Love Yourself First

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, February 14, 2018
By Ricardo Sardina , LMHC

It’s that time of the month when “love is in the air” and everyone seems to be talking about romance. Stress levels seem to go up for a lot of people in order to impress those we love or those who we are dating. People who are not in a relationship, feel the pressure of finding someone as soon as possible.

What is Valentine’s Day, anyway? It is a day when it’s traditional to send cards or roses to a person with whom you are romantically involved or attracted to. That feeling you get when you receive a Valentine gift from that special someone is always amazing! It makes you feel wanted, attractive, and most importantly loved.

There is nothing more enjoyable than receiving gifts, but going on a romantic date on Valentine’s Day with the one you love or with the person you are attracted to, is very special. In my case, I love watching the other person’s face light upon receiving a gift, or when I surprise them by going out to a nice romantic restaurant.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a special someone to share this day with, V-Day may not be so enjoyable and a bit more stressful. You can’t help but feel lonely, unhappy, unattractive, or unwanted. As much as it may seem that you are the only one without a relationship, and feeling this way on Valentine’s Day, trust me you are not alone.

You may tend to distract yourself by cleaning the house, watching a depressing movie, or simply moping around feeling sorry for yourself. Seriously, we have all felt this way at one point or another in our lives.

There are those who tend to get over the “no one wants me” mentality, and those that have a hard time overcoming it. But, how are we going to find someone who wants us, if we are having a hard time liking who we are? Remember, Valentine is about showing the people who are part of our lives how special we think they are, and how much we care about them. So, why not do the same thing for ourselves? Believe it or not, it is OK to love ourselves. Not to become narcissistic, but to actually like yourself for who you are.

The best way to start loving yourself is by doing things alone. I am not talking about alone in a sense of staying home all the time and watching cheesy movies; but getting out and doing things you enjoy, or discovering new adventures. We live in a society that it is frowned upon when someone is not in a relationship, but I tend to disagree with this mentality. What better way to get to know yourself, than spending some time alone. It is a chance to discover how to laugh at yourself, and smile at your weirdness. It is a time to learn the many sides of YOU. For instance, noticing how shy, or nerdy, or funny you sometimes may be, and turning it around to having confidence, being sexy, and smart. Liking yourself is being able to be happy, sure of yourself, and knowing that it is OK to be you.

The moment that we begin to feel comfortable and learn to love ourselves, we open up to others so they can see us for who we really are. When this happens, others notice how special we are, and, surprisingly, maybe that is when that special someone could come into our lives.

Have you noticed that when you are in a healthy and loving relationship, others seem to find you more attractive, and they, too, want to go out with you? This is mainly because your confidence level goes up when you are in a relationship. You feel good about yourself because you have someone you love and who loves you back. Why not improve your confidence by getting comfortable with yourself and loving yourself for who you are?

Here are a couple of ways you could start loving yourself more:

  • Make a list of all the things that you like about yourself
  • Focus less on winning the approval of others
  • Distance yourself from those who bring you down
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Have fun and do things you enjoy and discover new adventures.

If you think that you are unable to feel comfortable with yourself on your own, do not be afraid to seek help. Talking to a counselor could be the right path to help yourself move forward in feeling comfortable. The counselor can help you to discover your strengths, work on what you consider to be your weaknesses, make changes to overcome them….and most important, to accept and to love the special person that you are!

Happy Valentine’s Day