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Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and whether you’re single or in a long-distance situation where you can’t see your partner, the day can seem pretty bleak. But it’s a great moment to seize an opportunity you may not have thought of: working on the relationship you have with yourself. It’s a time to treat yourself and become more in-tune with your body, mind, and heart.

Buy Yourself Flowers

It may seem cheesy and silly, but buying flowers is a physical way to remind you of the love you have for you. You’ll see them for the days following Valentine’s Day, and it’s a reminder of the things you find beautiful in life. Buy your favorite flowers, or if you don’t know what to get, I recommend lilies (they’re fragrant and will give your space a sweet scent over the following days). Treating yourself to little things like flowers is a small act of love for yourself, and you don’t have to wait for another person to do it. 

Dress Up

You may have bought an outfit over quarantine in the optimism of COVID ending to go out, or maybe you have something that you have had in your shopping cart online that you’ve been mulling over for a while. Whatever it is, get it and wear it! You are dating yourself tonight, and you deserve to feel gorgeous (although you always are anyway). Wear what makes you feel the most comfortable and beautiful, what makes you feel the most like yourself. Even if it’s sexier or maybe a different style than you would normally wear, in the famous words of Shia Labeouf: “JUST DO IT.” Once you’ve dressed up wearing however much or little makeup you want, done your hair, maybe even given yourself a mani-pedi, do a photoshoot! Love on yourself and how beautiful you are because this night is for you.

Light Some Candles and Put on Some Music

Just like the flowers, candles and music can seem cheesy, but you want to set an intimate atmosphere for yourself. Warm candlelight, the permeating scent enveloping you, and a mood-setting playlist can help you achieve a night to remember. Personally, as far as music, I recommend the Best of Vitamin String Quartet playlist (they’re featured heavily on the Bridgerton Soundtrack). They have so many other covers of songs we know and love, but gently and unobtrusively, they are great to create an ambiance of intimacy and self-love.

Make a Self-Love Jar

Part of treating yourself and creating a better relationship with yourself can be through affirmations. A great thing to do is make a self-love jar (box, envelope, or spreadsheet). Whether you sit down and write all the things you love about yourself in one go, or add to it throughout the year, it helps to revisit those self-critical moments of the love you have for yourself. It can also be great to review them the next Valentine’s Day to remind yourself of the little things you love about yourself. Just like we build relationships with other people, we have to create one with ourselves, and this can be a great way to work on that and treat yourself with love, grace, and kindness.

Have a Nice Meal

The next step is dinner. Depending on your circumstances, it may look different. Whether it’s taking yourself out to dinner looking like an absolute goddess, ordering in, or cooking a gorgeous meal. The key is to treat yourself. So have dessert, maybe a drink if you can, but make it a night to remember for yourself! Show yourself the love that you would like someone else to show you. If you’re cooking at home, maybe try a new recipe or an old favorite that feels special to you. Tonight is about you, so you get to choose. Perhaps even take the time to make your own chocolate-dipped strawberries that you don’t have to share with anyone else!

YOU Time

Now the final part of the night is dedicated to you and getting closer in touch with yourself. Maybe you take a candlelit bubble bath, go above and beyond on your skincare routine, spend the evening journaling or reading, doing your favorite hobby, or maybe put on your favorite lingerie and give yourself a big O (or maybe more than one). Perhaps you do all of those things, who knows, but it’s your night to treat yourself like the special person deserving of the love that you are. Do the things that bring you joy and instill your love for yourself, even if the relationship can sometimes be rocky.

Now, you’ve spent the night treating yourself. You may have become closer in your relationship with yourself, maybe you even discovered some things you didn’t know about yourself. However, the night ended, the important thing is to not stop at just one night. Show yourself love and treat yourself in your daily life with the small stuff. It will bring you closer to discovering the wants, needs, and desires for your life. Work on the relationship with yourself every day, and you may come to a point where you stop doubting yourself or criticize yourself less. Because the most important relationship you can have in life is with yourself.

Lusenda is a senior pursuing concurrent majors in anthropology and history, and a certificate in Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Projected to graduate in Fall 2021 from Arizona State University, she is applying for a Fulbright Scholarship and hopes to get her Masters degree abroad in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. As a queer non-traditional student with disabilities and community college transfer, Lusenda is passionate about writing that connects with a range of underrepresented demographics. When she isn't busy studying or writing she loves knitting, cooking, binge-watching Netflix, drinking too much coffee, and snuggling with her cats.
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