Valentine’s Day…a time to tell people you love them, to show you love them with gifts, a meal out or a lovingly chosen card. It got me thinking! Most of us show people we love them every day by the actions we take, and although this article is not aimed specifically at women, particularly as women!
I started thinking about all the things I do that show those around me I love them; cooking meals, washing clothes, doing the shopping, taxi service, problem solver, hugs, tear wiper… I could go on! One thing I don’t do is show myself that same love and attention, and neither do I give myself enough value to expect more from others, and I’m not going to lie, most of the time, I’m exhausted!
Love is a funny thing – in films, books and TV, we are shown a picture of love that is extravagant gestures, flowers, fancy meals, proposals, a prince who runs around the kingdom with your shoe to try and find you, (it’s only with age that we come to realise it was all a bit odd that he couldn’t remember what the object of his affection looked like, maybe he had a foot fetish?). Then there’s the ‘I love yous’ – the magical fix any problem phrase, no matter what wrong has been committed.
I realise I am starting to sound a little cynical, don’t get me wrong, all of the above are lovely things (except for your future husband not being able to identify you in a line-up), but who teaches us about self-love? About caring for ourselves, prioritising us? I don’t know about you, but I am often at the bottom of my own list if I’m even on there at all.
So, here’s what I propose, excuse the pun, why don’t we start dating ourselves? Weekly date night, just you and you! Start doing something that makes you feel good – maybe a spa day for one or just a lovely hot bath with a glass of wine and no one, repeat no one, is allowed to interrupt you? Remember the heady and exciting days of dating? Looking forward to the next date, getting ready for it? Well, recreate that feeling with yourself! Make time to connect with yourself again, to only have your own demands to deal with and to start to fall in love with the person you are. Even throw yourself a little ‘I love you’ in the mirror.
This doesn’t mean you are turning your back on anyone or that you don’t love them, it just means that love comes in many different forms, and one of those is the love we show ourselves.
I’m sure someone once said that in order to receive love, you have to give love, so start practising the art of giving yourself love this Valentine’s day and also accepting love from yourself. It might feel odd at first, but it might be fun along the way.