Have you ever observed yourself just before a date comes over or even a house guest?
The scene typically plays out something like this: run around scrubbing things that you would never normally wash, put out the good towels, light the good candles, and obsessively organize the party by colour and size. It’s as though you’ve been saving all this goodness for someone else. As if you are waiting to show off and offer it up, preparing your house and its contents to be on their best behaviour. As if a spoon could possibly behave, ya right.
That was me and it didn’t stop at candles and hand towels. I would consistently put my best foot (or face, or mood, or bedsheets) forward whenever it came to interacting with other people. However, when everyone left and all that was left behind were coffee stained napkins and endless dishes, I still felt an immense craving for connection. It wasn’t until the ending of my most recent relationship that I realized this emotion remained because I had yet to cultivate a true relationship with myself. I was so busy ensuring that everyone else had the best of everything that by the time I was ready for my bath or my night alone at home all the hand towels were dirty and the fancy candles had been burned down to the wick.
I’m proud to say that lately I’ve been on a bit of a dating spree! I haven’t been accompanying a handsome bearded man out to dinner, I’ve been going solo and let me tell you it has been glorious! On Valentine’s Day I took myself out to a rom com, brought myself some popcorn and chocolate and ignored the look of unsolicited pity from the concession attendant when I only ordered one ticket and one drink.
I’ve been cooking all the fancy and delicious dinners for no reason other than I deserve good food and good company, my own that is. I’ve been enjoying the use of the plush guest towels that would normally remain in the linen closest awaiting their moment to shine. I light candles on my bedside table not because I’m expecting a romantic make-out session but because I’m setting the mood for my own bedtime routine.
Aside from all the tangible things, I’ve been dating myself away from materialism as well through thoughts and actions rather than spending money. When I look in the mirror I try to let go of the judgement and apprehension that typically arises and try to embody the loving being I’ve been so many times for so many others when showering them in compliments and emitting an outpouring of love for them.
I encourage you to do the same, whether you’re in a relationship or not, dating yourself is essential. Typically the ways in which we show love are the ways in which we want to be loved so think about the things you would normally reserve for your friend, your lover, your mother or your brother and shower yourself with them for once. Wear the silk pjs on a random Tuesday night at home because you love the way they make you feel not because anyone will see them.
Tell yourself how awesome you are, how much you adore and love yourself. Relish in knowing that, like any relationship, the more you put in to it the more you’ll get out it.
Date yourself because it’s awesome and definitely not as creepy as it sounds.