When I started this blog nearly six months ago, I thought about what I would write on this day. On a day that for many years consisted of endless tears, intense jealously, and consumption of far too many calories. On a day where my self-proscribed “love addiction” reached all-time levels of ridiculousness.
I wondered what my life would be like at the time, if I would be recovering in healthy measures and learning to put myself before any man who was or was not in my life. I considered the option that I could have a boyfriend at the time, but when I started this journey, I hoped (for once) that I would be single when St. Valentine’s Day reared its compulsively pink and glittery head.
Because if you’re going to learn to love yourself single and stop defining your worth by the likes or dislikes of a man, I think spending today, even though it is just another Monday, alone is a necessary hurdle to leap over. Even if you stumble and cupid’s arrow knocks you down instead of fluttering your tummy with undefinable somethings, you still have to make the jump.
So, with a lot of acceptance, laughing, crying, and dates - I find myself exactly where I hoped to be on this day of love: romancing myself. And since I know what fits my fancy the best and what brings me the most joy of any pleasure on this Earth, then I can undoubtedly do the one thing that sweeps me off my feet more than anything else…writing.
However, I didn’t realize the process of composing a love letter to myself would be as difficult as it turned out to be, especially since I’ve been writing for nearly a decade, often daily. Somehow, putting into words how I feel about myself, the things I love that are specific to me, and the thankfulness I have to be in a relationship that’s minus-one – was challenging.
Luckily for me, I had the encouragement, the inspiration, and of course, the love from all of you. Your letters to yourself warmed my heart in ways a man never could never attempt to do. Sometimes, there is no better feeling than knowing that by doing the thing you love the most, you help others learn to love the things that make them irreplaceable and beautiful.
On Valentine’s Day or any other time of the year, I hope you all remember that loving yourself, choosing yourself, standing up for yourself, and deciding to be your own best friend, your own greatest fan, your own lover – is better than any bouquet of anything, everything in an overpriced blue box, and any dinner for two, you could ever experience. After all, flowers will wither, chocolates will crumble, and February 14th will come to an end, but no matter how much someone melts your heart or takes a bite out of it, though you may wilt, no man will ever determine your ending. Your happy ending begins and concludes with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, addicts! I love you all for your continuous support and sweet words of encouragement. Go paint your city, your town, or you countryside red.
“My love, my darling, You’re my very best friend, my ray of sunshine. My girl. You stand by me when I can’t stand. You remind me that I’m more beautiful than I realize, stronger than I can comprehend, and braver than I thought possible. You make me laugh when everything feels like it’s crumbling. You’ve shown me that imperfections are really not flaws, but the things that make me, me. Sometimes, I can’t believe how far you’ve come. Literally, living your dream and often time pinching yourself because you can’t believe it actually came true. But, want to know what’s funny – it didn’t just come true, you made it your reality. You’ve never been afraid of taking risks, of asking questions, of putting yourself out there, and going after and standing up for what you believe. It is your bravery, your spirit, your kindness, and your compassion that make me love you so. You really are the whole package – petite, but hell in heels. Shapely and fit. Lovely brunette with piercing blue eyes and sometimes, a quite witty sense of humor. You’re intelligent and proud, but not narcissistic and condescending. You really do love people, people of every shape and form. People you’ve known for years, people you’ve never met, people you’ve read the words of, people you passed on the subway, people who you have not loved you in return. But most importantly, you love me for me, no exceptions or excuses. I hope you know how much I love you in return. You give and you believe in love freely, and you’re learning not to let it be everything. You’re always honest with me, I can trust you more than I rely on any single thing on this planet. You are the person I want to wake up to each and every single day and look at before I fall asleep. Your optimism, your faith that all turns out as it should, makes me believe the future we have together is never-ending. I’m so thankful that on Valentine’s Day you decided to choose me, to love me, to be loyal to me, and shower me with your beauty and your ever-shining light. Thank you for all you’ve given me these 20-something years – I can’t wait see what you do next. Know that no matter what happens, no matter where we go, no matter what rocky waters we may endure, I’ll be here for you, today and always. Go get ‘em Tigar!” -Love Addict, New York, NY
“Although you spent the last three valentines with her, it’s time to move on…. don’t dwell on the past and find a new love this year!” – Dating a Lemon
“I love how you always have an enthusiastic attitude about everything. You find the good out of every situation. You are strong, independent, and have passion which is incredibly sexy in a woman. I do not need a man to make me happy because I get along just fine without one, I have never settled for less and I am not going to start settling for less now. What makes me a fearless, fabulous female is my independence and that I value my own worth and put my needs before the needs of a stranger in my bed (Old self would have done that but new self laughs at the idea of a man she barely knows in her bed). I am happy to be flying solo this Valentine’s Day because I am happy with myself and would rather be by myself eating chocolate bon-bons and watching horror flicks then in a loveless relationship any day.” – Emily, Asheville, NC
