Already feeling Valentine’s Day blues? Well, if you are single, you definitely are. It is a few weeks to the globally-recognized day set aside to celebrate love. Everywhere around you, people must be already making plans about their romantic getaway locations, gifts for their partners, and all that. Problem is, you do not have a partner. Hence, feeling a little down for the next few weeks is totally understandable. However, no one said that Valentine’s Day is strictly for romantic couples. You can have fun and bask in the glow of your inner love all by yourself.
In this article, we share tips on how you can maximize this period to develop or strengthen self-love. We will be drawing insights from some books. These books will give you an idea about the specifics – what you need to do, how you can have fun alone, etc. The holiday is just a few weeks away, so you may not have the time to read the entire title. Not to worry, you can simply read 15 minutes summaries of the books on the Headway App. These summaries are just as powerful as the books.
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Tips for making the most of the valentine as a single ‘pringle’
“Love is an art, just as living is an art.”
1. Love yourself from the inside first
It doesn’t matter if it is Valentine’s day or not, self-love is timeless. However, this period reminds you more why this crucial activity indispensable. Do not get caught up in the search for love externally that you forget to search the light inwards. So, the first thing to do is to acknowledge all the love inside you. Then take deliberate measures to bask in that love.
In The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm argues that love is an art. He rubbishes the idea that love has to exist between two people to fully blossom. A lot of folks believe that love is a passive “falling”. Therefore, they wait around the corner, hoping for someone to come save them. This is not only wrong but also dangerous. What happens when there is no one to love you?
Care for You
You care for what you love. If you had a garden of flowers, you would tend to them with care every morning and evening. The devotion is the evidence of the affection for the flowers. You have to behave that way towards yourself. Be kind and affectionate this period. What is your love language? Speak it to yourself. Order flowers. Buy yourself gifts. Focus on what matters to you. Take care of you.
Be Responsible for You
Fromm states that to be responsible is to be ready and willing to act. The willingness is an act of love because it is voluntary. In the same vein, do not leave anything to chance. Filter what you listen to or what you watch. It is okay to take a break from your friends who are boo-ed up. You may want to deactivate Instagram to prevent falling into a mental loop. Just make sure you are putting yourself first. Also, take care of your mental health. If you believe in the power of mental practices, you could meditate for long periods at a time. Research has shown that this could ease inner turmoil. Be responsible for you!
Do all you can to respect every boundary you set. If you decided not to call that ex, then don’t! Respect you!
Imagine taking a vacation with a partner. However, in this case, this partner is you. The same way you’d get to learn about the quirks, idiosyncrasies, and kinks of this person is the same way you should get to know yourself. Experiment and discover what makes you happy. You cannot love someone you do not know, even if that ‘someone’ is you. Knowledge is thus an act of love and evidence of it.
“I promise you that the same stuff galaxies are made of, you are. The same energy that swings planets around stars makes electrons dance in your heart. It is in you, outside you, you are it. It is beautiful. Trust in this. And your life will be grand.”
2. Be intentional about shutting out the inner demons
Self-love requires deliberate effort, just like every other thing in life. Imagine that you want to get an MBA from Oxford University, or maybe you want to pick up playing the piano. What steps do you take in each scenario? Do you wait around hoping that magically you would become a maestro overnight, or that you’ll get your certificate mailed to you without doing the work? How then do you suppose this would be any different when it comes to love?
Mastering the art of loving, just like every other field, requires knowledge and effort, says Fromm. Thus, be disciplined. It would take time for self-love to bloom, so give yourself the room you need. Do not quit because it got hard. Be disciplined enough to push through regardless. Also, be patient. Of course, feelings of worthlessness may show up. This is especially as people talk about their routes to finding their partners. You may even feel unloved and unlovable. Don’t get frustrated when you find yourself sliding back into the black hole of depression. Instead, be patient and wait for the storm to pass.
Guaranteed, it would not be easy. Kamal Ravikant, in Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It states how challenging this is. A lot of folks have been out of love for such a long time that they’ve forgotten how to. In fact, it might even be that you are recently widowed or divorced. Thus, you’ve been used to years of receiving gifts or having your partner plan a romantic getaway every other Valentine. Well, now you have to show up for yourself. You need to step up and do the hard work. Showing commitment to yourself is the best way to show growth and love.
However, there are benefits from pushing through regardless of how hard it is. You will emerge on the other side happier and more fulfilled, your character strengthened. As Ravikant says, “real growth comes through intense, difficult and challenging situations.”
3. Say hello to non-romantic relationships
This could be an opportunity to catch up with friends and family. If we have learned anything in the twenty-first century, it is that love is love. Trying to distinguish the different flavors that exist severely limits the idea of love. Hence, invest love in relationships that are not romantic. This is also an act of self-care.
For every unpartnered person, the next few days might be trying. The suggestions here will definitely prepare you to combat the blues when they come. The summaries of the books discussed are available on the Headway App. You can read at your convenience – yes, even on Valentine’s Day. The Headway App also has other illuminating books and materials that you’d definitely find helpful on your journey to self-love. Dig in!