Let's Talk About Love
Hey all. It's Valentines Day. So let's talk about love.
What do we mean when we love someone? It's a broad question, of course. But all of us could come up with a ton of ways that reflect us loving someone; whether it's our partner, family, best friend, etc. When we love someone, we want them to be happy, to feel safe, to feel human. Loving someone could mean we want them to not talk badly about themselves, or go to bed knowing the next morning will be okay. Loving someone could also mean checking up on them in the morning and evening to see how they are, or sending them a little reminder to remember to eat, drink water, and go to bed at a decent hour.
These are all things that could answer the question; what do we mean when we love someone? But do we ever pose, or even attempt to answer the question; what do we mean when we love ourselves? And do we even make a point to show love to ourselves?
Valentines day has always been a weird holiday. And it's purely because of the commercialization and gendered culture that we live in. But I'm really enjoying seeing so many people in the last couple of years, embrace V-day as something more than just a day for heteronormative, romantic partners. I like the idea of expanding our idea of love and the "day of love" to so many other things which include; friend love, girl love and of course, self-love. And as the week of Valentines day began this year, I realized I was severely ignoring love for myself. I also realized that I never really took the time to really go back to basics of what it means to love yourself and love others.
Like I said, we are so used to, because of our culture, to have an automatic response to "who do you love" and say "my partner, my friends, my family." And that's great, but we're never encouraged to add "me" to that list, and that is a small, but impactful sentiment of our culture. And when we are literally devoting a whole day to chocolates and roses and all the wonderful amenities of love, this absolutely should expand to all kinds of love, all kinds of care.
So, the way I defined love for myself this time around is simply allowing myself to be a human. I guess you could call it "treating yourself" or "pampering" which is fine. But I realized that these things are just as important and should not just be done during valentines day or with the excuse of treating yourself. It needs to become routine. So let's do it. Let's make it routine to love yourself.
Along with that, when it comes to love and romantic relationships, I'm a big believer that when you expand your ideas of love and what romance can be, you will find what you need another person.
I was particularly proud of an article I wrote for the Vindicator Magazine back in October. I talk about how love is becoming more accepted as a fluid than stagnate thing. It can come in different forms and colors and shapes. So I'd like to bring it back and share it on V-day:
But as the mischievous generation of “millennials” have shown, there are more than a couple ways to love another human, and that there are many different paths to take when creating romantic connections. Hooking up — what might have been seen as controversial and forbidden in past generations — is now a very common way that young people engage in the dating scene. Online dating now is in the mix and is a very common way for people to find long-term and even life-long partners.
However, exclusivity in itself is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
You can read my full piece here!
I make a lot of lists. I like making lists with every aspects of my life, but wouldn't you know it, the one thing that I don't make a point to list out is "ways I can be kinder to myself/love myself more." I think we could all work on that this Valentines day. Write it out. Type it out. Hold yourself to it. Here's a little checklist of sort of "Self Love Affirmation" I gave myself for this week (and hope to continue week after week):
I didn't make a specific playlist for Valentines Day, but I think my "Uh Huh" Playlist, that's a mix of smooth jams and warm beats are just what you need whether it's for a romantic night or day filled with self-care for yourself.
Thank you for reading! Love you all.