How does one define love?

Love is a complex set of emotions that we all experience when we feel close to another person. In the month of February, and particularly on Valentine’s Day, we celebrate and build on the love we have for our romantic partners. While this form of romantic love is important, there are many different ways that love exists in our lives. Whether it manifests itself as strong connections with friends, trusting relationships with family members, passionate bonds with romantic partners, or love for ourselves, love is ever-present. We should celebrate and strengthen all forms of love on Valentine’s Day.

This is especially important because studies show that feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need. Relationships with friends and family can:

  • Help you build a sense of belonging and self-worth
  • Provide you with opportunities to share positive and happy experiences
  • Provide you with emotional support, as well as the opportunity to support others

Ultimately, strong social relationships are important for your mental well-being! Working towards building meaningful connections with others and creating loving relationships is important for leading a healthy life.

There are many ways to create connections, make relationships stronger, and show people you love them! For example:

  • Take 5 minutes to ask someone about their day and how they are feeling
  • Arrange a day out with your friends or family who you have not seen for a while
  • Make the most out of technology to stay in touch with friends and family who may live far away
  • Volunteer at a local hospital or community center
  • Sit beside someone new in class or work
  • On a lunch break, take a walk with a classmate or co-worker

While all these forms of social connection are great, do not forget to love yourself.  Your relationship with yourself is equally important and requires compassion and care as well. It is only by caring for yourself, can you foster connections with others that are healthy and happy.