Love is the be-all end-all for most of us. If you have any doubts, just watch any Rom Com ever… for that matter, add most action movies, coming-of-age tales and dramas to the list. Across genres and mediums, the most compelling stories all include love to some degree.
When we talk about love, our first inclination is to reach for romance. But today, I want to reach for a love that’s a little less obvious, though just as meaningful and substantive . That love is friendship, specifically female friendship.
GALentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your gal pals. Created by Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler’s character on Parks and Rec.), the holiday is the day before Valentine’s Day. Similar to the real life Amy Poehler, Leslie Knope is an unapologetic and powerful woman who loves and values her girlfriends. She values them so much in fact, she made a whole holiday just for them.
Whether this is your first Galentine’s Day or your sixth, here’s why you should be celebrating February 13th!
1. Your Girlfriends Are Poetic and Noble Land Mermaids (and should be recognized as such)
The first and most important reason to celebrate Galentine’s Day is, of course, your gal pals! They support, encourage, and challenge you. More than that, they love you unconditionally. This day is about affirming their critical place in your life, and doting on them just a little. It’s the equivalent of shouting from the rooftops how poetic, noble, and mermaid(ish) they truly are. So have a drink or a waffle in honor of the women who make our lives meaningful, crazy, and fun!
2. It’s Science
A group of psychologists from the University of Pennsylvania concluded that when you show your friends that they matter to you, you begin to matter more to them. It’s common sense, but really, who doesn’t want to be valued more as a person?
Additionally, “scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women.”
If we show appreciation for others, we receive more love. That in turn builds our friendships, and makes us healthier more complete people. So, when we appreciate our friends like Drake appreciates his friends, we all win. Be Drake.
3. It’s More than a Day, It’s a Movement & Lifestyle
While technically Galentine’s is a day – it’s not limited to Feb. 13th. Strong female bonds have always existed, but we’re increasingly seeing their importance reflected in art, media and news. More and more, women are being highlighted as each other’s biggest advocates. Some noteworthy examples include:
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – Just look how much they adore each other!
Jacqueline Fernandez and Sonam Kapoor – Friends don’t let friends have wardrobe malfunctions.
Viola Davis & Taraji P. Henson – Because when your friend succeeds, you succeed!
While these kinds of relationships aren’t new, seeing female friendships highlighted in authentic ways is. Young girls are growing up seeing the women they admire being allies to one another, and there is nothing more powerful than that.
4.Life is Too Short and Too Busy
Life is too short and too busy for us not to seize every chance we get to spend time with loved ones! G-Day is the perfect opportunity to gather all the women who matter to you in one space; be it your mom, sisters, cousins, co-workers, or friends!
5. Ovaries Before Brovaries
Both being in a relationship and being single is hard. The good, the bad, and the ugly tend to get magnified during the Valentine’s Day season.
Galentine’s Day is a break from the complexity. It’s a no stress situation, where you can be your whole weird self without any pressure.
6. For the Anti-Establishment Rebel in All of US
If you, yourself, are not a Valentine’s Day cynic, then you are friends with someone who is. Personally, I love the idea of Valentine’s Day, but I get it – the holiday is heavily commercialized.
Thankfully, we have Galentine’s day for the rebel in us all. Straight from the heart of women to celebrate other women, it’s a different kind of pure and unadulterated love.
7. The Endless Thrill of Dating Friends
When we meet someone we are interested in romantically, we get this rush of excitement. It’s an incredible high. However, it pales in comparison to the high we feel when we meet a woman we click with on all levels. This woman is utterly cool, inspiring, and is just as obsessed with us, as we are with her. Nothing compares to that feeling.
We tend to focus on seeking our romantic partners, but when we put the same effort into finding and fostering friendships we benefit three fold.
Galentine’s is a time to celebrate the people you love, but also seek new and interesting women to connect with. Check out local events, and get to meeting your newest bestie! There’s even a tinder style “dating” app for plutonic female relationships!
8. New, More, Better
Your girlfriends share their ideas, interests, music, and food with you. They introduce you to entirely new concepts, and broaden your horizons. Galentine’s day fosters female friendships, which ultimately leads you to finding your new favorite band, restaurant, or book!
9. It’s Not a Competition
I’m sure at one point or another we’ve all heard the vitriolic fallacy “women can’t be friends.” We’ve been told this from various sources, be it society, our peers, or even our lesser selves. Ultimately, it comes down to a sense of competition perpetuated by a host of factors. If we continue to see other women as our competition, we miss out on incredible opportunities and relationships. Other women are not competition, they are our life partners. Once we adopt this mindset, the world opens up to us in new and rewarding ways.
Celebrating Galentine’s Day is just one way to break this pervasive idea for ourselves and society. So celebrate loud, proud, and with all the women you know! (Not to say, you shouldn’t celebrate with your male allies as well!)
10. It’s An Excuse to Grab a Drink on a Saturday Night (not that we need a reason)
If you’re looking for the perfect Galentine’s Day event, come join the Shenomics team Feb. 13th 5-7pm for happy hour at Arbor Brewing Company!
For more details on our Galentine’s Day event, please see here.
This article was originally written for and published on Shenomics.com
About the Author
Misha Rahman recently uprooted her life in Boston to move to Bangalore, India and work with Shenomics. She is completing a professional certification in social enterprise through IDEX Accelerator’s Global Fellowship Program. She spends her days on facebook, twitter, and linkedin- also known as marketing and strategy. In addition to empowering women she is interested in conflict resolution and human rights work. Misha enjoys traveling, reading, and binge watching Netflix.