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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love Yourself this Valentine's.

It's the holiday that singletons worldwide dread, the one day of the year that can make you feel inherently lonely despite being surrounded by wonderful friends and family. Valentine's Day - *shivers*. This time last year I was in the midst of a romantic trip to the North Norfolk coast - one of the most beautiful places in the world. This year... not so much. It's supposed to be the most romantic day of the year, filled with gushing declarations of love and adoration and plenty of chocolate. When you're in a happy relationship, I can't think of anything better.
This is my first Valentine's post break-up, and to be honest, I thought I'd be sadder. Don't get me wrong, it stings a little to reflect on how great I had it a mere 365 days ago. But just because I lost that guy doesn't mean I have to lose myself wallowing in heartbreak. After all, Valentine's Day is potentially the most commercial, made-up holiday of them all! It's fundamentally just a money making venture, a Hallmark card holiday at most. Without sounding like a cynical singleton, it really is just another day.
Equally, it can be a really difficult time when you've recently split with someone. Recently I've decided to take a step back from guys - I'm putting my love life on the back burner and focusing on my own needs. Being single means you have the luxury of being a little selfish. I'm learning to be happy on my own again and there's something really quite liberating about that. I've grown way closer to my friends at uni, I have more time for my family now, and my mind is completely focussed on my school work. If the right guy comes along then that's great, but I'm not going to actively search for him. I have no patience when it comes to figuring out if a guy 'likes' me or not or wondering how long I should wait before replying to his message. The 'chase' is tedious and I've reached a stage in my life where I simply can't be bothered! Which is why I think it's so important to be kind to yourself this Valentine's Day. If you don't have a special person who is lucky enough to be on the receiving end of your love then why not indulge yourself. My foolproof list of ways to treat yourself include:

1.Buying flowers. 

Roses shouldn't be reserved for those in love and bouquets are being flogged off left, right, and centre. I don't care that it makes me a 'basic bitch', a nice bouquet just makes me feel better about life. Always.

2. Indulging in some retail therapy. 

Realistically speaking, this is my fix for any problem! But today I bought a bargain of a dress from Jack Wills and felt invincible. Clothes just have that effect on me. Plus, looking your best on the most romantic day of the year is a small comfort.

3. Chocolate. 

Again, why should the sugary stuff be restricted to couples? Protest and buy a box, ideally Lindt.

4. Spending time with a close friend. 

Going shopping with my mum and spending some quality time with her always makes me feel better. I'm lucky that I can talk to my mum about anything and we share a joint love of all things girly.

5. Remember that your 'relationship status' doesn't define who you are. 

The danger of losing yourself in a relationship is all too real. Being single allows you to explore your identity and grow as a person. It is tough being single sometimes, but at the moment, I'm exactly where I need to be.

If you're a struggling singleton - a phrase I hate by the way - then take comfort in the fact that the dreaded day is almost over. Like a true 'basic bitch', I'm always reminded of this wonderful 'Sex and the City' quote, 'the fact is, sometimes it's hard to walk in a single woman's shoes. That's why we need really special ones now and then - to make the walk a little more fun.' 
Happy Valentine's Day.

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