Like any other single girl – there are times that I’m a bit down about not having someone special in my life. Though I think Valentine’s Day is a little overrated (if you love someone, tell them always!) – I really can’t remember the last time I shared a romantic holiday with a great guy.
That being said – this past year as taught me so much more about love, in all the forms it comes in. Because I finally let go of Mr. P (and ahem, stopped sleeping with him), I spent all of 2014 focusing on myself and cultivating truly incomparable friendships with the best human beings I’ve ever known.
So while I won’t be toasting with champagne with the man I’ll marry this Valentine’s Day, I will be publishing your Self-Love letters all the way from Copenhagen, Denmark with my dear friend, J. And before that, from my heart to yours, I want to share the best advice I’ve been given about dating, love and relationships from those incredibly special to me.
Even if I’m not in love, these incredible people make my heart so full, and for that, I’m thankful every single day. I love you all – thank you for reminding me to not give up on love, even when it’s the only thing I want to do.
Think of your future daughter.
“If you are looking for a husband, a true partner, think about your future daughter. Is he someone you’d want to set her up with? If your answer isn’t immediately ‘yes’ – then walk away.” –From my lovely, talented, sassy and kind-hearted friend, K. She is one of the wisest women I know, and is always willing to share her wisdom, heart… and bottle of wine.
Find someone who pushes you.
“I think the key is to find someone who pushes you to be your best self, but still loves you when you’re not.” –From K – who has an effortless enthusiasm about her that brings so much laughter, inspiration and beauty to everyone she comes across. No question is too crazy, no worry too awful, she’s always there to lend an ear.
Remember that you’re always learning.
“There is always something to learn from every relationship or every date. Sometimes you have to look for it, but it’s there. Take something from all of it so you don’t repeat those mistakes in the future.” –From J, my fabulous partner-in-crime, travel buddy and mischief maker, who always makes me feel loved, beautiful… and often, tipsy.
It all starts with commitment.
“Love is an up and down variable feeling that can change on a whim. But commitment is something you can do as a person. It’s the one thing you can promise that will never change. And committing to the person you love every day, regardless of how you may feel in the moment, will build a life and relationship of love that is both fulfilling and unbreakable. –From my long distance bestie, N, who has read every single one of these blogs before you have – and my book. Her support and unwavering loyalty is something I treasure dearly.
Get through the first six weeks.
“The first six weeks are the stage between vulnerability and being comfortable. They’re the hardest because you have to be patient, let things unfold and just relax. If you can get through those six weeks, you can then be the wonderful you in the relationship!” –From J, who is there for me on Gchat, over wine, in a dance cardio class, when I’m a good person and when I’m not. Her friendship brings such joy and comfort to my life in ways that I didn’t know a friendship could.
Don’t take it personally.
“Don’t ever take the rejection that goes along with dating personally. It’s never about you. You are only responsible for you and your happiness. So don’t ever feel guilty for asking for what you want and expect in a partner. And if you being happy means having to cut someone loose because they don’t fulfill your specific wants and needs – then so be it. And find someone who will!”-From E, my loyal, beautiful, always-up-for-an-adventure friend who lives her life out loud, fearlessly and with kindness. She is a self-made, supportive, creative spirit that has been my bestie from my NYC beginning.
You are going to meet your husband.
“What would you be doing if you were promised you’d meet the man you’ll marry in exactly 8 months? Would you go out more? Flirt more? Relax? Do those things. Live your life. That’ll help you meet him more than anything else.” –From K, my smart and sassy – yet soft at her core – friend who is way braver than me in the dating world, but inspires me with her ability to let go, move on and believe in better.
It won’t be as hard.
“Honey, when you meet the right person, it’ll be easy to see him. He’ll call you. He’ll make plans. He will be present. When I was worried about leaving my cats alone, your dad told me to pack my stuff and my cat and come live with him. There was no complications in the beginning, it was just love. There will be work later in the relationship – I promise you – but when you first meet, I promise you’ll feel magic.” –From mama, my mentor, my friend, my star advisor and the keeper of all truths and optimism.
You are easy to love.
“I don’t understand those New York men, Linds. You are intelligent, fun, enthusiastic, brave and a great person. There will be one that will realize just how easy you are to love, and I’ll know when it’s him. He’ll look at you like I look at your mom.” -From my daddy, the first man I’ve ever loved and the one who has loved me the absolute most. His spirit, his fire, his dedication to those he loves is something we could all learn from.
Make sure he’s worthy of you.
[When I contemplated having someone over just to have someone to cuddle with after an on-going void of physical contact lately] “What makes him worthy to share your bed? You want to do it, just to do it? That’s fine – but you want more than that. You deserve more than that. You can wait for better sex – and love. I know you can.” –From C, my roommate who manages to always talk sense in me, no matter how many glasses of wine (or lack of wine) we have. She’s warm and lovely, and always there to prepare pre-date and vent post.
Pick someone who picks you.
“Love is learning how to pick your battles, and finding someone that picks the same ones, but wants to win together at the end.” -From M, who from miles and miles away, always has the most perfect thing to say or encouraging text message to send. Her effortless whimsical attitude makes her incomparable and lovable.
There is so much love in the world.
“Hey mom! I know you had a bad date and you still have to take me out to pee before you go to bed, but look! There’s snow! And squirrels! And so much to sniff and see and places to run around until you’re out of breath. Everything is so amazing! And I love you!” -From Lucy, my sweet pup who has more energy and smiles than I could ever have myself. And who will always lick the tears away, no matter how many times they come.
There is love everywhere – especially through the eyes of those who love you the most. They help you remember it, see it, believe it and work for it when you forget – even if they’re just fury animals who make you smile when you wouldn’t otherwise. Today is your last day to write a self-love letter – so think, if your friends and family could tell you anything to make you see why you’re so great, what would they say? Take a cue from them and write it out to yourself now.