Will You Be My Valentine? 

Will You Be My Valentine? 

Photo Credit: Emily Tung

A collection of perspectives on love

Catherine Amoguis, Associate Opinion Editor 

In a world of eight billion individuals, it can be challenging to find meaningful relationships — romantic or platonic. Our hectic job and academic schedules, alongside the prevalence of individuals revealing relationship horror-stories via social media, have led to a culture that is increasingly hyper-independent.  

Contra, Valentine’s Day is one occasion to show off warmth and devotion. Some may view this day as a time to indulge in consumerist values with a hint of cynicism, while others see it as a way to spend quality time with loved ones.  

I belong to the category of people who cherish rom-coms, hearts, and muted red colours, truly basking in the romanticization of love and committed partnerships. I had the privilege of speaking with three U of T students who, in the context of intimacy, friendship, and personal development, have their own distinctive viewpoints on the occasion of Valentine’s Day. They reveal that love takes a rich tapestry of forms and is not just a concept limited to one ideal.  

On the Relevance of Family and Platonic Love  

Nicholas Bussetti is a fourth-year human biology major and is passionate about translating his knowledge of medical principles into his everyday life. On Valentine’s Day, he emphasizes the importance of extending love outside of romantic relationships. “Valentine’s Day should not be defined by [romantic] relationships,” he confidently shares. “I think it is something for everyone to celebrate because love is in everything we interact with.”  

Although Nicholas does have someone in mind, he has undefined plans at the moment but knows he is going to celebrate with his single friends as well. “Besides that, I’m buying flowers for my mother in different hues of red, pink, and white, which will be on theme for the day!”  

He does acknowledge that some people dread the pressure that comes on this holiday — if you even want to call it that. “I view it as a ‘micro-holiday,’ as it barely has a [solidified] identity compared to Christmas or Halloween,” he explains. “And for some people it’s more of a burden rather than an enjoyable day.”  

On Balancing the Romantic Aesthetic and Material Affection  

Meanwhile, Sophie Choy is a third-year Ethics, Society, and Law and philosophy major. She will be celebrating this day with her boyfriend. “I am in a relationship, and plan to be for quite some time,” she says.  

She is aware that the genuine purpose of the day often gets trumped by the impact of materialism and consumerism. Nevertheless, Sophie continues embracing the occasion since she finds it enjoyable and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with her significant other.  

“I wish I could claim ambivalence towards the issue of Valentine’s Day, but sadly this is not the case and never has been,” she states. “I don’t know if I love Valentine’s Day. [Although], I am a romantic; that is, I am [an] aesthete with a proclivity of delusion and indulgence.”  

On this particular day, Sophie shows her boyfriend unabashed material affection. She also dresses herself up in a mix of red and pink for a classic Valentine’s Day look. “To capitulate to a nearly debasing level of indulgence, feels sweet on that day,” she exclaims with a smile.  

“It just so happens that the shapes, colours, and textures of 1950s and 60s Valentines align with my particular aesthetic sensibilities — an added delight,” Sophie adds.  

There truly are no constraints to the amount of love one can have or the ability to show it fully.  

On Navigating Queer Relationships  

Athea Consunji is a first-year student in a non-degree program. She will be spending Valentine’s Day with her girlfriend. “For me, I like the concept of Valentine’s Day. Even though you may or may not have a significant other to spend it with, it’s still fun to celebrate,” she states. 

Valentine’s Day is primarily focused on heterosexual couples, especially through its merchandise. This leaves queer relationships feeling less normalized. “I feel a slight stigma around 2SLGBTQ+ couples, [especially] when me and my girlfriend have a small public display of affection, like holding hands,” she clarifies. “It’s all the same for queer or straight couples on how we celebrate. I’m taking her out for dinner, buying her tiny gifts, and going to a photobooth,” she happily adds. “Going back to the topic of Valentine’s Day, it shouldn’t just be one day of the year to show love like that.” A good reminder to celebrate however makes you feel secure.  

These stories possess a kind of love that surpasses conventional notions of romance. Whether with your friends or your significant other, every form of love deserves its own type of celebration this day. All three individuals emphasize the value of having self-love while offering yourself small treats every day, not just on February 14th. Always remember that the relationship with yourself is the most essential one.  

Sincerity is an indication of genuine affection. In the limitless field of relationships, there is only room for the beauty of authentic, unconditional commitment — love without shame. Happy Valentine’s Day.