Well folks, it’s that time of year again. You don’t need me to say it, we’re all thinking it: the much-dreaded Valentine’s Day. Back in the olden days, young adults everywhere were either already married, popping out babies, or dead from a plethora of now curable diseases. Good times. But, for better or worse, today’s young people are less concerned with settling down and more concerned with the likes of travelling and building a career. And, well, then there’s Tinder… As a result, more of us are able to identify with famous singleton, Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope, who claims that the three most important things in life are always: friends, waffles and work (and work always comes last) and she invented the best day of the year, Galentine’s Day, to prove it.
So scrap Valentine’s Day because this year it’s all about Pal-entine’s Day. This gender neutral version of Knope’s Gal-entine’s Day doesn’t require candles, roses or uncomfortable underwear (unless you and your friends are into that kinda thing, of course; no judgment here). So forget the cliches, stop trying to fall in love within the next week (it doesn’t work, trust me) and gather those you already love- your best pals- for some super fun, platonic loving. After all, if February 14 is all about feelin’ the love, it makes sense to spend it with the loves that last a lifetime, right? So get off the couch, grab your Loot card and test drive these ideas this Pal-entine’s Day…
Clubs ‘n’ Balls
Enjoy picturesque city views? Got some love-life related anger to vent? Just enjoy violently hitting things with a club? Then the Greenwich Peninsula Golf Range might be the place for you this P-Day (yes, I did just say that). Grab your pals and jump on the Jubilee line to North Greenwich for an alternative activity that will totally allow you to embrace your friendships against the twinkling light pollution of London, whilst remaining totally, totally macho. Oh, and it’s pretty cheap too.
Wine ‘n’ Dine
If you’re not quite ready to give up the Valentine’s Day cheese, why not (ironically, of course) treat your pals to a romantic meal? Whether you’ve got a mate who’s made your family question your sexuality, found your soul mate in a buddy or have a friendship group that simply appreciates fine dining, spread those rose petals, light the candles, get that Marvin Gaye playlist going and prepare to concoct your best baked beans on toast yet. (Steak and red wine is recommended for those hoping to impress their pals, while a restaurant excursion is advisable for those who a) get too much student finance or b) can’t safely operate kitchen appliances.) It’s time to subvert the cliches people; who said you can’t wine and dine your pals?
Netflix ‘n’ Actually Chill
Sometimes, we just find ourselves too busy or tired to plan mate dates. With every year that goes by, getting all your friends together in the same place at the same time becomes ten times harder, it seems. Nonetheless, it’s important to maintain your friendships and show the love this P-Day. So why not compromise by inviting everyone over to your flat and swapping Secret Santa style gifts with one another? You can order your gift online all without changing out of your joggers or braving the cold. An hour is all you’ll need for a quick catch-up and some present swapping, so you’ll be back to binging on Netflix before you know it.
Art ‘n’ That
Get artsy! Exploring a new public garden, hitting up art galleries or booking tickets to a feel-good musical are best shared with friends who are guaranteed to share your enthusiasm. Plus, they’re gonna want to come home with you regardless of how well you can bullshit when discussing artwork, how out of tune you are when singing along to Mamma Mia or how terrible your ceramic painting skills are.
It’s ALL About YOU
Friends can be pretty awesome and the good ones sure as hell deserve appreciation, but if frequently listening to Me, Myself & I by Beyonce on repeat has taught me anything, it’s that you are your own best friend. We can all be down on ourselves at times, but trust me, you don’t need that 6 pack, your cellulite is completely normal and you don’t need Kylie Jenner’s lips to look smokin’. Seriously, you are gonna graduate and get that job you’ve been working for and hey, even if you don’t, you’re going to bounce back. So, whether your budget allows for a holiday with the lads, a spa weekend, a new outfit, your favourite meal or even just an evening off from working/studying, embrace P-Day and show your best pal some TLC. Hint: it’s you.