Sometimes Valentine's Day makes me see red. There is so much emphasis on loving couples toasting each other with loving cups of fine wine and sharing platefuls of delicious food. Expectations are as high as the romance meter, not to mention prices at restaurants for those coveted two-top tables. One NYC restaurant is charging $1,000 per couple for a "gourmand experience." It's all fine if you want to buy into it... and if you are a couple.
But many are you single and fabulous. There should be no shame or sadness in being single, either by choice or by changes in your life. Being alone has many advantages. I was single well into my 40s, and used the time to travel solo all around the word, indulge my whims, gather with girlfriends for crazy nights out and do myriad things I seem to do less of now that I am consciously coupled. Being in a steady relationship has its benefits and trade-offs.
I think learning to be comfortable alone and appreciative of one's self is the emotional home we must build from within before we open the door to let anyone inside. Here are my tips for loving the one you're with every day: yourself.
1. Live to express not impress. Embrace and project your authentic you. Don't try to be anyone or anything you are not just to impress someone who should be looking at the real you anyway.
2. Imagination is a powerful companion. As an only child who grew up alone much of the time, I learned to use my creativity to keep entertained. I feel you are never alone in your thoughts and that can be a good thing if you use your mind constructively. But many don't share that same comfort level or practical application. In fact, Science Magazine reported a University of Virginia study where respondents said they'd rather administer electrical shocks to themselves rather than be left alone in their thoughts. What were they thinking?
3. Be the life of your own party and make your life your party. Simply put: Do what you love, love what you do and share it with others. Don't hold back waiting for the party to come you. Make it happen yourself.
4. The only approval you need is yourself. Open you hands; put your arms around you and give yourself a hug. You are doing okay.
5. You're not just single. You are singular. Be your singular sensation every day and make your own special imprint in life.
6. Take it all in stride. Knots tie and untie. Things change by chance or choice. Make sure whatever happens, good or bad, does not erode your internal happiness.
7. When it comes to finding love, you need to love yourself first. If you stay true to you, true love will follow you.