Me? I love Valentine's Day! I love all of the cute trinkets, homeware and gifts that come out and have no qualms purchasing too much of it for myself, regardless of whether I do or don't have a boyfriend to share the day with. I actually blogged about why Valentine's doesn't suck for single people last year because I was so sick of seeing all of the single people bitch about the holiday, particularly when you know that most of them would think otherwise if they were in a relationship.
I feel much the same this year, of course. It's my second year of being single on Valentine's Day and I honestly couldn't give less of a fuck because I still love the day, I still love buying cute bits like heart shaped candles for myself and I still had a lovely day. My sister and I swapped gifts for each other, spent the day in London together and then ordered a Domino's in the evening- pretty perfect, right?
The thing is, after the year I had in 2016 in terms of boys, I actually feel like right now, I actually prefer being alone. I spent 2016 not only learning to love myself and who I was but also trying to get involved with other boys and it was just... a disaster. After being treated so poorly in my previous relationship, there's no denying that my standards are pretty high now because I will honestly settle for nothing less than perfection; I want to be treated like the Queen I finally see myself to be. It's taken long enough for me to learn to love myself, for me to recognise what I actually deserve and how I deserve to be treated- I'm not settling for less than the absolute best. Is that really that unreasonable?
So on Valentine's Day, I truly took some time to love myself. To pamper myself. To appreciate myself. Right now, I'm in the mindset that no man is ever going to be able to love me the way I love myself, and I am a firm believer that the relationship you have with yourself is of the utmost importance.
"If other people make you happy, they can also make you unhappy"
We have to stop relying on other people to make us happy, because as Hugh Grant realises in About A Boy, "if other people make you happy, they can also make you unhappy". I'm fed up of searching for happiness in another person- in a man. I'm not going to find it. A man might be able to make me happy, that's true. But if I'm miserable within myself, with who I am and what I'm doing, I'm never going to be truly happy. I'm never going to be able to give 100% to someone else if I can't even give 100% to myself.
I've mentioned it before (countless times, actually) and I'll mention it again; 2016 was the year I learnt to really love myself, more than I ever have before. With the help of my true friends and my family too, I feel like I really blossomed as an individual and grew into the person I now feel I should have been all along. I see now that spending too much time with the wrong person really stunted my growth. 2016 saw me evolving, lead me on a journey of self discovery. Now, I know my worth. I know who I am and what I want. And I'd be lying if I said it wasn't thanks to these boys...
This guy was the first guy I kissed on my first night out as a single girl. With my beer googles on, he was the hottest guy ever. I don't remember his name or anything about him, and the only reason I even remember him after getting insanely drunk that night is because he continues to stalk me on almost every night out I have. If I see him, he always comes over and tries to kiss me. It got to the point where I actually had to have him removed from a club for harrassing me. Never. Again.
The fuck boy
There was, of course, the fuck boy. He pulled a classic "I'll slide into her DM's" shortly after it became public knowledge that I was single and it wasn't long before his charm wore off and he was turning into a bit of a sleaze. Me being me, I couldn't help but fall for the guy anyway, and he continued to fuck me about on and off for the vast majority of 2016. Sigh.
I met a guy on a night out. We had fun together. He then proceeded to stalk me for the next couple of weeks of my life, even dragging another girl with him into my place of work and following me around the shop, whispering and giggling. The message he sent afterwards saying 'you see me today' was the final straw and that boy was ctrl+alt+deleted.
The nice guy
Or so I thought. I was actually having a really nice time getting to know this guy, hanging out and so on. Then I found out how he'd treated his previous girlfriend (horrifically, by the way), about all the girls he was messaging asking for nudes while with me and I realised I didn't actually like him all too much. Next!
The booty call
This guy only ever calls me at 3am, 5am, 2am- when he's drunk- and then gets mad when I don't answer...because...I'm sleeping? Isn't that kind of obvious? One time, I did answer and boy do I wish I hadn't. Guess what he wanted? Sex, at a drug den he was hanging out at. Right there and then I knew I was better than this. #Blocked
The final guy of 2016 was the worst. This guy allowed me to open up to him, more so than I had to any previous guys throughout the year, and to actually begin liking him and wanting more from him and then what did he do? Yep, you guessed it; he ghosted. Just like that we went from messaging all day every day to absolute radio silence; he was gone off of the face of the Earth as far as I was concerned. Fab.
"Keep your heels, head and standards high"
Pretty tragic, right?
I think that I felt like I couldn't be single. After being with someone for almost six years, I didn't want to be alone. I liked being with someone all of the time- or so I thought. As a result, I was dropping my standards and accepting 'okay' instead of 'amazing', all for the sake of not being alone. And really, I've got to thank these boys because they made me change my mind set. Not only that, but they've also helped alter my entire outlook on relationships too.
It's so easy to sit there and say it's my fault- my fault that guys ghost me or fuck me over or mess me about. It's probably all my flaws, or because I don't look like Kim Kardashian right?
There's nothing wrong with me, and the right man will think I'm perfect in every single way, flaws and all, excess weight, bed hair, bad temper and everything else. But, that being said, the fault does lie with me, and the fact that I'm not ready to be in a relationship yet. I need to be alone. 2016 showed me this. Don't get me wrong, if my dream man came around the corner I wouldn't say no- but what I will stop doing now is settling for okay, for average, all for the sake of not being alone. The thing is, I'm not even alone! On Valentine's Day I had two of my guy mates (who aren't in the 'friend zone' for anyone who might be about to suggest that!) send me cute Valentine's messages, and my best friend Alex did too. I had lovely gifts from my sister. Every other day of the year I'm showered with nothing but love and praise from my other friends too, not to mention the rest of my family. Being without a man does not mean that I am alone.
"I'd love you but I need another year alone"
Catfish and the Bottlemen said it best in '7' when they sang "I'd love you but I need another year alone". Because I think that I do. I'm still working on myself, for myself, and until I'm truly happy within myself I can't allow myself to turn to someone else for happiness. I'm a work in progress, and who knows how long that will be the case for? Not me!
And anyway as the cliche goes, I am a strong, independant woman who don't need no man!
I'm not saying other people can't make you happy; they definitely can! My friends and family make me happy all of the time! But that happiness can be temporary; you need to try and find happiness within.
I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day, single or not, but never forget that the most important relationship you'll ever have is the one with yourself. Work on it every day, learn to love yourself as much as you can and you'll feel so much happier, I promise.