Nothing's worse than a bad Valentine's Day. The cheap heart-shaped chocolates, the red polyester negligee... and the eager expectation of what's going to happen next. We've all been there.
So if you're single, breathe a sigh of relief with me. It's so fantastic to be single on Valentine's Day!
I hear a lot of silent blinking. Let's back up, because if you're single you're used to wading through an unbelievable amount of psychobabble bullshit.
On the one hand, we're all regaled with stories of how the perfect mate will drop out of the sky "as soon as you stop looking for it and you're fine on your own." On the other hand, we're told to make room in our lives for someone else; to leave room in our bed, to dress like we could meet our soulmate at any moment, and to stay 'open.' In other words: damned if you do, damned if you don't.
This is irritating to be sure, but I'll take this conundrum any day over some of the disastrous Valentine's Days I've lived through. Let's see, there was the episode of the grocery store roses still in the plastic wrapping; the romantic dinner I cooked... then cleaned up by myself; and the drugstore necklace with the price tag still on it. (Note: no exes were harmed in the making of this article. Naturally, those are purely hypothetical examples.)
I'm single now: exceedingly, gloriously single. I'm a single parent, I'm not interested in dating, and there hasn't been any romantic or sexual love in my life for many years. I am well and truly safe from the scourge of the scratchy skanky lingerie.
Of course, flying solo also means there's no bouquets of parrot tulips, no romantic dinner, and no soulmate to stare deeply into my eyes. If you believe popular media, this leaves me with only two options: 1) to feel like a complete loser who is clearly unlovable, or 2) to join the snarky "screw Valentine's Day it's so stupid" crowd.
Neither of those options feels good to me. Sure I get lonely and overwhelmed sometimes, but that tug of longing is an invitation to sink into my own life in a deeper way. To open my eyes to what I'm really yearning for, and then take responsibility for it.
So this year, I'm going to woo myself. Sometimes a woman just wants to swoon a little.
This is good news, because it turns out that I'm hands-down the best lover I've ever had.
I invite you to join me in courting yourself wildly, madly, and passionately -- whether you're single like me, or whether you've got a well-intentioned but hideous bunch of carnations and chrysanthemums heading your way.
Here are the gifts of the solo Valentine:
1. Quality over quantity. Give me one perfect Vosges Haut Chocolat truffle any day over a box of waxy hearts. Especially if that truffle has curry powder and coconut in it and it's tied up with purple satin ribbon.
2. An excuse to buy an exquisite bunch of flowers. I delight in gorgeous bouquets; maybe it's my time working in a flower shop, or maybe it's all those wedding boards on Pinterest. No one needs a ring to deserve beautiful blooms. This is the perfect day to go out and get yourself a big bunch of peonies, a riot of ranunculus, or a sweet clutch of English roses.
3. A sense of wholeness. There's a little bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne here with my name on it, and as I sip it I'm going to revel in how replete I feel on my own. That might seem like a contradiction in terms, but in my experience nothing is lonelier than being with someone who doesn't really see you, and nothing is more devastating to your sense of self than believing that only someone else can complete you. Autonomous womanhood, fully savored, brings a sense of powerful fullness.
4. Unapologetic sensuality. Oh, the wonders of the female body. Without a partner the whole world becomes your lover: lips, fingertips, eyes and tongue freed up to taste a dazzling array of colors, tastes, sensations. Starlight, snow, pomegranate seeds, silk, each a revelation. Let yourself be ripe for these pleasures that are right there for the taking.
5. Orgasm for one. Good sex is good medicine for the body, the soul, and the mind--just as much for single people as partnered ones. As my own lover, I have the lucky advantage of knowing exactly what I like. With a little imagination I can take my body to places that no one else ever has, and if you haven't tried this yet, V-day is the perfect time to do a little exploring. You're welcome.
Maybe someday I'll share an evening like this with a lover and partner. Maybe not. When you learn how to make yourself swoon all by your sweet self, it really stops mattering very much.
Some people will assume this is just sour grapes, or that I'm a man-hating bitch, or that I'm a raging egomaniac. To which I'll say, hate on haters, because I am madly in love and completely satisfied. In every sense of the word. Happy Valentine's Day!
Anna Kunnecke is a master coach who helps women make their worlds gorgeous. Find her at DeclareDominion.com