“Do you remember your last Valentine’s day? When you spent an hour waiting for your (now ex-) boyfriend, before walking 40 minutes to his house in heels, where no one answered the door? Even though it turned out to be an okay-ish day (watching “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” isn’t really my idea of romance, but oh well), that’s not going to happen any more. You’re better than that, because you no longer need a man to feel complete. You have a great personality, long legs, a kick-ass wardrobe and mind-blowing curves. You are strong and independent. You’ve got the whole package: intelligence, sexiness, wit and not to forget, 32 pairs of fabulous shoes. The fact you’re alone on Valentine’s day does not say you’re lonely, It only says you’re not prepared to settle for anything less than your dream guy. You deserve so much more than all those guys you’ve given the chance to stand at your side. So, this year have a little fun on your own. Take this day to start believing how truly fabulous and amazing you really are. Have a wonderful Valentine’s day. You don’t deserve anything less. Love, Me. P.S. Happy Valentine’s day to every love addict out there. You are truly amazing too!” -Cassandra, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland
“This Valentine’s Day, as I spend the night convincing myself that I’m happily single, I’ll remind myself of the one word that drives me and it won’t be so bad – fearless. I’m fearless of my independence, fearless of getting hurt, fearless of my flaws, and fearless of falling in love. I’m ready to take on the challenge of finding the emotion every girl dreams of feeling and I’m not afraid to take on every little thing that’s thrown at me along the way.” – Chelsea
“Hmmm. You know I have a hard time thinking of things to say to you. You tend to just think up things all on your own to make yourself have a brighter day. Which is probably what I love most about you. You are an amazingly strong women, the stuff you think up in your head is like “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows,” not to mention a little bit of “Be Happy,” and “I feel so Pretty,” also not to mention the way you screw up lyrics and smoosh together songs. I’m glad to spend my days with you forever and always. As you remember to treat each day like a “New Design” and not a story going “Over and Over Again.” Btw, you are the bees knees of pretty ladies, don’t let yourself feel otherwise. Love Always and Forever, Me, Myself, and I.” -Shay Rae, Fort Wayne, Indiana
“You’re in your twenties and have lived in various amazing places. You’ve suffered great losses and yet you’ve managed to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and dive head first once more. You’ve dated a number of men and have learnt a lot. You’ve been treated terribly but you’ve still managed to forgive, not regret and cherish the experience. Over the years you have taken your life back for yourself and have learnt that you can do and achieve all that you want without a man. You’ve learnt that you need to love you before he can love you. I’m happy to be alone this Valentines Day because you’ve shown me that I don’t need just one day for me to appreciate myself; I have 364 other days.” -KruRai, Gaborone, Botswana
“You know what I love about me? I love my heart–it knows no bounds or limitations, it just loves people unconditionally…no matter how hurt I’ve been in the past. I love my wit & sense of humor–I am ridiculously funny, and I think that is awesome. I love my interests & talents, and how they fuse together to make one incredible individual. I love my fashion sense, I love my compassion, I love my ability to give amazing advice. Physically, I love my freckles, my curves, and my naturally wavy auburn hair. Mentally, I love my ability to reason and use logic. I love my laugh. I love how I handle confrontation. I love my silliness, my surprising skills at Nintendo 64, my cooking talents, my absence of shame or regret, that I can drink most people under the table, and my lack of modesty about how incredible I am. I don’t need a man because my happiness doesn’t come from ANY other individual–it comes from me. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone’s opinion of my body, my talents, or my character. I don’t need a man because I am surrounded by incredible people that can do all the things I can’t: I have girlfriends that I can talk to about anything, will take me out to dinner “just because”, and are more fun than anyone else on the planet. I already have a strong base of incredible men in my life, who will always be there to squish spiders & help me move large furniture (as well as remind me that I am beautiful & an incredible woman). I don’t need a man because I have an incredible family that supports me & loves every little thing about me. I don’t need a man because, simply, I don’t have time or energy while I’m focusing on my new job, new apartment, and new city. What makes me fabulous? I think all of these things do. Being completely self-assured & hopeful about the future is a big deal, even if you’re only 23. Given the things I’ve been through, witnessed, and experienced, optimism seems kind of silly–I’m not optimistic, I am 100% positive that good things are going to happen for me in every part of my life, and this includes falling in love. I am still so young and there are so many people out there to meet, there’s no time to be focused on what ISN’T happening right now. Being able to see that there are good things ahead makes me a different kind of fearless, and I am proud of that. Also, Beyonce is married to Jay-Z & STILL talks about how fun it is to be single. Given that Beyonce is fucking fearless & fierce, doesn’t that mean all single gals have something to do an incredible dance about? I think so.” – Michelle, Washington, DC
