It’s not just about having a romantic relationship
I felt the need to talk about love today, seeing as how it’s Christmas Eve and Christmas is all about love. When you hear the word “love,” the image of a romantic couple is likely the first thing that pops into your head. You know that there are all kinds of love out there, but romantic love is the one most talked about, written about, sung about, sought after, and around which there seems to be the most drama. If you’re living the single life and happen to have no romantic love in your life at the moment, how do you feel that level of love, then?
“Love is all around you,”
“Love is knockin’ outside your door,” goes the Tesla song, “Love Song,” from the late ‘80’s. Okay, I’m dating myself and the song goes on to talk about a love made just for two, which is what I’m trying not to talk about here, but those two lines sum up what I am trying to say about love, and that’s that it’s everywhere just waiting for you to notice it. There’s all kinds of love out there – love of parents, kids, other family, pets, friends, neighbors, community, etc, etc – and of course the most important love of all, the love of self. If you don’t have a romantic relationship then the other relationships you do have in your life play a very important role for you. Of course the love of family, friends, and pets isn’t the same as romantic love, but why can’t it be enough? You have all of the love in your life that a woman in a romantic relationship has. Instead of relying on one person for most of it, which may not actually happen anyway, you spread the responsibility over many reliable sources. All of this love can absolutely be enough for you if you also have a great love of self.
How do I love me? Let me count the ways (hmmm, that’s not quite right)
My intentional misquote of Elizabeth Barrett Browning aside, I realized how important the love of self is after I stopped The Endless Search (for a mate) and fell in love with me. All of a sudden, I started to value the love of my parents and friends more than I ever had. Just knowing that those people loved me became enough because of the intense love I also had for myself. You have to fall in love with yourself. When you’re in love with yourself you’ll treat yourself well, you’ll make good choices for yourself, you’ll live your happiest, best life, and you’ll be able to give your best to the people around you. You deserve to love yourself!
Your single life includes so much love if you’re willing to see it
You’ll also be able to recognize the best that the people around you are giving to you. You’ll value it and those relationships will be all the better for it. After I found self-love my relationship with my parents started to grow deeper. I never considered us particularly close, but I started visiting them more and talking about more personal things. I was confident in myself and comfortable sharing more of myself. And a strange thing happened. Because I stopped thinking that they were judging everything I did, they started supporting me more. For the first time in my life I was happy with the relationship I had with my parents and I continue to value it very much.
If you’re lucky enough to have a close, loving family then maybe you already appreciate and value the love that you get from them. If your family is not close, all is not lost. When you change how you feel about yourself, chances are how you feel about your family and how they feel about you will change, as well. If you don’t have any family or your family is so far estranged that you feel there’s no way of getting it back, then your friendships will play an even greater role in your life than maybe they do for other people. Before my breakthrough with my parents I considered my friends to be my family and even now I still do. These are the people you see and speak to on a daily basis. These are the people who know everything about you and accept you anyway (tee hee!). These are the people who choose to be in your life and choose to give you their love so it’s an honor to call them friends.
Your friends are God’s apology for your relatives
If you haven’t heard this expression about friendships, it’s a good one. Let’s face it, no matter how good your relationship may be with your family, chances are there are still some struggles there. These generally come from the agendas we place on others that they fail to live up to and vice versa. There’s less of that going on with friends. While we still likely place agendas on our friends, it’s less important to us that they live up to them and our agendas are likely less rigid to begin with. If someone is not the kind of person that we’d like them to be then we probably won’t make friends with them to begin with. It’s much easier to cut a friend loose than it is to never speak to your mom again. So, generally speaking, your friends are made up of a group of people whom you love, who love you, you don’t expect anything from each other besides you who are, and you’re there for each other on life’s journey, sharing the ups and downs. This is why as a single girl your friendships are so important and why they deserve recognition for the love they provide.
Unconditional love, is that a thing?
It is when we’re talking about pets! I can’t talk about love from others without including pets in the mix. Animals give us unconditional love. Unconditional love! What other love on earth is unconditional? Even the love you have for yourself is probably not completely unconditional. Yet a cat will still love you even after you pin him down and trim his claws. And a dog will lovingly lick your face even after you’ve cooped her up in a crate for nine hours. Animals will greet you at the door when you come home, excited to see you. They’ll curl up in your lap especially when you need them the most. They’ll sleep in your bed with you and remind you that you’re not alone. They’ll do whacky things that make you laugh every day. They’ll be there for you always. Sure, they’ll also throw up on your favorite rug, eat your favorite plant and chew up your Manolos, but that’s proof positive that ALL relationships take work. In short, animals will infuse love into your single life like no other.
Merry Christmas, loved one!
I want to end this blog post by wishing all my single besties a very Merry Christmas! Hug your family hard, tell your friends you love them, and curl up with your pets in front of a warm fire. Most importantly, love yourself and know that you are loved in return!
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