Yeah, it’s Valentine’s Day again. Much like the dreaded wedding bouquet toss, it’s that day that separates us into the haves and the have-nots. It’s a commercial day marked by inferior-quality chocolate. (Gasp!) However, this day is a reminder, a really useful one. Because, get this, you have everything that you need right now to make this day whatever you dream up.
C’mon, hear me out.
As many of you know, I got married last year. Femme Ephemera (me) married dixiecupdrinkin (Craig). We met on match.com; those were our screen names. It’s the chronic overworking city-dweller way.
Here’s the interesting bit: Neither of us thought that we’d ever get married.
I was Craig’s 50th (and what he declared, last) first date from match.com. I’ve probably been on as many first dates myself plus a couple of epic (yet informative) fails in the Relationship Department. At points, I have had Saturday night double dates with Auntie Mame and Ben & Jerry. I was your garden variety unlovable.
Then, something changed…
I decided that I was going to date myself. Sounds weird, I know. Through all of the heartache, I realized that I felt unlovable because I didn’t love myself enough. Past dates or relationships were crushed by me looking externally for the love that I needed to cultivate internally. It wasn’t happening to me; it was happening because of me. While I professionally explored concepts like locus of control, I was slow to apply it to my dating life. If a change was going to happen, I had to be the one to change.
Literally, I planned dates for myself – films, shows, fancy cocktails and maxing & relaxing hours in Prospect Park. I started cooking dateworthy dinners at home just for me. I wore red lipstick around the house. I gave myself Hot Towel scrubs or salt scrubs before bed that made my skin glow. I even made sure to get regular massages for my body that was Pilates-teaching and half marathon running. I got more sleep.
I met some quality dates. When I started treating myself as well as any potential suitor (or better!) and defining what was important to me, The Universe seemed to nod in approval. Not to mention, a woman who is making herself happy just glows. Men could see that, too. Then, things flow naturally.
I stopped attaching myself to the outcome. A daydream was just a daydream. I went out on dates not Summits of Potential Future Lifetime Partners. My entire future happiness wasn’t the 800 lb. third-wheel gorilla in the room anymore. The pressure fell away. A cocktail was just a cocktail. I didn’t need to be rescued from the single life. Dating myself was pretty rad. [Buffs nails on shirt.]
I stopped settling. With all the self-dates that I had planned, a guy better be pretty awesome to get on my calendar. When dates just weren’t Mr. Right, I stopped making them Mr. Right Now. No more bartering with my heart, my energy or my time. My happiness was my prerogative. It just became easy to decide what to do next.
It wasn’t long before I had a date with a green-eyed Cancer man who sent me initial emails about Hammond vs. Farfisa organ sounds in rock & roll and failed attempts at brewing beer. Turns out, Craig was just as much fun as dating myself.
Whether you’re single or not, when’s the last time you took yourself out on a date? If it’s been longer than you can remember, that’s waaaaaaaaayyy too long! What awesome self-date can you schedule for this very week? Inspire me in the comments below, hot stuff!