If you don’t love yourself, is Valentine’s Day even relevant?
Seeker with an abiding love for sci-fi, mysticism & Punjabi food.
Valentine's Day may have started out as a day for lovers, but it’s slowly come to accommodate love more wholly, like the love we have for our friends and family. Personally, I adore the idea of a day designated to love, because the world could always use the reminder to be more loving. But the romantic love we grew up watching in movies has always been a kind of cookie-cutter, limited depiction of what love should look like and thankfully we all seem to be slowly growing out of it. These days, if you want to spend your Valentine’s day with a bunch of girlfriends, you can call it "Galentine's". But a perfectly reasonable alternative to even Galentine’s is spending time alone. Whether it’s in full self-pampering mode a la Netflix + face mask or going out to your favorite restaurant, Valentine’s day can still be romantic AF even if you’re solo.
The lost art of solitude & thinking deeply
Somewhere along the line we collectively started using the words “alone’ and “lonely” interchangeably, totally ignoring the fact that a lot of us can be alone for stretches of time without ever feeling lonely. We all have different capacities for exactly how much alone time we need, but, everybody needs at least some time on their own. When you think about it all the major holidays or designated times of celebration throughout the year, from birthdays to Halloween, Christmas & New Years, they are all social gatherings; a time for togetherness. But where is the day when you celebrate your own life with yourself and for yourself.
Valentine’s Day can be the perfect opportunity to dedicate some time to truly be with yourself. If you live in a large city like I do, alone time can be a necessary respite from the chaos of the constant stimulation of people, noise and lights. It’s essential to turn off your mind from all of that and take the time to check in with what’s going on in your internal climate. How’s life? And how is your heart? When’s the last time you really thought about it? What better day than the day designated to love to think about the condition of your own heart and what’s been percolating that maybe you hadn’t even noticed?
If you’re one of the lucky ones who has a bath tub in your apartment, Valentine’s Day is a good day to set up a warm, nourishing soak for yourself. Absolutely no social media bingeing during the bath itself as this defeats the purpose (but maybe some Netflix binging later), and just taking the time to reflect deeply on your life. On the world. On who you are and who you want to be and how you want to show up in life. Or just breathe and remind yourself all the good things you do without even realizing it.
It doesn’t even have to be grand gestures. It could be the doors you hold open, the multitudinous “thank you’s” that effortlessly pour out of you, the generous smiles, the inward prayer you say every time you see someone in a worse circumstance than you. Pay attention to these beautiful things about you that have nothing to do with who you are on paper, but more about who you are at a soul level. Crush on yourself a little bit, you deserve the self-romance.
Sex isn’t life
It’s just sex. And, I don’t say this casually. As a person who would prefer a deeper, meaningful connection with someone before starting a sexual relationship, sex very much matters to me; I don’t treat it lightly. But it’s still not even in the top 5 things I look for in a relationship. Sex can be great of course, but, the unbelievable focus we as a culture place on it seems to be highly disproportionate to how important it actually is.
Without getting too personal, I’ll just say that sex can be enjoyed and be an enjoyable part of our lives and our relationships without taking over the whole damn show and it’s high time we take it a little easy when it comes to the pressure of having a sex life that looks a certain way to the rest of the world. Just do you, boo and don’t let the lack of Valentine’s Day sex be more important than it actually is.
What this all truly comes down to is this idea of recognizing the importance of relationship with self and taking care of that relationship as much as you would with another person. The relationship you have with yourself is the basis for all your other relationships and how you'll ultimately interact with the world. So let’s stop stigmatizing being alone or having alone time. Take care of yourself this valentine's day and spread the love however you want to.
May 27 2021
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