I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m single—the two aren’t at odds. We tend to put the burden of romance on our romantic partners when in truth, we can totally give ourselves the love, attention, and affection we require. I’m not talking about some new age woo-woo practice—I’m talking old-fashioned common sense.Here’s how I romance my damn self.
- I got to know myself. I know, this may sound a little weird, but there are so many people who truly don’t know themselves deep down. We tend to walk around as the people our parents, partners, or friends want us to be rather than just discovering ourselves and falling head over heels for that person. Just as we’d appreciate a romantic interest taking the time to get to know us in all of our weird, wonderful ways, we should offer ourselves the same gift. Doing so has made a world of difference in my life.
- I pay attention to my needs. Some call it self-care, some call it self-awareness, I call it necessary. Being aware of your own needs is vital to your own happiness. There are few things more romantic than our partner acknowledging and prioritizing our needs, and if that’s true, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be doing it for ourselves. Loving myself started with putting my needs first, and I’ve never felt better.
- I acknowledge my desires. We all have desires, those things that aren’t necessary but are still integral to our happiness (or so we think). A partner who knows you would rather receive succulents than fresh cut flowers, avocado toast instead of a bagel and cream cheese, or Netflix and chill night as opposed to a night out on the town is paying attention to your wants. Romancing myself means treating myself to the little things (or big ones) that put a smile on my face and make me feel good. It’s really that simple.
- I spend time with and on myself. If you can’t stand to spend a few quiet moments with yourself, how do you expect anyone else to? Just like we all love when our partner gives us their undivided time and attention, that’s the way we ought to enjoy our own company. Being comfortable with my own company has been a blessing.
- I celebrate myself. Sometimes, I amaze myself, and I’m sure you could say the same. In those moments when we get it right, whether it’s the big presentation at work, acing that test, or cooking a pretty awesome dinner, we deserve a celebration. I tell myself I did a good job, just the way I would want a significant other to. I don’t need others to validate me—I can do it all on my own.
- I get myself gifts. I’m a self-gifter and you should be too. I treat myself to something nice, even if it’s just a new lipstick, a self-drawn bubble bath, or a candlelit home-cooked dinner on the fancy dishes. The right gift conveys not only attentiveness, it also shows the willingness to be kind. Who else should we be more willing to be kind to if not ourselves?
- I write myself appreciation letters. This may sound weird, but hear me out. Life has a way of kicking us in the teeth. We’re constantly surrounded by imitated perfection and immaculate Instagrams feeds. The last person who needs to inundate me with all of the ways that I fall short is me! To counteract this impulse, I’ve taken up the habit of writing letters to myself. I remind myself of one thing I deserve kudos for, even if it’s something as small as “I like the way I styled my hair today.” Not taking myself for granted is something that does wonders for my self-esteem and overall mental and emotional well-being.
- I wouldn’t ask anyone for things I wouldn’t give myself. We can’t demand or even ask for someone else to display the affection and appreciation toward us that we refuse to give to ourselves. Just like you can’t pour from an empty cup, you can’t outsource the great work of self-love. However, you can fulfill that need it by romancing your damn self. That’s what I do, and I’m pretty in love with me.