Relationship Institute of Palm Beach
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Single on Valentine's Day

This Year, Be Your Own Valentine

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner… and you know what that means. Time to start browsing for the perfect gift, time to start making reservations… time to start planning just how you will prove your undying love to your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or spouse. Many of us overlook the fact that this particular holiday originated in roughly 270 BC, as a Pagan holiday designed to celebrate an early Christian martyr. Now, we associate the 14th of February with chocolates, flowers, and fancy restaurants. Those of us who have not yet found a lasting romantic interest might anticipate the holiday with a sort of bitter annoyance – we get to remember just how alone we truly are, as we scroll through mushy Facebook posts and buy chocolates for ourselves to gorge on, unaided (watching outdated Rom-Coms in our underwear and weeping loudly in our one-bedroom apartments).

Okay, so maybe the holiday isn’t quite that dismal for those lacking a lover. But still; many single folks will be tempted to bask in self-pity rather than explore the most important and fulfilling relationship of all – their relationship with themselves.

Learning to Love Yourself

Regardless of whether you are newly single or have been flying solo for years, Valentine’s Day can be viewed as a celebration of self-love rather than a gloomy reminder of present lonesomeness. After all, you must learn to love yourself deeply and authentically before you can truly offer love to anyone else. But how do you effectively shake off the societal pressures related to courtship? After all, popular culture likes to shove the importance of companionship down our throats all month long. All year long, actually. It can be difficult to avoid the sentimental jewelry commercials, the oversized teddy bears, the sappy songs that seem to incessantly play in every store you enter… but why let it bother you? Do you feel hopelessly dejected on St. Patrick’s Day because you’re not Irish? Commercialism dominates, and we buy into it every chance we get.

Our Innate Desire to Be Loved

This Valentine’s Day, try taking a deeper and more meaningful route. Spend some time with yourself; practice self-care, and acknowledge the fact that you are an amazing person, capable of doing anything you set your mind to. Try to recognize that when you are right with yourself, everything else will fall into place as it is meant to. We often put an unreasonable amount of pressure on ourselves when it comes to finding a mate. Most of us want to find someone to settle down with eventually; this is a completely natural desire, one that works to comprise our fundamental humanness. From an early age, we learn that romantic involvement will lead to ultimate fulfillment. We read fairytales, and romanticize the idea of finding a damsel in distress or a knight in shining armor. Not only do we crave love because of our innate human desire for companionship, but also because of our intrinsic need to be appreciated and validated.

Without realizing that we are doing so, many of us look to a partner to fulfill needs that we, ourselves, should be fulfilling – to provide a sense of self-esteem that we are completely capable of manifesting on our own. We look to our partners to help us feel whole. When we learn to thoroughly and authentically love ourselves, and meet our own needs, then we will be ready to enter into a partnership. This Valentine’s Day, practice showing yourself the love and appreciation that you hope to some day share with another. Be your own best friend, and everything else will unfold naturally.

Jessica Baum