Skip The Ben And Jerry’s, Date Yourself!
“I had this conversation with my daughter about a boyfriend after her relationship ended and I said, ‘What do you miss about it?’ And she said, ‘I miss how I felt while I was in that relationship.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can give yourself that.’ She didn’t miss him. She missed who she was. These are all things we can give ourselves. They do not depend on a man… “
I wish Arianna had been my mom, imparting that kind of insightful wisdom to me as I sat sobbing into a vat of Ben and Jerry’s while watching another relationship crash and burn, all those years that I was single.
I did finally figure that out, but I was around thirty and it was hard won; I had the skid marks on my heart to prove it by then.
Every man that I had shared a relationship with left his emotional imprint on my life.
Some more than others.
“Oh Ouch, THAT one’s gonna leave a mark.”
Besides the break up yuck, they very generously left me with some lovely parting gifts.
One guy had a great sense of humor and loved music, another was smart and a foodie, while another was so sensitive and loved so purely that I wanted to wrap his heart in scotch tape and bubble pack so it could stay that way forever.
Many DID make me feel like the best version of myself when I was with them; funny and smart, possessing impeccable taste and wisdom; a vixen who could recite poetry, cook and wear sexy lingerie all at the same time.
You know, THAT version.
It finally became apparent to me that it wasn’t the guy, it was the attention and energy he focused on ME.
When someone shines their light on you, when they gaze at you with eyes filled with newly minted love, you can have the biggest nose zit or spinach in your teeth, and they make you feel like you’re freaking Angelina Jolie.
I felt worthy; and I had to figure out a way to feel worthy without someone else’s validation.
Once the glare of their spotlight dimmed, I soon figured out that some of the guys weren’t all that great.
With some distance between us, I realized I didn’t miss THEM , I just missed the travel, nice restaurants, fun filled weekends, jazz tapes and smart banter that each one of them had added to my life’s repertoire.
Okay, I can do this, I thought, I won’t wait for a man to do it, I’ll make my own damn jazz mix tapes and take myself out on dates.
I unapologetically saw every chick flick I wanted to see.
By. My. Self.
I love live music and theatre, so I would buy a ticket, or two, and go with a friend.
Eventually, I purchased season tickets to the Hollywood Bowl and The Pantages and a membership to LACMA, where I would wander unselfconsciously, and watch with relief, all the other couples awkwardly navigating their first dates. The museum’s Friday night “open house” with wine, cheese, music and free art made for fantastic people watching.
I started to treat my weekend nights like date nights, only I was dating……myself.
If someone mentioned a great new restaurant, I’d grab a girlfriend and go for happy hour, or Sunday brunch.
I missed the weekend trips so I started traveling alone.
I drove from LA to Steamboat Springs Colorado to see my friends, and visited the same friends in Europe for three weeks By – My – Self.
I’d do weekend jaunts to Santa Barbara, Big Sur and San Francisco.
My days and nights were full and fabulous.
Dating myself helped me get to know me better.
Previously I would morph to please a man, not wanting to seem too high maintenance or valuing his preferences over mine.
Not any more.
I knew what I wanted to do and I went for it.
I’m pretty sure that’s when the worthiness came in.
It won’t stick if you’re not 100% authentically yourself.
You can’t be posing on some guys arm, acting as if you like Ethiopian food, violent foreign films and polo shirts.
Worthiness will evade you until you live your OWN life.
You can even carry this into a committed relationship.
My husband goes off riding motorcycles with Mad Max style gangs of middle aged men in some remote desert around the world pretty regularly; leaving me to my own devices.
This is when I take the opportunity to reacquaint myself with myself and do only the things that please ME.
At this stage of the game me, myself and I have such a long and rich history there’s no need for a ton of chit chat, we communicate telepathically.
We go buy our favorite Non-GMO cornbread crust pizza that my husband thinks tastes like drywall, and plenty of rag mags like People and US.
We go play with our make up and false eyelashes, and cook eggs in a teddy.
We usually earmark some time for a massage, a long, turn of the century British film, and a bubble bath.
We may even go shopping and buy ourselves a little something at one of the expensive local boutiques – because, well, because we’re worth it 😉
What do you do to give yourself an interesting and full life? How do you get away from needing the outside validation to feel worthy?
I’d love to hear your stories!
Sending only love,