So, You’re Single…
In the age of social media, dating apps, and smart phones, you think it should be easy to date, right? If there is a website that you can visit to take a quiz to find your love languages, it should be easy to discuss these love languages and find someone compatible, RIGHT? Wrong. In my opinion, the dating game is more difficult than ever. I’ll admit, a worldwide pandemic keeping all of us in our homes for the past eight months has not been ideal for those single folks looking to meet their soulmate out and about, but I truly think dating through the “ease” of our smart phones has diminished the appeal to date properly. Now, I’m not saying I am the dating guru, so I cannot dictate what is right and wrong for everyone, but I can tell you that the three, grueling hours I spent trying out Tinder and Bumble was so unsatisfactory to me that I haven’t tried it again since. Some may argue that less than three hours is not giving the online dating game a fair shot, but there is just something about meeting in person that makes it a lot easier for me to determine compatibility. However, in these eight months of essential lockdown, and by writing these love language blogs, I’ve found some pretty cool ways to use my love languages on myself. Self-love is a pretty universal concept; society is heavily promoting loving yourself and building your self-confidence. There are large organizations like Dove who are creating Self-Esteem Campaigns to help young children, specifically girls, feel confident in their own skin and in relationships with others. However, actions speak louder than words has always been a favorite mantra of mine, so here are some ways you can love yourself based on your love language.
· Do your hair/paint your nails/throw on a face mask
· Hug yourself
· Hug others
Physical touch is tough for me to have as a love language as a single person, and the pandemic made it even harder. My first thoughts were about how I couldn’t hug my friends because 1) I wasn’t seeing them and 2) you aren’t supposed to have physical contact due to COVID precautions. But I never actually considered how I could do things on my own to help fulfill the physical touch void I was feeling. I’m not a high maintenance person – it takes me about 15-20 minutes to get ready for daily activities, but there was something about spending a little extra physical time on myself that soothed the soul. I started a new skin care routine, strived to workout at least a little bit each day, and even dyed my hair pink! These tactics aren’t meant to dissuade you from ever getting physical touch from relationships, romantic or otherwise, again, but you don’t have to live in agony if it’s just you. Take the time to pamper yourself, and celebrate the little victories. Hugging yourself may sound a little funky, but it really does help if you’re having a bad day. Quality Time
· Have some “you time”
· Write in a journal
· Watch your favorite videos from your favorite creators
Quality time: the other love language that I possess and associate with having a significant other. I had a hard time spending time with myself, especially because I was unable to see my friends. But instead of seeing it as being alone, think about it like finally getting some time to yourself. No one can tell you what to do, no one can talk to you during a movie, and you have all the power! This is one I combined with my physical touch activities a lot; I don’t particularly like working out in front of others, and all I wanted to do was lay down when I put on a face mask. My favorite way to think about solo quality time is as a reset. I can take time to decompress my life, feelings, and thoughts – by either thinking through my struggles or writing them down in a journal. I appreciate my time alone so I can further appreciate my time with friends and family!
· Get a new outfit
· Get yourself coffee or a meal
· Buy something that you and your friends can enjoy when you’re together I have never been one to love receiving gifts, but this has been something I’ve adopted over the last few months that has really been a point of sanity for me. Treat yourself!! I cannot stress this enough. I have always been money conscious, so spending money on new clothes, shoes, or unnecessary items is something I never do. But as I enter my mid-twenties, and want to be the best version of myself, I am beginning to understand how important getting gifts for myself is too. To reduce stress, I always make sure to plan and budget in my finances if I know I want a couple new outfits or a pricey item, but I also allow myself to just buy a coffee whenever I feel like it. This one also helped me get over my fear of eating in restaurants alone. Sometimes I wanted a deal that was happening in-restaurant, but no one to go with, and now I love treating myself to a yummy meal and some quality time.
Words of Affirmation
· Say five things you love about yourself in the mirror every morning
· Create a list of things you accomplished every evening
· Speak to yourself like you’re speaking to your friends Like I always say, no one is going to love you better than you. I meant what I said about actions speaking louder than words, but if you speak negatively of yourself, your actions will reflect that. Some days it’s tough to get up and love yourself, but trying to get into a routine where you have some scheduled positivity each day is crucial. Even if you only feel like you’ve had one victory, you still did something. Taking a walk around the block may not be a hardcore, ab shredding workout, but it is better than sitting on the couch eating Doritos. Learn to celebrate yourself, and it will make it all the more sweet when others celebrate you too.
Acts of Service
Acts of Service can truly be doing anything nice for yourself. This might seem like cop out answer, but continuously just servicing yourself is just as important as speaking words of affirmation each day. My favorite acts of service to promote is anything you can do for “future you.” For example, I try to write a little bit of papers and assignments each day during the week; I work full time as a grant writer, so I typically write 12-14 hours a day between school and work. By Sunday, when my work is normally due, I spend the day editing and rewriting things to make them better. The things I write during the week aren’t always perfect – or 100% coherent – but it really helps me on the weekend to not have to start everything from scratch and spend whole days trying to write something last minute. I also fill my tumbler up with water and place it on my nightstand each night so I can start every morning with hydration. These future acts will allow you to appreciate yourself for the things you do to take care of your mental and physical health.