Health & Wellness

Valentine's Day Reinvented: Love Yourself this Year

You deserve to have a special day even if you do not have someone special to spend it with.

Love is in the air this week! This Valentine's Day is a special one for me. After a decade of committed monogamy to one person (and 7 years of a monogamous relationship before that), I'm set to be spending the first Valentine's Day of my adult life very single. But I'm going into it without a shred of grief, regret or longing.

I have learned so much after a terrible breakup I went through this past July. Leaving an abusive relationship in 2018 has shown me how beautiful life can truly be. I am SO beyond thankful and blessed for all of my family and friends in my life. I could not have done this without you. I especially give thanks to my sister Stephanie who has given me my daily dose of love and happy in her beautiful daughter who at two years old, has reminded me how beautiful the simple things in life can truly be. Most importantly, that romantic love isn't the essential, all-powerful life force movies or facebook posts make it out to be.

We all have this image of the quintessential "ideal" life: house, spouse, job and children; as if these things are the prerequisites for a happy life. But I would argue all of those things are interchangeable, and none are absolutely necessary.

In a world of #relationshipgoals, there is this intense obsession on romantic love. This fixation seems to make it more desirable to stay in a comfortable/easy relationship rather than end it and be alone. I am using the words comfortable and easy because this can range from many things to losing the spark in your relationship to a very toxic and abusive relationship. My story leans towards the toxic.

Google Photos blows my mind at times. This week in 2017, I took this picture of myself and I have NO idea as to why. I can only guess what kind of heartache I was experiencing in that given moment:

I won't go into the ugly details but since leaving my situation in July, my world has turned upside down in the best way. I have lost over 80lbs from pure happiness and the little things like dancing with my niece every day. I was terrified that I couldn't move on and within days it was a breath of fresh air that was mind blowing for me. If interested, here is a look at my life from Aug 1 till the end of 2018. Excuse me for it happens to be mainly dogs and babies because guess what.. they make me HAPPY!

My advice for this generic and chocolate filled holiday is simple: In a world that's essentially built around monogamous romantic partnerships, there is a certain strength to be gained in finding fulfillment on your own. Because at the end of the day, you're the only person you'll ever have 100% of the time. You may as well spend time to build a good relationship with yourself, whether you have a partner or not. I choose to love myself this holiday. Side note, my 10 year old Puggle Bailey will always technically be my valentine though.. let's get real. hehe

So, if you find yourself single this Valentine's day, either for the first or tenth time, take it from me: romantic love isn't everything, and it never will be.

How can you start something good?
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