Right about this time of year, if you don’t have a significant other, the fact that you are on your own is rubbed in your face with this upcoming celebration of “Single’s Awareness Day”, err, Valentine’s Day.
Pink heart decorations are everywhere and we’re bombarded with commercials and posts on social media of couples being all in love n’ stuff.
Fuck it. Being single has its perks. Freedom being among one of the top benefits of being single.
And if you are in a relationship, well then maybe you feel the pressure of making February 14th “extra special” for your partner.
Look, Valentine’s Day is really not all it’s cracked up to be anyway. It’s really just a way to sell chocolate, flowers, teddy bears, jewelry. and restaurant reservations.
It’s all corporate propaganda, using “love” as a cheesy sales tactic to get you to pull out your wallet.
“If you don’t buy gifts on Valentine’s Day, you don’t really love them.” is the message shoved down our throats. It’s utter bullshit.
You can give random surprises and express love any time of year and don’t have to “buy into” corporate pressure to do so on a specific day. Procrastinate and do it when you want.
If you’re single for Valentine’s Day, relax man. It’s just another day. Enjoy it how you want.
And if you do happen to be in a relationship, you too should relax and tone down the obsession with making it a “perfect day” for your love.
Date yourself. Being alone does not mean you have to be lonely.
There’s a difference between “being alone” and “loneliness”.
Being alone is simply the state of not having company. From there, you choose how to embrace that situation. You choose to either suffer or find comfort in it.
Loneliness is the act of suffering while you are alone and it is a choice.
Youchoose to take on the belief that you’re “not good enough” to make friends or find a romantic partner, then convince yourself that it’s a painful experience.
But you don’t have to.
Remember, in general, you may not control the shit life throws at you, but you do control your own reaction to it and mindset towards it.
So the question is not: “How do I avoid being alone on Valentine’s day (or otherwise)?”
The question is: “How do I make the best of being alone?”
If you view it as a burden, then you’ll be torn down. If you see being alone as some sort of representation of your self worth, then you need to stop placing your self worth on external factors such as other people’s opinion of you. You need to start appreciating yourself so you can make being alone worthwhile.
Even in a relationship, there are times you are going to be alone, times you should be alone.
You aren’t attached by the hip to your partner and shouldn’t act like it. Space is necessary in a healthy relationship. You and your partner should each do your own thing once in a while. Each person having “alone time” is necessary for staying together.
After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Whether you’re away from your significant other, just went through a rough break up, or have been single for years, being alone isn’t so bad. Really, it isn’t.
It’s like jumping off the high dive, feeling all nervous and afraid as you look down to the water below. You hesitate to take a leap, but by the time you land in the pool, you realize it ain’t so bad and were anxious about nothing at all.
If you’re alone, embrace it, fully. Don’t try to hold back. Jump in the goddamn pool of being alone! You’ll see there’s nothing to be anxious or worry about.
Being alone, at its core, is being fully and completely present with yourself, and if you are saying that being with yourself is a burden, what’s that say about your level of self love?
Instead of focusing on being with someone or not, focus on being with yourself first and foremost. Dive into that pool. Go deep within yourself.
If you can’t stand being alone, it’ll only be a matter of time before your partner can’t stand you.
If you can’t stand being alone, then you really don’t love yourself very much, and in turn, don’t really love your partner (current or past).
In fact, you’re idealizing them. You’re putting them up on the couch, while you lie on the floor.
You’re in love with an idea or perhaps how they make you feel, not them as a person, because until you love yourself as a person, you can’t love anyone else.
A good way to measure whether or not you truly love yourself (and your partner) is to examine your ability to be alone.
If you see being alone as an opportunity to have freedom, grow as an individual, and reflect on your own values, then you’ll evolve as a person, and further, you’ll find love within yourself.
If you find comfort in “hanging out” with yourself, then you’ll find comfort in hanging out with other people. If you find comfort in “dating” yourself, then you’ll find comfort in dating other people.
If you do these things for someone else and not for yourself, then that’s not love. That’s worship.
Enjoy your own company.
Even if you are in a relationship, if you’re not comfortable with being alone, that relationship isn’t going to last long at all. Hate to break it to ya, but it’s true.
Single people actually have an advantage over couples, in a way.
See, couples can begin to *rely* on each other for validation easily.
I mean while being single you may think “Oh I don’t have validation from someone else.”
It kind of forces you to validate yourself, which builds confidence. Give yourself compliments.
Having a partner there for validation is like a drug. You can feel euphoria (and validation) immediately. But just like a drug, it becomes easy to slip into the habit of taking the drug instead of doing something else (more productive) that makes you feel an equal sense of euphoria.
In other words, a relationship, if you’re not careful and don’t , can become a series of chasing the next big “high” instead of building something meaningful. Some people jump from relationship to relationship, never really doing the self inner-work necessary for the foundation of a healthy one.
