Editorial: It’s okay to love your friends

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At this time of year, it seems as though everyone is fixated on finding somebody to love.

The world around us makes us feel as though finding your ‘person’ is a necessary thing — or at least that’s what I thought, anyway.

Lately, I’ve realized that I have plenty of people around me to love. Something even better is that they love me right back.

Those people aren’t a part of some steamy romance story: they’re my friends, and they’ve been with me through thick and thin.

Now that I’m into my twenties, I’ve matured (ever so slightly) enough to be able to tell my friends that I love them. I also think it’s about time that everyone does the same.

Love isn’t something reserved for one special person who you may share the rest of your life with. It’s all around us; it’s everywhere.

I love chocolate. I love my cat, and I love my friends. I’m pretty sure everyone else approaches and uses the word ‘love’ the same way.

So if it’s okay to profess love to your favourite foods, movies, books and subjects at school, why is there still a stigma around telling your friends that you love them?

I will admit that the stigma that comes with loving your friends has reduced recently. But depending on who you are, telling a friend that you love them still might not seem right.

If it doesn’t seem right in the essence of the word, that’s okay — but really, saying “I love you” in a purely platonic way is simply a more succinct “I care about you and your well being, am happy to have you as a friend, and will always be proud of your successes.” One is easier to say than the other, is it not?

Plus, while many of us are experiencing cuffing-season-induced loneliness and the winter blues, it never hurts to remind your friends how happy you are that they’ve stuck around.

If normalizing the platonic “I love you” is something that we want to do, let Valentine’s Day be a day not just those of us in relationships celebrate.

Get together with your girls and watch your favourite chick flick, or get together with the guys and catch a ball game.

Love, regardless of who it is with is a wonderful thing; and the world would be a much better place if there were more of it.

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