Platonically in love

By Hannah McKelvey

Executive Editor

Philosopher Peter Tumulty said he loves the fact that Valentine’s Day is associated with a saint but when it comes to love it becomes a little more complex and multidimensional. “Love has many, many meanings and aspects and by and large it’s much more than feelings and hormones,” he said. “That’s why it’s such a key source for a meaningful life.” 

Illustration by Rachael Prescott

What is love?  On Valentine’s Day, the definition goes beyond traditional history. 

Professor of chemistry Christina Chant doesn’t look to science to answer questions about love. “It’s one of those things scientists have tried to determine for years and years,” she said. Instead she thinks about her family and husband when it comes to love. As for Valentine’s Day, she holds the popular opinion that having a holiday to show all your love and affection to your partner isn’t right. “I feel like that’s an unfortunate degradation of love,” she said. 

And Francesca D’Elia ’20 views love and Valentine’s Day as a way to celebrate whether you are with friends or a significant other.  “I think it has evolved for me from a day where, whether you are in a relationship or you are single, you just get to celebrate the things that you love in your life. Especially senior year you really value the relationships you have platonically like your friendships and the people you choose to surround yourself with.” 

While Valentine’s Day in the past was often thought of as a day strictly dedicated to romantic couples, in recent years, the concept of Valentine’s Day became a day of expressing love for yourself regardless of whether you have a partner. 

Why can’t we spread the love to friends, family, and even strangers? This Valentine’s month considers ways to show people who are involved in your life that you love and appreciate them. 

Here are some ways to show that love:  

Random Acts of Kindness will be tabling in Alliot on Wednesday, February 19 with kindness grams. Come by and write something nice about anyone who is a part of the St. Mike’s community, and they will deliver it the following day on Feb. 20 to that person. 

Starting Feb. 9, Her Campus, an online campus magazine, will release themed content on health, beauty, body image, how to practice self-love, mental health, and a whole bunch more. Her Campus will also table Feb. 10-12 in Alliot before Valentine’s Day with different activities. One activity will ask  people what makes them beautiful.  “I hope it brings a sense that you don’t need another person to celebrate holidays, you can celebrate by yourself,” said D’Elia, a campus correspondent for Her Campus. “You can get together all of your best friends and celebrate the love that exists in those relationships. It doesn’t just have to be romantic relationships to celebrate, you can celebrate with whoever you love.”