Tis’ the season friends, it’s Valentine’s Day, which means an excuse for me to purchase a new dress online I won’t wear until months from now and eat the candy my parents sent me while in bed. It’s time to flex yourself and treat yourself.

Despite being in a relationship, I’m not here to give you any typical Valentine’s Day cheesiness. Watch a Hallmark rom-com for that. So, let’s be real, there is no such thing as a glossy, fairy-tale romance.

Things are never that easy. But, whatever does present itself is going to teach you something. There is someone who supports you. There is someone who makes you feel deserving because you are. We’re not here to settle.       

About a week from now, my boyfriend and I will be celebrating one year. Yeah, it has been a minute. I told him I was writing this and we both laughed at the thought of it. I cringe at PDA and am pretty private with my relationships so you’d think this would be weird for me — hence my opinions on Valentine’s day.

He graduated last year so yes, we’re in an infamous long-distance relationship. It’s not for some people. I get it. But it is so worth it when you know the person is.

Those of you who are in an LDR can maybe relate. It is inevitable to have simultaneous conversations on a ton of different platforms. We’ve got YouTube messenger, where I send him Cody Ko videos, Instagram DM’s, Facebook messenger, text, Facetime, Snapchat and an app that lets us watch Netflix at the same time with a chat room on the side. Boom. It does help to stay this connected.  

I tend to get in this weird state of mind, however, where I feel hyper-aware of how much or how little we’re talking or I think asking for more Facetime is asking for too much. Meanwhile, you have GU couples around campus who hold hands the whole time in the COG and don’t know how to be apart. I’m just saying. 

I then come to the realization that it’s probably OK if I want to Facetime him for an additional hour on that Wednesday night when I only see him once a month otherwise.

What comes to my mind this Valentine’s, is how on this day last year, we were the pining young adults we are and asked each other to meet up, literally just to share updates on exciting things that recently came up in our lives. Of course, while pretending that us being just friends was possible. A week later, despite how scary feelings can be, we knew there was no other path we wanted to be on, despite the risks we’d have to take.       

This time of the year gets couples thinking if they don’t come up with the most original date or gift, they are a failure to the love Gods. Or, there are the realists who believe they’re being influenced by corporations to reach an extremely extra level of swoon.

Valentine’s Day gifts and all the fuss seem unneeded when we’re miles apart. Though, he jokes about sending me an Edible Arrangement. Not a fan. If you see me carrying one, you can laugh. 

We’ll be spending our V-day watching Netflix originals and video chatting about the countless things that run through our heads, the funny stories, struggles throughout the week and updates on new music, of course.

My person not physically being with me all the time has just reaffirmed that I value communication and substance above anything. In the wide scope of things, connection is more important than thinking that you have one day a year to prove, through material items and grand gestures, that you and that person are committed.

Find ways every day to express the love you have. For your friends, family and the person that may give you butterflies this season. Don’t take anything or anyone’s time for granted.  

Melina Benjamin is a staff writer.


Melina Benjamin is a staff writer.

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