Valentine’s Day: love, care and inclusion


Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

In February, Eros became famous for loosing golden arrows among mortals, Saint Valentine helped those in need and Romans would celebrate the gods of fertility and agriculture. While the origins of Valentine’s Day are greatly contested, most would agree that February, specifically the fourteenth day, has come to represent love.

Valentine’s Day meaning

Romantic love is often in the spotlight, however there are no constraints or rules that say that platonic, familial and self-love can’t be celebrated as well. Love is the closest thing we have to magic, so we should celebrate it in all forms.

The beginning of the semester can be sad for some, because it means that they have to return to school, leaving behind family, for freshmen and seasoned students alike. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to reach out to parents, siblings, cousins or any family member that you have a bond with, tell them that you love them and that distance does not weaken that.

Distance between romantic partners can also be difficult on Valentine’s Day. While hearts may be aching, an audio or video call, watch party or shipped gifts can help strengthen bonds of already existing or budding love.

Friends, whether distant or closeby, best friends or little more than acquaintances, can sometimes inadvertently be taken for granted. Taking a moment to think back on conversations, laughs, tears and experiences shared between friends of all kinds can help spread some warmth through your heart, and put a smile on your face. 

Telling these people how much they mean to you can also help them feel cared about. Even if love isn’t how you’d define platonic friendship, any connection is acceptable and should be encouraged on Valentine’s Day.

The same can be said for saying kind words to those whose names you’ve never heard. Complementing, engaging with and even smiling at someone in your classes, downtown or on the street can easily make their day.

Gifts and acts of love

Love and care exists not only in emotions shared or granted, but also in the way that we express them.

Flowers and candy, traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, can be full of thought. However, you may be able to find a more meaningful gift when thinking about your partner and their interests. Customizable or one-of-a-kind gifts are also good options.

Flowers, though temporary, can also mean more if you put thought behind them. During the Victorian era, flowers and their colors were assigned meaning. Red roses represent passion, pink represents appreciation, yellow represents friendship and orange represents the intersection of passion and friendship.

Additionally, red carnations mean deep love, daisies mean loyal love, forget-me-nots mean true love memories and white jasmine means sweet love. Buying flowers from local and sustainable shops also shows care for your community.

The cards that often come with flowers present another opportunity to express emotion to whomever you send them to. For those experienced or new, using Sapphic meter, a simple form of poetry, could be a way to show love, but words heard can be just as personal, if not more so.

Actions can speak louder than words. Doing little things to help out can mean more than any gift or card. If you have roommates, doing extra chores or cooking a meal could be an act of care on Valentine’s Day.

Even making food with someone can be a way to show love and care. As can going out to eat, whether somewhere fancy or cozy. A great Valentine’s Day idea is to go thrifting with family, friends, roommates or a partner, pick out a fancy outfit, then wear it to dinner.

Staying home and cuddling up on the couch under a blanket can be just as much fun as going out. Some romantic movies to watch include “The Notebook,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” “The Princess Bride,” and “My Bloody Valentine.” 

Investing in skin care masks, listening to your favorite music, ordering in, reading, scrolling through social media and taking a nap are great ways to pamper yourself and practice self-love.

Intimacy, on many levels, such as hugging, chaste and passionate kisses, cuddling, platonically or romantically and sex, is an important part of the holiday for many. Condoms are available at the WellCat Health Center and Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.

Valentine’s events

A variety of on and off campus events will be occurring throughout Chico.

The Cross-Cultural Learning Center is hosting a Valentine’s Day DIY grams event in MLIB 172 from 9 a.m. to noon on Valentine’s Day. The CSU Ecotherapy program is hosting a forest therapy walk at the Cedar Grove Picnic area from 5-7 p.m. WellCat Prevention, WellCat Safe Place and U-Matter are hosting Love Extravaganza!, an event focused on self-love, at The Hub from 6-9 p.m. For more information go to the campus calendar

The Women’s Club is hosting a Valentine’s dance on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m., tickets $50. Dining at Japanese Blossom, Sofi’z Kitchen and Bar, Celestino’s or any preferred restaurant can provide a relaxed atmosphere for just hanging out.

The Drunken Dumpling is hosting a “Paint the Town Red” dessert and burlesque show on Valentine’s Day from 9 p.m. to midnight. The Gnarly Deli, in partnership with The Malteazers, is also hosting a burlesque show in conjunction with a four-course dinner.

The Naked Lounge will be hosting Cupid’s Corner on Feb. 13, an event that provides a private and intimate setting for singles and couples from 7-9 p.m. To RSVP for this event text 424-468-1500. Early bird tickets are $15 for singles, and $20 for pairs, and $20 at the door for everyone. 

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected].