The single divorced middle aged woman’s guide to not giving a f*ck about Valentine’s day
(and so much other crap that compromises keeping our hearts strong and open)
Now that I’ve got your attention with that incredibly dramatic title, let me just say
I love love. All of it.
I mean, I love romance and flirtation and devotion.
I love that feeling when you first meet someone that you like, that feeling that you get when you haven’t even met someone but you’re just finally OPEN to it. Like yeah… I can go there.
I almost, ALMOST even like that feeling when you have just broken up with someone you truly deeply loved. Like you know even though the air around you hurts you did something real and magical there.
I love lusty, and sensual. I love that feeling when you are truly inhabiting yourself and people stop and look when you walk by. Even though you haven’t brushed your hair and your wearing clothes the dog slept on (or maybe they can tell.. who knows)
But you get my point.
I love feeling connected; with myself, with the world around me, with potentially a pretty hot human.
And then there is Valentines Day.
And it’s just not fucking helpful.
I don’t know about you but I have been bombarded from all sorts of apparently well meaning sources for the last few weeks about the upcoming VDAY. Like we’re all going to be invaded or something.
All I feel from these exchanges is isolation, exclusion and competition. And to be honest it felt like that last year even when I had a lovely man showering me with attention, and in my marriage, while it was full of romance and thoughtful gift giving we never ever celebrated Valentines Day.
In fact my lovely date last year went out of his way to tell me that the flowers (that weren’t roses) and champagne and homemade food had NOTHING to do with Valentines’ Day. Now if that doesn’t tell you something about the pressure this cultural hoop jumping puts us under I don’t know what does.
So, far be it from me to tell you when, where and how you might want to express your love.
I thought I would instead share my tips for those of us single, recovering, peeping our heads out from under the divorce doona or other wise uninterested in sitting in a room with 12 other couples eating a set menu (ok so that was bitchy).
These are my tips on what to do to really be in touch with your heart or the heart of some other potentially hot human.
The notion of self love is getting alot of airtime at the moment and I believe even the most flimsy versions of it are a great place to start and are certainly better than nothing. For me Self Love is about truly being with self, whatever that looks like. Which sounds really simple but can be really damn hard when ‘self’ is about as much fun to ‘be with’ as stubbing your toe repeatedly. So it might start as an external practice of getting a pedicure but the internal process here is you prioritising your time and your worth.
Taking time out to learn to self soothe is an investment in the future of not only your relationships but your own wellbeing. Most of us didn’t learn all the healthy relating skills we need to flourish during out childhoods. Quite literally taking yourself off to ‘school’ to learn these things through counseling or other modalities is truly a gift of self love that continues to give.
Be demonstrative – but keep your own counsel
Let your actions speak; express your affection, be excited and moved and emotional. Ask clearly for what it is you want and how you would like it (ask nicely manners are free)
But for the love of mystery don’t blurt. every. single. thought. in a stream of consciousness large enough to knock down a Bison. Please. This isn’t about hiding the real you. It is about anchoring into yourself, being at home with who you are (as best you can in these vulnerable times) and trusting yourself to show up clearly without explanation. Don’t unwrap the package of you for them. Let them work out where the sticky tape is for heavens sake this isn’t a three year olds game of pass the parcel!
Yep that’s real sexy right there. Seriously, so hot. But honestly, whether you jumped straight into bed or have known each other for years there will be a moment where you get to pause and discern if this is truly right for you. Not them, not your future unborn children, not the unhelpful crowd of ‘well meaning’ onlookers.
Please Trust yourself.
The minute you start outsourcing your power, for this is what your doing when you don’t trust your own gut feeling, you are powerless. This is a recipe for disaster in every possible sense.
Does. This. Feel. Right. In your body and in your heart.
I walked away from a big love because I knew I had fallen in love with his potential. I wrote myself this manifesto to keep me on track. This is an exercise in trusting yourself. Don’t underestimate its power. It might look like you’re flaky or unsure or running hot and cold but your not, your checking in to see if your boundaries are current and real and doing their job.
Create your own ritual.
If you’ve spent even 5 minutes with me you will know how much I love a ritual and every relationship including the one with yourself is better with them and with out even thinking you will have created them I’m sure.
- That fave place you have brunch
- The way you bring her tea first thing in the morning
- Walking the dog every Sunday.
I read a blog the other day, and for the life of me I can’t find where it was from, on a couple that take a candle lit bath together almost every day and go over the week ahead. (Whatever you do don’t google ‘couples who bathe together every day’)
I LOVED this idea. And clearly this couple were childless with an endless water supply BUT hopefully you can see how fun it might be to create your own regardless of your relationship status
Or if you like you can even celebrate Valentine’s Day…. Yawn xx