And by the way, nothing against drugs. Just like getting validation from your partner, it’s all good in moderation. I mean why would you want to be with a partner that NEVER validates you?
It’s when you RELY on it that it becomes a problem. It should be fun. You should enjoy it. You should appreciate it. You should not NEED it.
And yes, I just compared being in a relationship to recreational drug use.
You should always date yourself, even if you’re already in a relationship. Never forget the importance of being your own person and taking care of yourself. Don’t care so much about another person that you stop caring about yourself.
Don’t make someone part of your identity to the point you lose who you are.
A relationship is not a test of how well each person love’s each other, rather it’s a test of how well each person can be alone.
Sounds counter-intuitive, I know. But I can’t stress enough, relying on someone else for happiness will, more often than not, lead to getting hurt (ie. a breakup, divorce, cheating, etc).
You have to successfully be alone in order to successfully have a lasting relationship.
You are responsible for how you feel. You can’t make someone else responsible for your emotions. Doing so will lead to resentment, loss of respect and attraction, and ultimately, the end of the relationship.
Happiness comes from within and if your partner is your source of happiness, then you’re not in control of your own happiness. After all, they have free will and they can choose to leave.
It’s not until we lose a person do we think to ourselves: Who I am I without him/her?
And while that normally comes from a place of sadness and loss, I encourage you to actually consider the question with some hope:
Who are you? Who actually are you without a person?
And this is a question you should be asking whether you’re together with someone or not. You should be able to answer it as well, and if you can’t, it means you must be alone in order to find it.
You must find and maintain your own identity. You must find maintain your own sense of purpose, values, set of beliefs, hobbies, and interests.
Often times after break ups people have a sort of identity crisis. They feel as though this person was “part of” who they are. They feel lost and don’t know who they are any more, as if half of them decided to walk out the door.
If you master the art of being alone, however, you’ll never lose half of yourself again, because you’ll in fact be complete as a person, on your own. You’ll feel whole, with or without anyone, and that’s what you want to accomplish.
There’s this ridiculous idea in society, in books, movies, and TV shows; you may even hear your friend say “s/he completes me” or “s/he is my better half”; but it’s this idea that an idea relationship consists of two *incomplete* people coming together to make each other whole or complete.
Then we look at the high divorce rate and wonder what we’re doing wrong. It’s because we push the romance (because it sells novels and movie tickets).
Society pushes the notion that we need to “find someone to love”, but really what we need to do is “find how to love ourselves.”
An ideal relationship, one that actually works in the long run, is two separate but WHOLE people who have a high level of self love, coming together to participate in a mutual project to build trust and a deep connection in love.
In other words, your partner should *add* to your awesomeness, not *be* your awesomeness.
Pepperoni is good. Pizza is good. Together they’re even better. But they are awesome foods in their own right.
I don’t need pepperoni to enjoy pizza and I don’t need pizza to enjoy pepperoni.
Likewise, you have to be able to enjoy yourself in your own right, without another person involved. Someone can make you better and vice versa, but they aren’t what makes you “good” in the first place. You make yourself good.
A relationship should be something you want, not something you need. You’d be happy with it. You’d be happy without it. You’re indifferent. It doesn’t matter either way.
You shouldn’t make a partner your source of emotional strength or feeling of self-wroth.
Measuring your own value by how your partner feels about you is a bad way to live (and not to mention it’s a bad way to participate in a relationship too)
You want to achieve solitude.
Solitude is the act of finding comfort in being alone, when you realize you have
Freedom: you can do what you when, when you want, without confiding in someone else. You make your own decisions, stand up for your own principles, and have your own sense of purpose
Self-Reliance: you are aware of your emotions and are able to stay calm in reaction to them and don’t need someone else to comfort you or make you feel better.
Self-Love: all the feelings of love you could ever want come from within and another person is simply a projection, a symbol, of those feelings. You feel fulfilled on your own.
Embracing solitude allows you to achieve independence.
It is also the key to a fulfilling life (relationship or not)
You don’t (or very well shouldn’t) NEED someone to be happy.
Often times a relationship fails due to some type of needy or approval-seeking behavior present, such as begging or acting jealous.
Many people make the mistake of entering a relationship to make themselves happy through another person. They try hard to please them, catering to their every wish, waiting on them hand and foot.
Not only is this a lot of work and effort, it also sub-communicates a lack of self respect, and that’s severely unattractive.
That said, *too much* independence is not healthy for a relationship either, but that’s another topic for another day.
For now, embrace being alone. Love your lazy little self and do whatever the fuck you want on Valentine’s Day.
I don’t care if you’re single or not. Fuck Valentine’s Day. Don't buy elaborate gifts or reservations to fancy restaurants. Focus on self love rather than romance.
Take it easy,
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