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A couple enjoys a coffee date. 

Feb. 14 and Feb. 13 are important dates for thousands of people across the world. Many celebrate first dates, long lasting love, best friends, wedding anniversaries and an excuse to eat as much chocolate as you want on Valentine's and Galentine's Day. This year, as we continue through the pandemic, people still found ways to celebrate togetherness and friendship with their loved ones. Whether or not these dates were acknowledged in person or through Zoom, it’s evident that the second weekend of February will always be full of candy hearts and bouquets of flowers no matter what. However, this doesn't mean that these celebrations and small tokens of appreciation should be limited to two days in February. Love and connections should, and can, be celebrated year round (yes, that means you can bring your girlfriend flowers on random weekdays or you and your roommates can dress up for dinner without a cause). 

Valentine's Day highlights the best parts of your relationship with your partner, so it makes sense to go all out to celebrate. Once Feb. 14 passes, though, you should continue to shower your significant other with appreciation and respect. Yes, flowers and a nice note can mean a lot on the day of love, but sometimes it means even more on a random Tuesday evening. If you are able to write a sweet card for the holiday, you can write a sweet card when your partner is having a rough day. Especially in 2021 (or what we could call 2020 part 2), a gentle reminder that you love your partner can go a long way. It doesn’t cost much, maybe a few seconds of your time or a trip to the dollar store, and the feeling of being cherished is worth far more than the five minute trip to the store (or the minute it takes to write “Love you!” on a sticky note and put in on their dresser). Although it’s nice to have a day dedicated to celebrating your relationship, you should continue to do so as the month continues. 

February 13, or Galentine's Day, has also become increasingly popular throughout the years. With the rise of social media, it is easier to find cute places to take your best girlfriends to brunch and let the world know that you have each other's back (with a mimosa in hand, of course). Charcuterie boards, red and pink outfits and fun rom-com movie nights are blasting across Instagram and TikTok as young women carve out some time for a girls night. Although it’s fun to engage in these activities in the middle of February, you don’t need a special day to do so. Go out with your friends, dress up to walk around your living room and break out your favorite tearjerker film on a Monday night. Let your buddies know you’re thankful for and thinking of them by inviting a few friends to a COVID-19 safe lunch without Galentine’s day as a motivating force. It’s important to water a friendship so it can grow, and sometimes drinks and a good meal can be the best cultivator. 

Basically, the idea here is to reveal how much you cherish your loved ones and to reveal it often. You don’t need a specific holiday to make someone feel special, especially if they are important to you. Take the time to send a nice text, check in on your favorite people or give them a dollar store candy bar with a Sharpie heart drawn on. As the world continues to ignite more hardships, you should continue to spread love and laughter to your partners and friends. 

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