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How to Nurture Friendships on Galentine’s Day

Published: February 12, 2023 | Last Updated: February 12, 2023 By | Reply Continue Reading
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It’s important to nurture friendships because otherwise, these vital ties can easily fray.

Just like muscles atrophy when they are never used, friendships need to be current and can’t rely solely on past memories.

Enter Galentine’s Day

Amy Pohler

Amy Pohler

Galentine’s Day is celebrated each year on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, or on Valentine’s Day eve.

It’s a perfect opportunity to remind women to nurture the friendships they value and not take them for granted.

This unofficial holiday has a fascinating history. Its genesis was in Season 2, episode 16 of the popular sitcom Parks and Recreation. 

In that episode, Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) Leslie throws her annual breakfast with female friends, which is always celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day.

Leslie explains its meaning: 

What’s Galentine’s Day?

Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrate ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.

An enduring pop culture phenomenon 

Since the airing of the Parks and Recreation Galentine’s Day episode, life has imitated art.

Many women have seized the day to recognize the importance of platonic friendships, relationships that are often overlooked and neglected on Valentine’s Day.

Ironically, the first handmade Valentine’s Day cards in the 1800s weren’t intended for lovers. Instead, they celebrated affection between friends and relatives.

Some countries also interpret the day as platonic. People in Finland celebrate Ystävänpäivä on February 14th, which is translated as Friend’s Day. In Mexico, it is called the Día del amor y la amistad, the day of love and friendship.

It seems like Galentine’s Day has risen to fill a gap in American holidays.

An entry in Wikipedia notes:

Galentine’s Day has transcended the television screen and become established in everyday culture. On February 13, Galentine’s Day, a nonofficial holiday, is celebrated as a day for “ladies celebrating ladies.”

15 ways for friends to celebrate and strengthen their friendships on Galentine’s Day

(with gratitude to Amy Feld for curating this list!)

  • Schedule a manicure and pedicure
  • Visit a trampoline park
  • Play paintball or pickleball
  • Throw a fondue party
  • Choose a recipe to prepare together and share it with others 
  • Watch a Netflix movie (with pizza) together or apart and discuss it afterward
  • Go to the gym or take a yoga  class (ever heard of Goat Yoga?)
  • Take the day off from work and do something you both enjoy (e.g., thrift store shopping, a massage at a spa, a visit to a museum, or going to a movie)
  • Plan a special lunch or dinner at a new-to-you restaurant
  • Take a road trip for the day
  • Visit a museum exhibit
  • Take a hike
  • Book a tasting at a nearby winery
  • Arrange a “blind date” with a book. Create a book exchange and wrap it as a gift. (This is a take-off of the Icelandic tradition of giving books and reading them Xmas eve. 
  • Enjoy a pairing of wine and chocolates

When friends can’t get together 

During the pandemic, we became acutely aware of the circumstances that can keep good friends apart. Similarly, geography, time, and other logistics can make it hard for friends to be together face-to-face.

What can they do in the meantime to nurture their friendships?

Express your appreciation by:

  • Texting
  • Calling
  • Writing
  • Video conferencing (via Zoom or Google Meet)
  • Sending a note or little gift
  • Sharing a photo of a time you were together
  • Making plans for a future get-together

How ever you decide to celebrate, Happy Galentine’s Day!

Previously on The Friendship Blog

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Galentine's Day pin




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