It’s not just about having a romantic relationship
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. When you don’t have romantic love, it’s easy to get that “no one loves me” feeling. How many times have you broken up with someone and thought, “No one’s ever going to love me again?” What you’re failing to realize in that moment of despair is that you already have all the love you need in your life, you’re just not recognizing it. If you’re living the single life, then, and happen to have no romantic love in your life at the moment, how do you find that level of love? Here are my surefire ways to remind yourself on a daily basis just how loved you are.
“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 notice and 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. When you truly love yourself then you realize how valuable you are, you accept yourself, and you recognize why other people feel this way about you, too. Why wouldn’t they? You have to fall in love with yourself in order to realize that you’re worthy of the same love from others. And you do this by treating yourself well, making good choices for yourself, setting boundaries, and living your happiest, best life. At the same time you’ll be able to give your best to the people around you. You deserve to love you!
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. And let’s not forget about the unconditional love given to you by your pets! This is some of the best, and most underrated, love out there. Value your pets like you do your family and friends, and you’ll get all that love in return!
Hello, loved one!
There you have it. All the different types of love that don’t involve a romantic partner. Who knew there was so much love in your life? I did! So, 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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