Breaking Down the Break up
Moving on with your life as a newly single women can be a daunting prospect. Without the distraction of a relationship you are suddenly forced to face yourself. You can be left wondering who are you? Which bits are you in a crappy relationship? What have you forgotten about yourself? What has been just under the surface waiting for a bit of space and sunshine to start growing? And the most frightening question of all; Am I lovable? Would I even date myself? Well would you date someone that constantly questions your abilities, minimises your achievement and dwells on your failures? Would you date someone that was constantly critical of your appearance? Who shamed you every time you ate a piece of cake? Would you date someone that physically harmed you? Cut you, starved you or encouraged you to drink or take too much? Would you date someone who forced you to do things you didn’t enjoy, that made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe? Would you date someone that didn’t pamper you occasionally and give you long unhurried orgasms? Are you in an abusive relationship with yourself or a loving one?
What does ‘Love yourself’ even mean?
I always found the ‘love yourself first’ dating advice rather ridiculous. I knew that I didn’t love myself but I certainly loved my family and friends and that they cared for me. I was capable of loving and being loved by others, what did loving myself have to do with dating? Why should my sometimes negative feelings for myself be a barrier to experiencing the highs and low of a romantic relationship? To have healthy relationships we need boundaries. We must have expectations around what we need and what is not OK. Boundaries are hard work to enforce especially for women who are often expected to put themselves last. Having appropriate and firm boundaries with yourself and others requires practice. If you are in the habit of treating yourself poorly it is very easy to get in the habit of letting others treat you poorly too.
Starting to Date Again
I sat at a restaurant at the end of a pier watching the sun go down and the kite surfers zoom past, sipping on a divine lemon meringue cocktail. The live guitarist was playing all my favourite songs. It was quite possible the best date of my life. All I had for company was Naomi Wolf’s ‘Vagina: A new biography’ and some light-hearted flirtation with the cute waiter. After this date I decided I was a pretty fun woman to be around, beautiful, charming, intelligent and sensual. If I met someone like that how would I treat them? I would make time to be one on one with them. I would encourage and praise their exertions, soothe their hurts, massage their hands and feet, look them in the eye and tell them how beautiful they are. Their sexual satisfaction would be one of my priorities. I would make yummy healthy meals for them. I’d regularly sit down and dream with them over copious cups of tea. So why couldn’t I treat myself this way? I am going to learn how to be my own perfect date. Once I know how to be a good lover to myself, I will be a better lover to others and I can show that special someone how I expect to be treated.