By: Isabella Arias
Ever since I was little, I’ve been enamored with Valentine’s Day. My passion for eating copious amounts of candy during elementary parties only deepened as I grew up and had an actual valentine (besides my Dad, that is). With the emergence of things such as “galentine’s” and “palentine’s”, more and more people are feeling included in the celebration of this heart-filled holiday.
However, that’s not the case for everyone around this time of year. More and more people are identifying as “aromantic,” which means they have no interest in or desire for romantic relationships.
According to glaad.org, aromanticism is a wide spectrum, and much like sexuality, aromantic identities fluctuate. While this term has become more widespread in recent years, many are still not sure what it means to identify as such. The Torch sat down with junior Bethany Alexander, who identifies as aromantic, to gain insight as well as compare and contrast our perspectives on Valentine’s Day.
Alexander describes herself as being “not romantically attracted to any genders”, and would prefer staying by herself “with many pets.” To put it shortly, she still loves people “but just in a platonic way.”
Alexander first realized she wasn’t romantically attracted to people in 3rd or 4th grade, when “everyone was developing crushes and I just wasn’t.”
In regards to Valentine’s Day, Alexander tells me she typically tries to “ignore it and hope no one mentions it.” The reason being that she was born the day before Valentine’s Day, and also because she doesn’t “feel love in that way.”
I personally love the color combination of Valentine’s Day, however Alexander tells me she despises the color pink, and that it is her least favorite.
I am also aware that a big part of Valentine’s Day’s significance is the capitalism that fuels it. While I’ve never been one to protest capitalism by not participating in its practices, Alexander says that “if there wasn’t as much capitalist influence, it wouldn’t be recognized as a holiday in the way that it is now.” She goes on to say that she thinks if Valentine’s Day was “less stereotypical, then I would probably like it more, because then it would just be about love.”
While my celebration of Valentine’s Day is quite extensive, Alexander’s are not. I receive Valentines from my family, my friends, (and if I have one) my significant other. I also give Valentines to all of these people, along with flowers. Alexander’s celebrations are “slim to none”, and are usually celebrated as birthday plans instead.
Alexander is very thankful for the more recent social acknowledgement of people who identify as aromantic, explaining “I’m glad that there’s a label so I know I’m not alone in this.” Being aromantic has also made her more “objective” about things such as relationship problems, which she says is “definitely a plus.”
Whether you’re romantic or aromantic, whether you hate the holiday or bask in its cheesiness, just know that, like Alexander said, you are not alone. Happy (late) Valentine’s Day.