February 14th…. Valentines day…. V-Day… Galentines Day…. Whatever you want to call it, it’s here. Some people ignore it, others celebrate it, for some it makes us feel sad, others happy or some people have no feelings towards it at all.
Whatever your view on Valentines today, it’s important to remember it’s just one day out of the whole year. If you are single and loving it, or do feel like you really want to be in a relationship, or if you might be self dating. Whatever reason you’re single doesn’t mean that this day can’t be FOR YOU!
WHAT IS SELF DATING?
Self dating is a generally recent term that you may have come across. What is it? In general, it’s deciding that instead of looking outward for a partner – you look at yourself and decide to take time to ‘date’ yourself. It’s a great way to get to know yourself better, to figure out what you like and don’t like. In fact, it’s one of the few times in life you can be really selfish!
You are putting yourself first, and figuring out who you are outside of a relationship. If you want to treat yourself to a really nice takeaway, you don’t have to debate what cuisine it is. Want to go to the cinema? Watch whatever you like! Need some time away? You can go whenever and wherever YOU like.
Self dating is about enjoying activities solo or with a friend(s), and this can really boost your self confidence. Although it may seem daunting to say, go to a restaurant by yourself for lunch/dinner – maybe start small with a coffee at a local coffee shop for half an hour. Remember, there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. You can be on your own and really content and happy! Being lonely can happen even when you are in a group of people.
By self dating, it can make you aware of how you are feeling in the moment and if you might need more time with a friend, or if there is a certain thing that is getting you down. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert at some point it’s good to keep checking in with how you feel. As you get older, being OK with doing things on your own can really provide so much freedom and contentment from the little things in life.
RELATIONSHIPS DON’T FIX YOUR PROBLEMS
Sometimes people hope being in a relationship will solve all their problems, and once they are in one they won’t ever be sad. This really can be an unhealthy way to view relationships. It’s important to be OK with being by yourself before going into a relationship. If you’re really dependent on the other person, it can sometimes put a lot of pressure on the other person. By spending some time getting to know you, your future relationship will benefit hugely as you’ll be so self aware that you might spot a pattern in your feelings and be able to talk more openly to your partner about what’s going on.
There can be huge pressure to be with someone on Valentines, especially if people are posting selfies with their other half, or the amazing flowers that got sent to them. It can feel like you’ll never find ‘the one’. But that’s OK! Give it time, and I promise someone will come your way – that’s if you want them to!
If you’ve just broken up with someone, read our article here for getting through valentines after a breakup.
CHAT TO YOUR FRIENDS
We are by nature very social beings, and we can be surrounded by people all the time. So solitude and time carved out just for you can be quite rare at times. But saying this, if you’re struggling, reach out to a friend and make plans for you guys to have a friend date night. Is there something you’ve both been meaning to try but never got round to? Who says that a ‘couple’s deal’ can only apply to relationships and not friendships? Just because you’re single doesn’t mean your valentines can’t be spent with a great friend.
There’s that saying ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ and sometimes that really can be true! We can be really good at listening to that negative voice in our heads that says we’ll never find love, we’re unloveable or just that we are doomed to be a single pringle forever.
But talk to your friend about it – they’ll give you that awesome love to bash away those feelings, or they’ll help you figure out why you may feel that way. Talking about how you feel might just make you realise a way to make yourself feel better.
A FINAL REMINDER…
Being part of a couple on Valentines doesn’t mean that life is magically better, or that you’re less worthy of love. Just remember that at the end of the day love is love, whether it’s from yourself, a friend, a partner or from family. Just because you’re single now, doesn’t make you any less of the awesome, caring, smart, brave and wonderful person that you are.
You’re awesome, you are loved and the world is better for having YOU in it.
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