Valentine’s Day brings up a lot of issues for people, whether single or in a relationship, because there’s just so much romantic expectation heaped onto this one day. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day can be depressing because you’re surrounded by reminders that you don’t have a partner; if you’re in a relationship there’s pressure (mostly on the man) to create some grand gesture of love, possibly even to propose, and so much potential for disappointment if it doesn’t live up to their partner’s romantic fantasies. But I’ve got good news, there is a way to get out of the Valentine’s Day trap: Be your own Valentine!
What does that mean? It means letting go of the Hollywood idea of “you complete me” romance. Thinking you need a partner to complete you implies that you are incomplete, which is just not true. And until you let go of that notion, you’re dooming yourself to dependent relationships. The ideal is two complete individuals who complement one another, enhance one another, not “complete” one another… more like “One + One = Couple” than “half + half = Whole.”
And I’m not just talking to the single ladies here, I’m directing this to all women and men, whether single or in a relationship: Be your own Valentine this year. Try it. Do you wish someone would buy flowers for you? Don’t wait for someone to do it, buy flowers for yourself! And if someone does give you flowers, great! More flowers! You’re not taking anything away from their gesture. Want a heart-shaped box of chocolate? Go for it! But enjoy that chocolate, savor it as if given to you by a lover because you are your lover. (Caveat: If you’re just going to eat the chocolate in a depressed funk, don’t buy the chocolate. This is about loving yourself, not wallowing.) Or maybe you wish your partner would surprise you with a spa day? Then treat yourself to some pampering today! Men: go golfing. Or get a manly mani-pedi (basically a normal mani-pedi except maybe no polish) or get a massage… whatever it is you like to do, do it, show yourself some love!
If you’re single, this will empower you. (And by the way, once you truly embrace self-love, it will also have the added benefit of attracting other confident, empowered, independent, complete people into your life.) If you’re in a relationship, this will take the pressure off of your partner. (Have a discussion with them about it though, you’ll want to avoid potential confusion or hurt feelings.) And I’m not saying “don’t spend time with your partner today.” Far from it! If you’re in a relationship, do spend time with your partner but don’t make them solely responsible for your happiness. If you each take responsibility for your own happiness, you’ll both be happy together and that mutual self-love and happiness will naturally overflow and you’ll both reap the benefits.
So, how are you planning to spend Valentine’s Day this year? Is it going to be different than in previous years? I’d love to know! Please share your Valentine’s Day stories in the comments below.