It’s that time of the year again. It’s either one of your favorite or worst holidays. Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to go above and beyond our usual efforts to show our significant others just how much they mean to us.
But for some of us, we may not have that opportunity this year. Don’t worry and don’t settle. Before you can truly commit to a healthy relationship, you must first learn to love yourself, and then consistently do so even after you’ve changed your relationship status.
It’s hard. Feelings of loneliness, emptiness or just the feeling that you’re behind everyone else can take a toll on you.
“Our extroverted culture perpetuates the image of happiness through family and coupling . . . and although the stigma of singlehood is lessening there often remains a natural pressure or desire to belong to a group or pair,” Family practitioner Brenda Knowles said.
Although it’s common, these feelings don’t always come from being single, but from a variety of things: school, stress and even family concerns. It’s natural to want to fill this void with someone else. But doing this won’t make those dreadful feelings go away, but instead they’ll be pushed back and postponed.
First, learn to enjoy spending time alone.
Don’t try to distract yourself using other people. You deserve your time more than anyone else. You can spend it on your hobbies: writing (my personal favorite), volunteering or working out. Use this time to learn more about yourself. Take note of the things that upset you and make you happy. This is how you find what you’re passionate about and you’ll start to look forward to committing your time to these same things.
If you have to wake up and tell yourself every single day that you look great and you’re doing great, do just that. Speaking positively over yourself and your life will become a habit and eventually, you’ll believe it and start living like it.
Direct your focus
Channel your thoughts to be thinking about school, internships, travel opportunities and special projects you’ve always wanted to start and finish. You’ll find that when you have tunnel vision for yourself, nothing else seems to matter or bother you.
Learning to love yourself may not be easy, but once you get it, it’ll become something you always do. This is especially important when entering into a relationship. Don’t let the values and habits you developed diminish because of new company in your life. Continue to put yourself first.
Lacking self-esteem and self-love can affect a relationship negatively. It can cause you to have a poor attitude, and you’ll ultimately find some of the same problems you were dealing with before the relationship to recur.
So this Valentine’s Day treat yourself and show yourself some love, then do the same for a significant other. If you don’t have a Valentine this year, that’s more love for you! Take advantage of it.