“Can you believe you’re spending this Valentines Day in London? Not too shabby of a suburban Canadian girl. Two years ago, you were just an anxious 18 year-old high school senior. You couldn’t wait to get going in life but wasn’t quite ready to leave the home you grew up in. A lot has happened and changed since then. Just look at what a whirlwind these last 12 months have been. You worked for that big Internet company, studied abroad in Paris, branched out in the international photography community, and now live in the United Kingdom. I know it’s been challenging at times, like the week when you got no sleep trying to juggle work, school, and photography, having to build a nest for yourself each time you moved to a new city, all the holidays you celebrated away from family and friends, and that first birthday you spent completely alone. Despite all of that, and perhaps even because of all of that, you’ve become stronger – more confident, more certain, more humble, and, most importantly, more fearless. You’ve learned to make new friends anywhere you go, embrace all the opportunities that come your way, and stay grounded with the endless love and support of family and friends. Some day you’re going to look back on this year of endless travels and exciting opportunities and realize you are living the life. Keep dreaming big and don’t wake up too soon. Love, TZ.” -Tracy, London, England
“This will probably be the only Valentine you get this year, apart from the annual pity card from your mum, though even that this year may not be there now you have drifted back home. By now your used to valentines alone, to seeing others receive gifts and mocking them (without a hint of jealousy – you wish) but this year will be different, because this year for the first time you actually love you and that is enough. For the first time this year you have realised that you actually quite like who you are. This is a big step and its taken 3 years of friendship from some pretty great people to get you there. So today be thankful that they are there, have been there and will be there. That they too realise that you need to be you, alone, until someone turns up who allows you to be you as well as being an us. They don’t judge you for pushing away J and R, for dashing their hopes for your romances and you have stopped judging yourself now too. So embrace this new happiness, keep defining yourself apart from others and please keep being the best friend i have. With or without a man i promise to keep loving you, not return to the self loathing that has plagued many a past memory. I love you and you love me so happy valentines. I’m happy you’ll always be mine.” -Anonymous
“Happy Valentine’s Day! Year number 14 on my own (with 1 oops in there somewhere). Congratulations for being such a strong woman, to make it on your own. While men are nice to have around, and every year I hope, will this be the year I get roses?, I think, I can buy roses myself. I can hang a picture, I can mow my yard, I can even change the headlight on my car. So while I think we all secretly wish for Mr. Right to find us before Valentine’s Day (so we can receive the chocolate and roses) celebrate that you are the fabulous woman you are; call a girlfriend, who also is waiting for Mr. Right, and go out to dinner; take each other a rose and share a heart-shaped box of candy while watching one of those girlie movies that men don’t really care for anyway. And enjoy being You!” -Anonymous
“You’re beautiful inside and out. You’re worth more than you think and you deserve more than you get. You don’t need another half to make you whole, you do damn find out on your own. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments, you did it without a man’s help. Valentine’s day is about love, who’s to say you have to spend it with a man? I love myself, therefore, my valentine is myself.. the only person who will never let me down.” -Katie, Cleveland, OH
“You are fabulous. You’re fabulous when you’re single, you’re fabulous when you’re with a man, and you’re fabulous even when you make mistakes. Live it, learn it, love it. xoxo Cat.” -Cat, New York, NY
“One day someone will fully appreciate you for all that you are. Someone will love you for being strong, forgiving and understanding the way you love those things about yourself. Until you find someone who adores you for those things instead of feeling challenged or threatened by them, then you’re better off single and in love with yourself.” -Suzanne, Canton, OH
“You rock because you know what it takes to make yourself happy…adventure and the company of people who contribute to your dreams. A man is like a good accessory. It completes the outfit but doesn’t break the look when it’s not there :)” -Brittainey, Des Moines, Iowa
“I just want to say what an honour it is to get to know you. After being surrounded by people all week, I look forward to spending some quiet time alone with you, whether it be a quiet evening on the couch with a glass of wine, or a run along the river, or a play in the park with the hounds. Taking time to listen to your fears and your aspirations. Making plans for the future, understanding what makes you happy, is time well spent in my book. I observe with a little touch of awe, your strength to deal with the tough times with your chin up and a wide smile for those who need it. It is truly a pleasant surprise to take stock and see how far you have come, despite the setbacks. You strive to face your flaws with dignity and whilst I know you consider it somewhat a failure to have those imperfections, I remind you that it is an admirable trait to humbly forgive those who hurt you- even if it does take a year or two (or longer). You have every right to feel pleased that you have not given up hope for one day again feeling that rush of excitement coupled with the warm glow of a steady, secure love. You have the right to be proud that you have not settled for the company of a man who treated you poorly, regardless of how completely you loved him nor how crippling at times the loss of that love has felt. You have the right to be proud that you have not settled for the company of a man who adored you, but with whom you could not summon the heart-swelling emotion which you know he deserves in return. And so it is that this Valentine’s Monday, you have the pleasure of spending the evening in the company of someone who understands you, who loves you and who will never leave you. Truly, the very best of company- mine! Happy Valentine’s Day!” -Serene, Perth, Australia
