Last year a few days before the infamously loved and hated “Vday” I found myself in tears, blasting Jay-Z’s more insensitive tracks, and swearing with all confidence that I would never “fall in love again.” I got dumped four days to the date and it wasn’t pleasant for me, my pillow, or my friends who spent the next few days going on about how dumb men can be. Thank you friends.
However melodramatic that may have been- it certainly made me realize how unimportant having an actual Valentine can be if you don’t have the real thing. Just hear me out.
Every year Valentines Day arrives and is received as one of the most loved or dreaded of holidays. For those of us in relationships, it’s a day to indulge in chocolate, cards, dates, the color red (just you know in general) and stay “boo’d up.” (Yes I said that) And for those of us who are single it can be a day that emphasizes the fact that we are to the max; something many women aren’t very excited about. But why not?
It doesn’t take Valentines Day making its traditional appearance to know many men and women in our society feel a bit “less than” because of their single status. In recent media black women especially have felt the backlash of seeing ourselves on the forefront of realityt.v.; bringing desperately single to a whole new level. With shows like: Basketball
Wives, What Chilli Wants, and For the love of ______( hell, whoevers next….) alongside thee most dysfunctional public marriages like the whole T.I. and Tiny fiasco -I’m sorry based off these examples, we’re not winning.
Oh but in reality we are, and in the media we have the power to change how we’re viewed, and we should.
Many of us are guilty when it comes to looking to music, reality tv and celebrities for relationship 101 tips and love, but when it comes down to it in reality and health: having a stable, healthy relationship is most important. I’m no relationship expert and I may be young and to some extent, inexperienced in the love field; but here are a few keys things I have learned along the rocky road somewhere in between “on to the next” and he could be “the one”:
1. Love yourself COMPLETELY first: There’s nothing worse than when two people (or even just one) enter a relationship and they haven’t mastered the art of loving themselves.
Loving yourself is the best health tip
. Understand that the whole “_____ completes me” line is a true signal for disaster. COMPLETE YOURSELF FIRST. Go out and do things on your own. Set your own goals and achieve them. Know yourself, or at least go hard-core about it and learn to love yourself. That isn’t a pass to be the queen of conceit, but in order to know what you want/need in someone else and to be able to provide them with real affection you’ve GOT to love you first.
2. Friendship matters: Developing a friendship with someone first allows you to get to know them outside of a romantic perspective. We can’t be googly-eyed about someone 24/7. Sometimes it’s just you and that person-just being. And when that happens you’ll probably want to like who you’re with for more than just their physicality and/or what they have. Realizing a healthy friendship strengthens the romantic bond.
3. You are who you love: It always amazes me when people create grocery item long lists of what they want in a mate, yet don’t even come close to having the same qualities. Do you want a man/woman with a good job, mature mind and dresses cleanly? It doesn’t help if you’re sitting at home, job less and watching Maury repeats looking like you haven’t seen a shower in weeks.
To attract someone you want you also have to mirror that image.
This will also create a healthy balance between a couple.
4. And last but certainly not least, Realize the time: Being single is and can be a great thing. Yes it has its lonely moments but you haven’t truly live until you find the joy in living on your own and on your own terms. This can be a time for intense growth and expansion. Life doesn’t stop at a relationship or being single and despite the stigma placed around it: being single can be just as beautiful as finding someone to compliment your wonderful style. Remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, so plant flowers where you stand. : )