Will YOU be your Valentine? I know it's a funny question, but it's also a serious one too.
Valentine’s Day is 2.5 weeks away. For single women and men this is a particularly difficult “holiday”.
No matter how much confidence they have in themselves in other parts of their lives, there’s a dread that most singles feel around Valentine’s Day. For many it's absolutely gut-wrenching.
Deep down a little voice is saying to them “there must be something wrong with me. How is it that I’m on top of everything else in my life but I don’t have anyone special in my life?"
A very accomplished professional woman I met with today said this to me, which I hear all the time from both women and men.
She was sharing how much pressure she feels from society to have a partner and was wondering if there must be something wrong with her because she doesn’t have someone, or if she doesn’t want a partner right now.
Her situation is similar to many single divorced women. As we talked she shared that she can barely keep up with caring for her 2 teenage children for whom she has most of the responsibility. She runs her own business, takes care of their home, the dog, is responsible financially and doesn’t have a moment for herself, let alone another person.
While she knows she wants a life partner one day, she can't imagine having one now.
I asked her if I could share with her what I was noticing as she spoke. When she said “yes”, I share with her that part of the reason she may feel it’s not possible to have someone else in her life right now is because she is not getting her needs met.
After more discussion about her current goals, I suggested that she put the topic of dating on a shelf for the time being and use the winter months to focus on asking herself each day “how can I love myself today?”
Everything she described to me about her life and her ambivalence about dating and having a relationship was screaming, “But what about me? There’s no time for me, let alone for dating or yet another person’s needs!”
The thing is that when we have no energy left because we’re caring for everyone else in our lives to the exclusion of our own needs, then we have nothing to give to a new relationship. Just thinking about dating and all the effort and energy involved with starting a new relationship can feel completely overwhelming.
I gently advised her to focus on loving and caring for herself each day. This is the very first thing she most needs to do now to replenish her own energy reserves and nurture herself before launching into dating again. I find that everyone I work with, women and men, benefits from identifying what their needs are and how to provide for those needs.
Nurturing and loving yourself and treating yourself like your #1 partner, is essential! Period! Otherwise, you deprive yourself of the life force that breathes energy into everything else in your life. Put your oxygen mask on first. It’s not selfish. It’s vital if you want to continue to care for others, run a business, spread your personal brand of magic in the world and everything else you do!
If you don’t know what you need, then you won’t be able to guide a partner on how to provide this to you. But once you learn to give love and care to yourself and you know what you really need to thrive, you’ll be far less likely to compromise your self-care AND your future relationship will be far more fulfilling because your partner will know how to love you!
It’s true what they say that we teach others how to treat us. So make sure you know what to teach another so they can treat you like the precious person you are.
So I ask you, how will you love yourself today and be your own best Valentine???