It is time to stop waiting around for “the one.” You’ve already found them.
Jayde Atchison // Staff Writer
Janelle Momotani // Illustrator
From Dec. 26 all the way to Feb. 14, we are bombarded with heart shaped decorations, chocolates and stuffed animals. A constant reminder that Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and that we should be celebrating it with our ~special someone~ or else we are just sad people on a sad day.
This is a ridiculous expectation that is constantly perpetuated in the media. Women are depicted as needing a man on the big day. People are still creating posts about hoping to find a date this year. We need to stop putting pressure on people to depend on another person to feel love. For us single pringles, our internal dialogue may have us wondering why we are still single, and ultimately, will we ever find love?
There is a massive difference between being alone, and being lonely. It took me a long time to separate the two, and discover that while I thrive on alone time, it doesn’t mean that I am lonely. Loneliness crawls up our spine, inches toward our heart and makes certain days harder than others. We want someone to offer the storybook romance, take away the pain of every heartbreak and reveal what inspired all those love songs. That kind of love exists (so people tell me) but until we stumble upon it, we need to focus on falling in love with ourselves.
An important thing to remember while becoming self-partnered (thanks Emma Watson) is forgiveness. If we don’t get the high mark we were hoping for, let’s learn from our mistakes and move on. If we skip another spin class to watch The Witcher, we have to allow ourselves the rest. Reminding ourselves that it is okay to fail, it is okay to bail and it is okay to need a break from the challenges we constantly face.
Waiting for someone to take us on that perfect date is akin to waiting for a body of water in Vancouver to freeze over; it may never happen. Instead of feeling defeated and grumbling on your couch, take yourself out. If you have been wanting to check out the new exhibition at the art gallery, try that new vegan restaurant or see the new Star Wars movie – go on your own. It can be liberating to do activities for and by yourself. Unlike when you go on a date (and you’re trying to impress someone) you do not have to alter plans from walking the seawall to going to the bar or pretend to care about the renaissance paintings when you’d rather look at the Indigenous pieces. When activities are done alone, we take full control of the situation.
Social media hosts a barrage of #selfcare posts, and while it might seem cheesy or a hoax—it is not something to completely brush off. Self-care can take the shape of bubble baths, weekly therapy sessions, hiking, reading, running, trying new restaurants or anything else that gives people a sense of accomplishment, happiness or relief. Whatever it is that sparks that Marie Kondo level of joy, make time to do it as often as you can. When a significant other takes care of us, love bubbles up and suddenly we’ve fallen head over heels. Who is to say that we can’t do that for ourselves through self-care?
The cherry on top of finding self-love is finding confidence. Confidence to put yourself first, to be alone and to be unapologetically you. “Fake it until you make it” is not just for starting new jobs, it is for holding ourselves in a new light. It is a slow road, learning to love every imperfection we have, but it is more achievable than finding a fairytale romance. It is time for us to hold our heads high, repeat self-affirmations and work on making our needs and wants top priority. Whether we are single or in a relationship, self-love should be included in a weekly, if not daily routine. Life is too short to wait for someone to love us the way we are able to love ourselves right now.