Opinion: Self-Care Sunday – Let’s talk about self-love

Photography by Kate Brown 

Noah Nelson, Columnist

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, thoughts of relationships and love are fresh in people’s minds. While this holiday can be a great opportunity to ask out that special someone or to spend some quality time with a significant other, it is important to remember that there is one person in your life who deserves your love above everything else.

That person is you.

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years now, if you’re single and searching or if you’re not interested in a relationship at all, it’s never a bad time to love yourself.

So while you go about your normal Valentine’s Day routine, let’s just take a moment to stop and reflect on your relationship with you.

It’s possible that you are sitting there asking yourself, “why should I spend Valentine’s Day thinking about myself? Isn’t that selfish?” and you might be right. But I am a firm believer that if you can’t love yourself, you will not be able to fully love someone else. Here’s why.

A few years back, I was in a long term relationship with someone who you might call my high school sweetheart. We spent a little under a year and a half together. To make a long and sordid story short, this was brought to an abrupt end about a week before my senior prom because I learned that she had cheated on me while I was out of town for a weekend.

As devastated as I was and believe me, it took almost a year to fully get over what had happened, this taught me one of the most important lessons I think I have ever learned. That lesson is this:

You should not have to rely on someone else to be happy.

Sure, you can be happy with someone else. I genuinely hope that you are happy with most people in your life. But you should not have to rely on someone else for your own happiness.

What I’m saying is that you have to learn to be happy with yourself. Happiness has to come from within you, not from someone else.

After my relationship with this girl ended, I spent a good three years being single and focusing on myself. It was tough at first, but I decided to spend my time getting back into things that made me happy.

I got back into my hobbies that I once let go of because I lost time for them in the relationship. I spent more time with the friends I had pushed aside for my significant other. I talked to my parents and siblings and focused on family time more than ever.

And what happened next? The people around me noticed a change. I smiled more. I laughed louder. I came out the shell the breakup had put me in and branched out to try new things. I discovered something truly beautiful about myself.

It is completely possible and absolutely necessary to be happy with yourself.

So this Valentine’s Day please do me a favor.

Do not stress yourself out if you don’t have the money to pay for a fancy dinner or an elaborate gift for someone. Don’t get stressed if you don’t have a significant other at all. Instead, call up your parents and tell them that you love them. Call your best friends and let them know that you appreciate the friendship that you have with them. Make sure that whether you are single or in a relationship, you are happy with who you are as a person.

Buy yourself that chocolate and those roses, and do not be ashamed of it.

On the holiday of love, let’s all remember something important. Self-love is the most important kind of love.

So this Valentine’s Day, get out there and love yourself.

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