Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Type of Love

Valentine%27s+Day%2C+Such+A+Lovely+Time.

Valentine’s Day, Such A Lovely Time.

Caitlin Bailey, Columnist

It’s that time of the year again. Those in relationships are anticipating spending the day with their significant other, and those that aren’t are wallowing in self-pity. At least, that’s what the media wants you to believe, but it isn’t true. 

 

Romantic relationships dominate Valentine’s Day, it’s true; after all, it was made for them. However, we as a society tend to forget the other loves in our lives sans romance. Our friendships and other platonic relationships are fundamental to our lives. They are the first relationships that we have, and it’s important to cherish them. 

 

Besides, there are people who are on the aromantic spectrum—those who don’t feel any romantic attraction to anyone, regardless of gender—and people who are asexual—those who don’t feel any sexual attraction towards anyone. Just because Valentine’s Day is traditionally for couples doesn’t mean that aromantics and asexuals can’t spend the day with the people that they love, platonically or otherwise. 

 

There seems to be a misconception that people on the aromantic and asexual spectrum are heartless or cold or unfeeling, and that is simply untrue. In fact, they love wholly and deeply, just as everyone else does. Just because they don’t feel either romantic or sexual attraction (or both), doesn’t mean that they are loveless creatures.

 

This isn’t to say that because someone is asexual means that they can’t experience romantic attraction, it just means that they don’t want physicality to be involved in a relationship. The same goes for aromantics; they can still experience sexual attraction. 

 

However, this is just a basic explanation, and there are many subcategories of the aromantic and asexual spectrums. If you feel like you might belong to either or both, look up a more in-depth explanation, as well as some first-hand experiences. And remember: you and your feelings are valid, no matter what.

 

Society puts so much emphasis on finding a romantic partner, especially in high school. It can be stressful at times, and if you don’t fit the traditional mold—that is to say, if you’re still figuring yourself out or if you don’t want to date yet—then you are thought of as an outsider. But the thing is, you aren’t! People go through life differently and at different times; no one is ahead of anyone else when it comes to milestones. 

 

It’s important to remember that love doesn’t always equate to romance. Love is about caring deeply for people, about wanting them in your life. When you love someone, you care about their happiness and you want to be a cause of it. Loving someone deeply and being in a platonic relationship with them can and should coincide. We as a society must start normalizing the idea that love is not just for romantic relationships, that it includes so much more than that.