“It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.” – Beyoncé
At this point in my life, every day I find something new to love about me. There was once a time when I went seeking validation from everything and everyone except the person who mattered most, me. I knew that if I wanted to feel good all the time and not just sometimes I had to learn to like me. No really, I mean REALLY like me. We can often pretend that we are 100% content with who we are but pretending only gets us so far. Until you’re truly comfortable with being alone, you will never know if you’re attaching yourself to others genuinely or simply because you’re lonely.
“How you gone win when you ain’t right within?” – Lauryn Hill
The focus should always been loving yourself inside out. It’s important for us to learn to date ourselves. You’re never too old to learn new things about who you really are. Being alone is just a status, while being lonely is a state of being miserable with who you’re with. Even if the person you’re with is yourself. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t be alone and have a great time. You have to be willing to take yourself out to eat or go and see that new movie alone. If you’re waiting around for a man to make you feel whole you’ll be waiting a lifetime. Concentrate on building a strong connection with you so that you never feel like you need anyone around to make you feel joy or at peace.
This past Monday I decided to take myself on an ultimate date. I normally go out to eat alone or movies etc. but this one was a bit different. I love basketball. I love even more to attend the games. I have always gone to several games a season with my girlfriends or family. The Goldenstate Warriors have been having an incredible season this year and I hadn’t been to not one single game. It was completely unlike me, but I knew that I was dreading attending because it brought back too many memories. I would frequently attend the games while I was in my most recent relationship, but after we parted ways I stood clear of anything that reminded me of the time we spent. I felt silly not doing the things that I love because it was something I once shared with someone who’s out of the picture. So I swallowed my pride, faced my fears and went to see my favorite team play in the 2015 playoffs. Date night felt good. I felt confident and I also went to bed that night feeling liberated and free. I stopped depriving myself of what I deserved and knew I could give myself. I never really needed what I thought I needed in the first place. I gave myself what someone else lacked the capacity to give me.
You have to date yourself. You have to know what it feels like to be out and about, enjoying all that you love all by your lonesome. You must learn to embrace you, but trust that being alone isn’t an eternal thing. When we develop the strength to be authentically “us” while alone, that authenticity makes us better when we finally find “the one.” Even when you’re in a happily committed relationship, never stop dating yourself. Never stop desiring alone time to get to know you better and love you more. It is what we learn about us in our relationship with ourselves that ultimately sets the foundation for our relationship with others. Here’s to happily committed relationships with ourselves!