For the first time in a long time I have decided to write about Love.
I didn’t talk about Love last year. In fact I completely skipped Valentines due to the fragile state I was in, I couldn’t even look at the L world, let alone talk about it.
But this year I actually want to write about Love.
Because … I’ve decided to get married.
No, I haven’t hit my head on a hard surface. No, I haven’t given up on men or dating or am pledging to be in a relationship with myself forever. And no, I’m not about to have my own Sologamy ceremony. But I have decided to take some vows this Valentines, seven to be precise, each one I have carefully chosen to help me love and protect myself until I inevitably die of cancer or some unknown disease caused by veganism that is yet to be discovered.
Why, I hear you you ask? Why can’t you just be a miserable moody cow on Valentines like so many other single women?
Because I’ve realised something, something really simple.
You see, we are brought up to believe that we should grow up, meet someone, and then pledge to love this chosen ‘one’ completely unconditionally until death comes along in his black hooded coat and takes them from us.
But if I’ve learnt anything over the past 18 months, it’s this – how can we love someone unconditionally if we can’t even love our-bloody-selves, eh?
I’m no marriage expert, me and my ex-fiancé didn’t even make it to venue scouting or cake tasting let alone down the aisle, but I believe that’s because we couldn’t love each other properly … because we didn’t love ourselves, therefore our relationship completely and utterly broke down. I think this is why so many marriages fall apart, because people are committing to loving and caring for someone else before committing to loving and caring for themselves.
I think we should change that. I think you have to love yourself before you love another person. And no, i’m not talking about becoming some Billy Big Bollocks who thinks they are better than everyone else. No, that’s not what I mean. I mean, love, cherish and appreciate yourself. We may not always love ourselves unconditionally, there are always going to be things we don’t like about ourselves, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your no.1 priority you.
So whose with me? Fancy making a commitment to the most important person in your life?
(That’s you by the way)
If so, then let’s get us married! It’s free and you don’t need to buy anyone dinner.
Repeat after me (or y’know just think it in your head if your on a train or bus or something)
I promise to keep negative people out of my life
We should surround ourselves with people who make us feel good and make us feel happy. But often we surround ourselves with people who, actually, if we dig deep, like really really deep, to that part of us we don’t like visiting, some people who we think make us happy can actually be making us feel really crappy. Toxic relationships can have a huge negative impact on your life and sometimes it’s just best to let go of them. Not everyone you lose is a loss.
I promise to stop giving a f*** about people pleasing
Remember back in this blog post when I advised you to read ‘The life-changing magic of not giving a f***’ well, let’s read it again so we can remind ourselves to stop making our lives miserable just to satisfy other people’s demands.
I promise to indulge myself
Drink the coffee. Eat the chocolate. Dye your hair blue. Buy that overpriced handbag. Take a selfie. Screw it, take a hundred selfies if it makes you feel good. Just do whatever it is that makes you happy, regardless of what other people think!
I promise to appreciate myself
Start by writing a list. Nope, not a to-do list, a list of six things you love/like about yourself. I know, I know, if your anything like me you will find this super cringe but we’re gonna do it anyway. Write them down, they can be physical attributes, personality traits, achievements, whatevs, just put them on some paper and then read them aloud to yourself … again super cringe, but it’s apparently meant to boost self-love.
I promise to exercise
Y’know that saying, ‘Your body is a temple…’ blah blah blah. Well, as much as I used to roll my eyes at that saying, it’s kinda true! It was only after I started running in 2015 that I realised how much my weird body is capable of and that I really should look after it. So whether your a regular exerciser or coach potato, do yourself a favour this valentines and make a promise to your body to give it some love by exercising it going forward, even if it’s just going for walks. I’m not talking about losing weight, or dieting, no no no, I’m talking about moving yourself. Your body will appreciate it, as will your mind.
I promise to compete with only myself and no one else
Compete with you and only you. From now on I want you to think of competing with someone else as cheating on yourself. So whoever it is that has your full attention at the moment, whoever it is you are constantly comparing yourself with and trying to compete with, stop it. Stop it now! Stop competing with them and turn your attention to yourself. People who compete with others become bitter. People who compete with themselves become better!
I promise to embrace time alone
If your used to being around people all the time – your family, friends, colleagues, your partner – being alone can seem scary. I’ve struggled a lot with loneliness in the past, especially after the break-up from my ex. But learning to not only be alone, but to enjoy it, is seriously a blessing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy being on my own all the time, but I do enjoy it. Whether that’s at home, or whether it’s taking myself out for a coffee or for some food, I like it. Fearing alone time is almost an insult to yourself. Yourself and you NEED to have alone time. It’s the perfect time to relax and to untangle all those thoughts that you might not be able to process properly if you are constantly around other people.
I’m sure there will be bad days, days of self-doubt, days I will argue with myself and days I will be annoyed with myself. But that’s it, I promise I will try not to break these vows.
And you? Are you all set?
Awesome – now go treat yourself to a slice of cake.