Today is the day of love: Valentine’s Day. A day to be a little extra with gift giving. Extra generosity towards your loved ones. It’s also a day perhaps many have been dreading, walking by aisles full of teddy bears, chocolates, flowers, balloons with nothing but a bad taste in one’s mouth for days, weeks, months. Cue the eye rolls?
This is my first Valentine’s Day as a single in years. Today, there is no scheduled sushi dinner or long written cards about how much value and significance one has brought into another’s life. This I’ve accepted.
Knowing this highly celebrated day for those in relationships was coming up, it had me stirring about my own relationship status. I mean hey, single and ready to mingle! But instead of feeling ill will or discontent, I turned inward. The honest truth is:
Being single has been my wake up call.
Time is a funny thing. As the clock ticks when we’re young and carefree, we embrace it with open arms. But the older we get, the more time feels constrictive in certain areas of our lives: shall we say, finding a partner? As creatures who long for love, we may begin questioning where we desire to be in our love life. Sometimes, we feel rushed. Pressured. Societal norms of having a family, having kids, marriage and building on the idea of family structure creep in: “Why am I single?” “What if I never find love?” “How long until I find someone worth my time?”
As I’ve gotten older with growing maturity as a strong backbone and several break-ups on my resume, I began questioning why things happened the way they did in my past relationships. Those who have walked into my life have been a testament to what I attract in my life, and they are very much lessons to be learned. An understanding of this is where personal growth lies.
While I won’t digress on those I’ve dated, one takeaway I can openly admit is that a lot of my focus in previous relationships has been to please the other party. I’ve always been one who loves deeply, deeply enough to where I find myself losing, well, myself. Countless times I stopped listening to my intuition, my emotions, who I am collectively. I avoided all the times I felt angry, jealous, irritable, and focused on the times where I felt whole, content, full. I dropped the red flags for the greens ones. I surrendered when I should’ve spoken up. Many, many times I fell for pain. I was committed to it.
I firmly believe this statement: You have to love yourself first before you love someone else. Yes, we can grow with our partners, finding more love for ourselves as well as that individual we devote many hours of our time to, but our foundation of personal love is necessary for a long-lasting, healthy relationships. Without a deep appreciation for ourselves, it’s hard to appreciate others.
Being in my now late 20’s, I fell in a bit of a dark place due to relationship dependence, which was very hard to break free of for me. But with passing time I’ve found gratitude in it all. Quite honestly, for the first time in my life I’ve found profound clarity. I’m beginning to understand the values not that I desire to have, but need to have that also align with another. I’m developing a firm state of independence. I am more direct with men, setting my expectations early with honesty. Creating boundaries. Being single has also helped me find my passions (my website being one of them!), new hobbies (and rekindling old ones), and new, healthy friendships. How liberating is that?!
The key to all of the above is that I am allowing these things to happen without jumping into another relationship. Yes, I am openly agreeing to working on myself before I commit again. And through this journey, I’ve even been told on multiple occasions I’m glowing. Radiating positive energy. Vibes can be noticed, and personal growth shows.
I am blessed for the men who have walked into my life. Thankfully, some I can consider like a long-distance friend. It really is a beautiful thing, finding someone who helps you grow… again, if you allow it. This mindset is something far from what I imagined it to be for me. What was once spite towards my ex’s has evolved into something out of love: tenderness. We’re all deserving of love, it’s just sometimes we don’t align.
Please, don’t fall for short-term chemistry. Instead, anchor on compatibility. Don’t rush into a relationship; demand the best for yourself. Shift the focus on self and you’ll begin to attract the right people, the right partners in your life. Long-term.
We need to close doors to open new ones. If we let them linger, we hinder ourselves from being free to possibilities. Ending a relationship is hard, but if you know it’s not right (your intuition – that gut feeling – will tell you and is very good at being right might I add), it’s probably time to close the chapter. Would you rather rip off a band-aid or allow the pain to fester? The worst thing we can do is hold on to something that’s just not good for us, especially when our time keeps on ticking. You are worth your own time, and you do not need someone else to validate that. It’s okay to outgrow people. It’s okay to let go.
Happy Valentine’s Day and to all who choose to love endlessly and unconditionally. Today, I dedicate to myself. Perhaps a written love note to myself is in the cards. ❤️
And to those working on themselves, cheers to your commitment on loving & choosing yourself first.