Whether you have a partner, lover, crush or zilch prospects for this Valentines, I have a PSA.
First, I’ll be honest, I don’t really give a shit about Valentines. Even as I was writing that sentence, I searched in my heart to see if there was any inkling of shits to give, and I really couldn’t find any. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love flowers and secret crushes, and unexpected gestures of fun and love. But you know, this doesn’t happen all that often, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be happening on a dedicated day of commercialism, it should be happening all year round. But that’s another topic.
We can blame society and Disney all we like for our unrealistic expectations of love and relationships, but ultimately, your life comes down to YOU. (Ouch.) So what does that mean? It means you have to be your own greatest fan. It means that the more you like yourself, the happier you’ll be. It means, that the relationship you should be working on the most, is the one you have with yourself.
When you are depending on validation from a significant other to complete you, you’ll be disappointed.
When you think success comes from finding a lifelong partner, you’re gonna fail.
When the highlight of life is that somebody might like you, oh my god, this is not the way forward.
The only guaranteed lifelong partner, is yourself.
Your self worth should be in no way tied to a relationship.
So let’s learn how to give the forks to the expectations, and just do YOU.
I’m speaking firmly, because it was a conversation I had to have with myself, over a number of years, and it’s changed my life. To be fair, the conversation will continue to until I die, because there is something ingrained in these current generations that (still) tells us that monogamous heterosexual marriage with 2.5 kids in a 4brm house is WHAT YOU SHOULD BE STRIVING FOR. Nothing wrong with it, but you’d think by now that we’d have learnt there is no one-size-fits-all. The only way to know if that life is for you, or it isn’t, is to get to know yourself.
So, here’s a few tips that I have learnt to make sure the number 1 love of your life is YOU. Blah blah blah, I know, #selflove is the topic of the day. But, legit, it’s for a reason. Once you get it, you’re unstoppable. I have to hang out with me for the rest of my life, so it’s super important that I like myself. And if I don’t, then I’m probably not the person I should be.
Really listen when someone gives you a compliment. Don’t counteract it in your head with disbelief or questions about their motives. Even if they aren’t that genuine, pretend they are! Women are notorious for brushing off kind words. Instead of refuting, hold that self loathing tongue, and say “Hell yeah, thanks!”
Check yourself out! Have you had a really good look in the mirror lately? Looked at how cute your nose is, how sexy your boobs are, how lovely your hair is? Figure out your favourite bits, and work them! If it’s hard to do, get someone to tell you. Have an honest conversation, or a few drinks with some girls you trust, and just talk about it. The first time I did that was when I was 14. For some reason I thought my long back was my best feature and had a chat to my bestie about it. Lol. Weird young Jade.
Spend time with people who lift you up. I encounter so many women who are still spending time with women who tear each other down. There are women who create standards inside a friends group that they can’t even keep to themselves. There are women who will point out flaws as soon as she turns her back, in order to make herself feel better. There are women who will very subtly bring you down because they see something in you they don’t have, and instead of focusing on what their beauty is, they’d prefer to try and squash others. Me being confident doesn’t take away from you being confident. We can all be confident together! Imagine if we were, and THEN we helped, loved, supported and connected genuinely with one another. Imagine!
Make choices for YOU. Start eliminating things from your life that don’t sit right with you. If you’re not sure, just ask yourself some questions like:
If i had a day to myself, with no guilt, and no obligations, what would I do?
If I had to choose 5 friends I love the most, who would I choose?
If I had to choose 5 people I’d like to spend more time with who would they be? And why?
Is there anything I’m doing that makes me anxious, sick, or worried before I go?
What did I love when I was younger that I don’t do anymore?
I know there are lots of people talking about all the ways you should do stuff, that last thing I want to be is another judging voice. You know what you need to do, this is just some ways I work on making sure I am my own number 1. Enjoy who you are, you’re amazing, wonderful, beautiful and unique, and you have so much to do in this epic life we have!
Photo taken in beautiful Hoi An, Vietnam.