“I love your boldness, independence, undying love and compassion for others, and your ability to put anyone in their place. Yes, you have your flaws, but each of them is a blessing. They make you who you are. Love them. Cherish them. Your confidence is your best feature. If men and women alike cannot appreciate it, and run scared instead, then take it indirectly as a compliment. Compliments are wonderful, as you know, but you are responsible for your own happiness. So, no long face today because you have the best Valentine in the world–yourself. You will always be there for yourself for better or for worse. You love unconditionally. You’ll never walk out, or cheat. And when the day is done, you will be all that you need to stand on your own two feet and simply be. You are a peaceful warrior. Good things are still to come. At the end of the day, you are going to be perfectly fine being solo. You made your own dinner reservations. No one was late. The meal (and the wine) will be pure bliss. You will still get your chocolaty goodness and flowers, but without the drama, stress, and embarrassment (maybe). You get to be yourself, in your pajamas, in your hotel room (you can thank work later) without a care in the world. Sounds like the perfect day to me.” -Nelson, Lexington, VA
“Dear Darling Valentine, You totally deserved the creme suede lounge you just bought yourself for your new apartment (and the black satin robe that goes with it). Who wants a man when you’re working with something like that? Looking forward to laying with you in luxury, <3 FT.” -Cady, Durham, NC
“I love that you’ve come this far. I love that you didn’t let your past determine your future. You don’t need a man to shape the most important few years of your life, while being a 20 something year old. That’s what friends, vacations, and credit cards are for. You’re fabulous because you can stand strong on your own, and lead a career more promising than any guy you’ve been with. Being single this Valentine’s Day will be one of the best because ‘After all, the company of confidence is much better than the company of a coward.'” -Anonymous
“I shouldn’t feel any less special or loved on a day where love ought to come from everyone, everywhere. I may be single, but let’s be honest, we all have dozens upon dozens of Valentine’s, and each is as important and special as any significant other. Sure I won’t be getting “up close and personal” with any of these people, but I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. And it has to be said, there’s nothing like getting roses from my dad every single year without fail. Now that’s commitment.” – Anonymous, Canada
“You never tell yourself that you are amazing, even though you are. Despite all of the social pressures, you have lived a truly unique life. Somehow, you have managed to experience and accomplish more things than most people will in their lifetime. Valentine’s Day has never been happy occasion in the past, but why be so hard on yourself just because one facet of your life isn’t the usual? If you look closely, living outside the lines has been the motto for your 28 years. You are beautiful, hilarious, and refuse to compromise on what you want out of life. Take today, and celebrate this beautiful life you have made for yourself and the amazing woman that is unfolding before everyone’s eyes. Don’t let anyone make you second-guess yourself or the choices you are making right now. You are surrounded by love no matter where you go!” -Kelly, Phoenix, AZ
“For the first time since middle school, you’re happy to be single on Valentine’s Day. Your recent trip to Israel helped you discover more about you in 12 days, than you knew in the past 25 (almost) years. Congratulations on being able to laugh off the mushy stuff. Enjoy this day as it was meant to be, sharing life, love, and happiness with your closest friends.” -Sharon, Massachusetts
“Dear Blonde, Do you love yourself? Check YES or NO. Wait a minute, honey. Don’t make a move just yet. I know you’re wanting to pick up a cute pink pen and place a great big mark next to “YES”, but it seems lately that you haven’t really been SHOWING yourself much love. No, not that kind of self-love. The emotional kind. The good stuff. Most days, you’re a happy-go-lucky single girl out to even the score. I see you check yourself in the mirror some mornings, I’ve seen the wink and smile. You’re awesome and you know it. Your blonde hair shines almost as bright as your personality. You’re witty, you’re passionate. I’l be honest, this version of yourself? IRRE-FREAKIN-SISTABLE, honey. But some days, there is no look in the mirror. No wink, no smile, just a sigh. Listen, I know you’re worried. What if karma is punishing me in some weird way? I mean, you weren’t a great girlfriend sometimes. Yep, you’ve made mistakes with relationships. But honestly, Blonde, who hasn’t? It’s time you stop beating yourself up over things that happened in the past. It’s been a long time. You’ve changed. Everyone that knows you can tell how absolutely fabulous you’ve become! And on the days that you’ve got the wink and smile, you know it too. So, repeat after me: “I AM THE BLONDE, AND I AM FABULOUS!” Now, once you believe that, feel free to pick up the pen and check yes. XOXO, The Blonde.” -The Blonde
Much love to Tall Brewnette for this lovely Valentine!