HOW I LEARNED TO BECOME MY OWN VALENTINE

Hello lovelies and happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve spent all of my Valentine’s days single and I’ve never had a Galentine’s Day either, but amidst all the feelings of loneliness that have come and gone over the years, here’s how I learned to become my own Valentine. ☺

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MY “LONELY” TEENAGE YEARS…

As a young teenager, I remember watching TV shows where the couples would hang out by their lockers in high school and have cute, romantic moments. I watched my fantasies come to life in other people as I wished to have a boyfriend that I could walk down the hallways and be #couplegoals with (note: #couplegoals didn’t exist when I was in high school, but you get the idea).

My school would decorate the hallways with pink and red streamers with giant hearts on Valentine’s Day, and I would imagine that it was a mockery to remind me all day that I was single, like always. I was bitter on those days, but of course the root of it was jealousy.

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Back then, I was such a hopeless romantic (I still am!); I always had a crush on someone, but it was always “unrequited love.” Looking back on it now, I’m glad I never dated anyone in high school because to be honest, I was too young and too focused on the surface of a relationship. I thought more about how we would look together instead of making sure we would help the other person grow.

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TRANSITIONING INTO A 20-SOMETHING…

I went to college for 4 years; I started a month before my 18th birthday and graduated while I was still 21. As a young freshman, I still held that high school mentality that I would find a cute boyfriend, especially in a campus as large as mine, and that things would be easy. But that’s not how it turned out.

I misread signals, got burned several times, and even experienced a little heartache. Back then, I blamed the other party, but I realize now it was also my fault too. I discovered my mistake was that I wanted to casually date people while the hopeless romantic in me still hoped for a real relationship.

Even though I had my heart on my sleeve, I didn’t check to see if we were on the same page and gave people too many chances, which means that sometimes, I set myself up to be burned. And I never seemed to learn from it until my last year of college.

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CURRENTLY…

I didn’t notice it at first, but after turning 21, I started guarding myself more. When there was a possibility of someone liking me, I finally started analyzing what they wanted from me, and what I wanted from that person. If they didn’t match up, I didn’t take the risk, no matter how much my old self wanted to.

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I’m 22 now, and I’ll be turning 23 this year. I’ve still never had a serious relationship or someone to spend Valentine’s Day with. And I’m completely okay with it. I’m glad all those “almost-relationships” didn’t work out because none of them were people that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

I’m starting to change the way I look at relationships too. Beyond what I want in a guy, I’m beginning to take into consideration if I see a future with them and if I’m willing to put in the effort to be with this person, through the good times and bad. But the best part is that I’ve been able to turn being single into the best life experience ever.

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MY OWN JOURNEY TOWARDS SELF-LOVE…

Sometime before my third year of college, I started taking mini solo trips. I would go to the bookstore, the mall, coffee shops, etc on my own. I started enjoying it because I didn’t have to worry about anyone but myself. I could go at my own pace and take in everything while getting lost in my own thoughts.

And every time I do something I would normally be scared of doing alone, I feel proud of myself. Instead of putting myself down and only seeing the negatives, I’m learning how to love myself, little by little.

With all the time I’ve spent alone, I have gotten lonely from time to time, but this solitude has taught me more about myself than all my almost-relationships ever will.

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Being on my own has made me a stronger person, and I know myself better. I can figure out what I like and dislike, where I want to go in life, and who I want to be without the influence of a significant other. And I know that when the time comes, a significant other will help me grow even more, but I won’t need them to complete me.

And as of right now, there’s still a lot I need to learn about myself. Sometimes I feel certain about what I want to do with my life. Other times, I feel like I should just try out everything. And then in my lowest moments, I’m utterly, completely lost. And if I haven’t figured out my life yet, I don’t think I should also be spending my time looking for a relationship. I should focus all of my energy onto myself until I at least gain some momentum in the direction I end up wanting to go in.

Once I figure things out, a relationship might come naturally. Or maybe not; that’s okay too. In the meantime, I love how I own all of my free time and I can spend it how I like. My evenings can be as simple as reading my favorite book while drinking tea or having a whole bowl of popcorn to myself while I watch movies. I can enjoy all of my favorite hobbies. And if I want to travel or move, I don’t have to worry about leaving a significant other behind. One of the best things about being single is that you have so much time and freedom. And as we all know, time is precious; so why not spend lots of it on yourself?

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So that’s how I learned to become my own Valentine. I’ve come a long way from my bitter, jealous self who walked through the halls in high school trying to ignore those giant hearts and streamers and didn’t understand what relationships were all about. It may have taken me a while, but I got there in the end. Now I can find joy in Valentine’s Day knowing that I’ll buy myself flowers and chocolates instead of waiting for someone to give them to me. ☺

I hope that whether you’re single or taken, you can also find some time to love yourself, because loving yourself is quite possibly the best form of happiness that there is.

Thank you so much for reading; I hope it helped some of you single gals and guys out there. You’re not alone; you have yourself. 🙂 I love y’all and I’ll see you lovelies soon!

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