the pandemic,” Rader said.

Unlike what the name suggests, Galentine’s Day is not exclusively for the gals. It was made for all who wanted to celebrate a more platonic Valentine’s Day.

“It’s the word ‘gal’, but it’s really about people getting together with your gal pals, with your friends, you can do it with your guy friends,” Rader said.

Not specified to a single day, Galentine’s Day can be celebrated any day in February and can be celebrated in any way.  It can be whatever you and your friends decide to make of it.

Johnson defined Galentine’s Day as “a day to go just celebrate your girlfriends and hang out, and eat chocolate.”

Maybe Galentine’s Day is eating delicious chocolate, drinking rosé, and playing games with friends, like Luth.

Perhaps it’s catching up with friends, wearing pink clothes, eating pink desserts, sipping on pink wine, like Johnson.

Galentine’s Day might even be grabbing a gal pal or two and joining in on the third annual Galentine’s Day Cookie crawl, collecting a cookie bag, along with sweets and treats from each participating local business.

There is no exact way to celebrate.  The only requirements, it seems, are to be surrounded by those you love and to have a good time.

“It’s such a good way to get friends together and bond,” Luth said. “I think it’s like a really special thing that it kind of gives us a reason to do that kind of thing.”


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