Valentine’s Day: a time for sweet sentiment and even sweeter goodies set aside for that special someone. A day for indulging in romantic whims and fancies, for elaborate surprises and tender affection.
That may be the idea behind Valentine’s, but it’s not always the case. Females get together on Feb. 13 and celebrate friendship, a play-on-words version of the holiday known as “Galentine’s.”
While Galentine’s is an excellent example of women sharing camaraderie and bonding over the woes of a holiday favoring romantic relationships, it’s equally important for men to recognize and share those feelings.
Men have traditionally, albeit unfairly, expected to be the strong, stoic ones who are unfazed by loneliness or a fruitless pursuit of love.
However, those eligible bachelors out there yet to find a bae aren’t always as resilient as may outwardly appear.
The single men in the world deserve an equally fun “Bro-entine’s” version of Valentine’s, not for self-pity’s sake, but to be emancipated of the “show no weakness” perception and to share with other men their feelings and emotions (while having a little fun in the meantime).
Matthew Moore, a senior majoring in Outdoor Recreation, said, “When I’ve been stressed or gone on dates, and they haven’t been going great, and I don’t understand girls, it’s always helpful to have friends around for support.”
Though Moore hasn’t participated in a Bro-entine’s get-together in this context, he noted that the principles are essentially the same as a guy’s night, just on Valentine’s Day and with a bit more emphasis on openness with love problems.
This vulnerability still isn’t an easy thing to reach for most males, which is why an activity or some medium to ease men into letting down some barriers in the presence of other men is what helps transition to that stage.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of “manly” things to do with the homies to segue into a setting where men can still be men while sharing their emotional side.
For instance, nothing clears the mind, like playing with a little weaponry. Hitting up the shooting range at the western edge of the Three Peaks Recreation complex or some ax-throwing at Iron Axe Cedar City is sure to elevate the mood.
Food is another constant comfort, and splurging on two or three pizzas with friends or heading down to Buffalo Wild Wings in St. George to watch the game around a plate of wings is a surefire method to bring out any aches and pains of relationship trouble.
Follow this up with a manly movie like “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a mountain man out for vengeance, while downing your favorite drink from a flagon (yes, a flagon) and the Bro-entine’s celebration is nearly complete.
Squad up with the bros in your favorite online first-person shooter or battle royale, or go head-to-head in a fighting style game to break the tension of holding in dreary loneliness.
Classic stories and memories told around a raging bonfire, weather permitting, or around the living room is the cherry-on-top of a perfect Bro-entine’s. This is the moment when bros can bring attention to struggles, questions, or even hopeful experiences with romantic encounters.
Commiserating with other men provides much-needed relief and support that men sometimes are hesitant to seek out because of that pesky vulnerability that follows.
“I think it’s a great idea, with women having their Galentine’s Day men should definitely have one too,” Moore said, “I had a friend hit me up the other day, and he was bummed out, and when you’re feeling down when it comes to romantic relationships, it’s always good to have a bro there to lift you up and let you know you’re a still a good guy.”
With every man’s heart-breaking or heart-warming love experience, there awaits a side of him yearning to share that feeling, which is why Bro-entine’s deserves its place and is the perfect opportunity to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood.
Story by Reyce Knutson
Photos by Christopher Dimond and Reyce Knutson