With Valentine’s Day this week, love has been on the brain. Even when I was in a relationship, I never really bought into the idea of Valentine’s Day - well at least not the consumerism of it all.
As love is in the air and all that, it seems only fitting that I would write about my first Valentine’s Day as a single woman. They say we can only receive as much love as we feel for ourselves. How many of us seek affection for our validity of worthiness? I certainly have.
There are many reasons for having, or lacking self-love. Life throws curve balls, though what it comes down to is how much we respect our vessel. Not just the physical one, but also the mental and spiritual part of ourselves. It means valuing rest or choosing our internal monologue. It’s a lot harder to switch off from the chatter in our heads, so may as well make it a good one.
At one of my meditation evenings, I asked how I can learn to trust my decisions when it came to men. The answer has always been there - to acknowledge that I’m still healing and that I’m afraid of getting hurt. I have a habit of ignoring what is in front of me, and hoping for something greater than what it actually is. That subconscious conditioning that if only I could convince this date that I’m relationship worthy, then I would feel desirable. This is even before I have decided if I liked him in the first place.
Do I love myself? Most of the time, yes.
I don’t think I can ever truly love all of me. There will always be parts of me that I wish were better. Like when you’ve just had a full on workout but you can still feel that layer of cuddliness in your middle. That’s human nature - we make it so easy to be critical of ourselves.
OK, so I didn’t spend Valentine’s Day alone this year - it was actually my second date with a guy I had met the week before. We saw a movie and grabbed a bite to eat. Of course our date involved food. I’m glad it wasn’t our first date though - I can’t think of anything more awkward than sitting next to a stranger in the dark, in silence.
My date was Greek and he’s teaching me that it’s never too late to learn a new way to love. To have love for myself. To value time with my family and family. To be a better lover. By loving myself first, it allows me to give more love to those I truly care about in my life.
He’s a tourist, so I’m realistic about how long he would stick around and that’s been playing on my mind. Can I give myself permission to develop feelings for someone that is highly likely to be only a temporary part of my life? Isn’t that a natural reaction though? To close ourselves off when there is a high chance that we might get hurt? Maybe he’s the one before I meet the one or he might be the third or fourth along. All I know is that the more I learn about him, the more I learn about myself and what I want to give and receive in my next relationship.
When we choose to live and love in the moment, it lightens the burden of expectations. It’s such early days yet, and there’s plenty still to discover about one another. Isn’t that what dating is all about? To be genuinely curious about each other, to explore and to see if two lives can merge as one?
Oh Cupid, want to do coffee sometime?