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First Year Having a Boyfriend for Valentines…

…But my Valentine is myself?

I’m convinced that at least 90% of all my blog titles will read as Fall Out Boy songs, but that’s besides the point.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was looking forward to Valentines this year. Under normal circumstances I’ll treat the day as an excuse to see friends and eat chocolate at best, and at worst, hate the occasion for all its become: consumerism at its finest. That being said, seeing as this is my first Valentine’s Day ever with an actual boyfriend, I was looking forward to having an extra excuse to be a little bit more sappy than I normally am.

However, one of the first rules I learned about dating is that boyfriends are no substitute for self love. No amount of flowers, kisses, attention, or flirtations are going to make me feel any better about myself at the end of the day. None of that is going to take away my anxiety, won’t be a cure for my own low self-esteem, and certainly, by the time I wake up tomorrow, my life will go back to normal. I’ll still be dating a guy who’s job forces him to be nocturnal, I’ll still be struggling with my own fears and insecurities, and I’ll have come out of the day feeling no more or less important than I feel on a day to day basis.

It’s not my boyfriend’s job to make my life better. It’s mine. And yeah, he can treat me special and make me feel loved and a whole heck of other things, but at the end of the day, if I don’t love myself first, there’s nothing he can do that is ever going to fill that void.

That isn’t to say that I don’t want to spend the day watching him adore me, because I do. I’m a pretty big fan of the romantics. But I want to make sure that I take today, and every other day, to love myself first and foremost.

I’m going to be my own Valentine.

So what does that look like? For me it’s usually putting away my to-do list for the day and spending an afternoon drinking tea, napping, and snuggling up with a new book. Take yourself out for a drink, treat yourself to a box of chocolates or that new dress you’ve been staring at, and love yourself. Do something you enjoy but hardly ever get time for – watch that movie you’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t. It’s all fine and dandy to take time to get and receive love from your significant other, but none of that’s going to make a shred of difference unless you’re receiving love from yourself first.

So maybe this year – whether you’re content, complaining about being single, or have something planned – consider taking even just ten minutes off to the side to spend a little bit of that love on yourself. Because, let’s face it, boyfriends may be wonderful, but there’s no one who has your back quite as well as you yourself do.

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