Happy Valentine’s Day! That’s for all of you, but I want to write specifically to those of you who are alone on this day. By alone, I mean, you don’t have an identified Valentine.
How are you feeling about this day? I know there are a variety of sentiments. I’m fairly sure I’ve felt the gamut on this ‘holiday’ through the years. Most of the time, I say I don’t care about it. There have been many times that I’ve spent it with my single girlfriends in true “Galentine’s Day” style—which I do recommend—unless you’re a guy. Then, I don’t know. Crash a Galentine’s Day? But Guyantine’s is just… not ok.
If you ignore it and move through like a normal day, it’s hard to disregard other’s acknowledgement of it. Someone wants to wish you the best day and well, do you really want to be the Grinch of Valentine’s? Honestly, I didn’t. I mean, theoretically speaking, I’d be happy to care about the day. It means someone cares about me! Right? Sharing is caring! Sharing the day with a dude would make me care about it! So confession is that I usually just end up as a Closet Grinch of Valentines Day. Awesome.
So here’s a suggestion: why don’t you just date yourself?
“Like, go on a date with myself?”
“Sure, that’s an idea. Do that.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Why wouldn’t you do that?”
“Because I would be alone…
And I’m already lonely”
Ok so let’s talk about that then.
Why do you feel lonely? Being alone is not synonymous with feeling lonely. There are people who are alone and feel quite content with it; and others who are in a relationship or marriage and actually feel quite lonely. My point being—the solution to loneliness isn’t another person. The solution to loneliness is finding wholeness and contentment in who you are. What a relationship will do is magnify what is already there. It will magnify loneliness or it will magnify fulfillment.
So going back to this dating yourself thing, show interest in yourself. Beginning with taking the time to actually reflect on what you enjoy. What are your preferences? If you don’t know, I can relate.
I used to not have preferences. I know that’s a very generalized statement but it’s true. It’s the mindset of: “I want what you want. Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.” Some call that empathy. But to the extent that I had it, it was just pathy, pathetic really. I read in “Imagine Big” by Terri Seville Foy that you have to be decisive. If you can’t make a decision on what you want for dinner, how are you going to decide on big things in your life? I felt very convicted by this and decided to begin having preferences. Articulated preferences! When someone asks what I want, I make myself tell them something that I prefer. It’s amazing what that began to do for my confidence. I learned that people also started to care more about my preferences. I saw that some people were actually irritated by my lack of preference and their respect for me actually increased as I had preferences. Point is: you need to have preferences.
So, what do you like to do? Do you like to go for hikes? Get your nails done? Write? Read in a coffee shop? Go to dinner with friends? Take photos? Go to a movie? You should periodically prioritize doing things that fill you up. Don’t wait for someone to pamper you with these things—do it yourself! When you show interest in yourself and begin to pour into yourself, you’ll begin to appreciate your time alone. You’ll begin to realize that you don’t need others to feel satisfaction. You don’t need love from others because you can love yourself. As a matter of fact, I heard Christine Caine say this one time: If the bible says to “Love others as you love yourself,” but you don’t love yourself then… it’s actually impossible to really know how to truly love others.
So, the solution to loneliness is not another person. Loneliness is caused by a void and that other person that you’re yearning for does not want to be a void filler. They will be attracted to your confidence and your ability to be alone without feeling lonely. There’s nothing more beautiful than someone who is confident and loves who they are.
So, this Valentine’s Day, treat yourself. Date yourself. Do what you love and love you.