For another year, Valentine's day has come and gone. Whether you were at home being salty because that guy STILL fails to notice you, or you were out wining and dining with your boo, I think we can all agree that Valentine's day is the perfect time of the year to reflect on love.
You can either want nothing to do with that treacherous four-letter word or be absolutely blinded by it. Regardless of what side you're on, I think it's time we said thank you. Thank you to those that play a huge role in making us who we are. To those that always have our backs no matter what, and are always ready to pick us up when we're down.
Girlfriends, this one is for you.
As a guy, I know it's easy to think that it's hard for us to explain our feelings or get all mushy, but I feel it's about time somebody broke that rough exterior.
After all fellas, wouldn't you agree? Be honest, where would we be without the strong women in our lives? They're already strong enough to put up with us, shouldn't we show some appreciation for that?
No, but seriously now. I always see articles about being ghosted, college "baes" we wish we had, or "a letter to the guy that tried to break my best friend's heart," but you rarely ever see an appreciation article for the women that are always there for us. I personally feel that our girlfriends are very much underappreciated. For the guys out there who were also raised by strong, independent women, I'm pretty sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.
I remember being in middle school and having my first "legit" girlfriend. I remember trying my absolute best and even spending my last dollar just to have someone show some love my way because it was this new, exciting thing I've basically never experienced before.
I know a lot of us can remember our first relationships, whether they were the best things ever or just absolute failures. They're memorable because they gave us our first shot of love that a lot of us craved so much to have, and even molded how most of our future relationships would play out. Now maybe I'm just saying this because again, I was raised by nothing but amazing, strong, independent women, but I can't help but think that if it weren't for all those paths and experiences I wouldn't be with the one I love today.
Girlfriends, I want you to know right off the bat that us guys love you for way more than just physical attraction.
To think someone is cute or just downright "sexy" is one thing, but to have someone who appreciates you and helps you develop as a human being is another. I can't even hold back my smile while writing this because I know I have someone in my corner who does that exact thing. When you love us for who we are and help us unlock our full potential, it creates this feeling of love and appreciation that can never be matched.
It's no secret that growing up, a lot of guys are told to be strong and not show emotion. What happens when we need to though? Let's say when our dog passes or classes are just so difficult you want to scream, who can we rely on? Now before you say your parents, think about the girl you ACTUALLY text all day. The one who you can't be without for over 24 hours and is always there with a quick reply when you need it.
Knowing that someone is there for us no matter what always makes everything that much easier. Like yeah, I bombed that math test, but you still think I'm smart right? It gives us the drive to do better, and eventually succeed in whatever it is that we're doing. Whether it's a mental or physical adjustment, having you back us up means the world to us.
We appreciate you because you teach us. Now there's no easy way to put this so I'm going to dive right in. Above raising our IQ every day with academic knowledge, you inform us about stuff that, for most guys, is like a foreign language. By that, I'm saying thank you for teaching us about your body and the constant struggles that you go through.
Now I know it's not an easy topic, but as a guy, I feel like it's our responsibility to learn and understand the struggles that women go through. My girlfriend has taught me SO MUCH about what it means to be a woman in today's day and age. Whether it's about periods (wow such threatening word much scared), getting cat-called on the street, going shopping, or just blatant sexism, we wouldn't be as knowledgeable as we are today without you in our corner.
Guys, once you understand what she goes through, don't be afraid to talk about it. Offer your hand to buy some feminine hygiene products or just spoil her every once in a while. A small gesture makes a big difference, and the least we can do for them is show that we care about their wel-lbeing—mentally and physically.
Because of you, I can't wait to have my own daughters and help them grow to be just as amazing as a lot of passionate and driven women out there.
I can't wait to help them acknowledge that everything they face is natural and that if they ever need something, I'll always be there because YOU taught me about those struggles.
We appreciate you because you elevate us. As mentioned a bit before, it's a lot more than just physical attraction. At this stage in our lives, I'm pretty sure a lot of us are looking for that person that can tolerate us for extended periods of time without wanting to pull their hair out. Once you become that person that we can envision a life with, we keep you closer than Obama keeps Joe Biden.
You become our best friends. You elevate us to the point where we learn not only more about ourselves but the world around us.
You have the ability to instill in us a drive that almost no other person can do.
Once we have that drive to be successful together, no one can stop us. I know it's all about self-love, but once you have someone that loves you even when you hate yourself, it makes life in general that much easier.
In my opinion, the only thing more amazing than a woman who loves you no matter what is a woman who teaches you, motivates you, and drives you no matter what. O
nce you help elevate us to your level, it's almost like the greatest gift you could possibly bestow upon us.
Overall, I'm writing this to say thank you to the unsung heroes that care for us on a daily basis. No matter your orientation, race, gender or belief I think we can all say that our girlfriends are always there to back us up and pick us up when we need it.
For that, we say thank you.
And for my girlfriend, Lanette. I want you to know that I appreciate you with every fiber of my being. As I don't want to make this a love letter, I want you to know though that you help drive my inspiration for many things. My passion for love, equality, intelligence, and life all have grown because you were there to guide and love me. Without you, I wouldn't be at the college I'm at now, I wouldn't be an Odyssey writer, and I most definitely wouldn't have as much fun as I do with you, with anyone else. You are the best, and no matter what, I will be there for you just like you are for me. I love you. I thank you.
I hope everyone's Valentine's Day was filled with love and appreciation. For those who haven't found that person yet, just wait. Because you never know who's going to be waiting around the corner for you to be thankful for.