Day 42: Romancing Myself

Yesterday after work I had an hour to spare before meeting a friend for happy hour. I didn’t go home and let the Nothing take me. Instead, I walked around downtown for a while.

Summary of my stroll from Fitbit

I’m very proud of that. I did something productive and enjoyable instead of doing nothing. And I’m also proud that, while walking, I made some realizations about Valentine’s Day.

It’s only two days away, so it isn’t surprising it’s on my mind. Damn if the thing doesn’t make itself known right? I cut the cord on cable TV over a decade ago and I subscribe to the ad-free version of Hulu. I don’t read any magazines or listen to the radio much. And still, Valentine’s Day advertising finds me.

The ads tell me I’m not good enough, as ads usually do. But what they’re trying to sell me is something money can’t buy:

Love. A romantic love with another person.

(The ideal, according to the advertisements, is heterosexual love between white people, but that’s a frustration for another time.)

First and foremost, despite all my best efforts to the contrary and many snarky comments, I do care about Valentine’s Day. This is something I haven’t admitted to myself before now. I’ve pretended it was just another day, or that I’ve been annoyed by it and it didn’t matter. Neither are true.

I care about Valentine’s Day. Both during the years with the Narcissist and the years that have followed, it has been a rough day.

My other realization was that I can do something about this. I can do all the things for myself that my ideal romantic partner would do for me.

Thus, I’ve now made plans for myself for Valentine’s Day.

I’m taking the day off from work. I will give myself a spa day, with a deep conditioning treatment, a bath, a face mask, a manicure, and so on. I’ll make myself a steak for dinner and I’ll buy chocolate cake to have for dessert.

I’ve even bought myself a thoughtful gift. I splurged on a Kindle, which I’ve been wanting for a long while anyway. (Confession: this was in part because I noticed they’re on sale on Amazon right now.)

I have plans with girlfriends for Galentine’s Day and then, the next day, I will celebrate the relationship I have with myself.

Does it sound hokey and does it make me feel a little sick with shame to admit I’m doing this for myself and am a little gleeful about it? Yes, definitely.

And yet, it’s going to help me fight the Nothing, and I’m perfectly willing to sacrifice a little ego in support of that cause.


  1. But it’s SO IMPORTANT to spend time with yourself, and spoil yourself a bit!! You totally deserve it. Not to mention, who the heck says you need a man to get you the things you want anyway? You know you best!! I love this. 🙂 I have been slacking on my self care lately and this was a good reminder of that. I hope you have a great time with your galentines and with yourself. 🙂

    1. I’m so sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond until now! Yes, all of it is so important. Sadly, the ability to take the time off didn’t happen, but in a general sense, I’ve learned so much about not only the importance of taking good care of myself, but also what that looks like for me. It’s a lot different than I used to think it was, that’s for sure! What are some things that work for you?

      1. I think taking care of myself looks different on different days. Every single day that means taking my vitamins and basic care. Other days that might mean pampering myself with a face mask or painting my nails. 🙂

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