How'd we get here? The age of self-love, self-care, and treating yourself how you want to be treated. Modern women are all about the aforementioned things, while also boasting about and encouraging other women to date themselves. I'm sure you've seen the posts and memes, watched the videos, and listened to the never-ending podcasts. You know, the ones that say, "Don't wait for a man, sis!" Or, "Set the tone, girl." Because a man needs to come in knowing how you expect to be treated. And the only way you'll have an idea of what you want that to look like is if you begin now, in your singleness, to date yourself.
But is this idea doing too much? Yes! Should those who engage in it stop? No!!
Because self-care isn't selfish and self-love is the best love.
I don't know about you ladies, but I'm a huge fan of the show Girlfriends. I truly believe it's the main reason I'm even paying for Netflix. Shortly after Mya went through a divorce, she was into self-help books that'd assist her in her healing and contentment. And one day, she was telling the girls how one book instructed that a woman should love, court, and wed one's self. And this is along the lines of what I believe and instruct my clients to do, if I'm honest. Yes, I want you to date, court, and wed thyself. It's important and crucial for this stage of your life, especially as a single woman who is hopeful for real love. But what does that look like? And why is it important?
Let's start with dating. So what is dating? It's a matter of 2 people going on dates with the intentions of getting to know each other. You don't know if you're going to like that man in 2 months or even 2 weeks. You're getting to know him to see if you're aligned mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc. You're aiming to determine his goals, plans, if you want the same things, etc. You're wanting him to learn about you, accept who, share the things you value, and respect what you believe. That's what dating is.
So, how does one date herself, with all that being said? I'll tell you. There's the person you think you are, the person you want to be, and the person you really are. It's time for them to get to know each other. Because one must go and 2 must merge together. What I need you to do is spend time with yourself. Take yourself out on small outings and do things with yourself regularly. Do things intentionally to connect with self. It'll reveal much to you about yourself. As you go on quiet walks, out to solo dinners, journal while at brunch, drive around with your favorite music playing, you'll learn so much about yourself. You'll learn parts of yourself that are lies, aspirations, and engrained. You'll learn things that are truths, goals, and innate. You'll learn what things must change, what things to accept, and what things need to be left behind 100%. There are great benefits to dating yourself, sis!
Just like with romance, as we date a man, we begin expecting a bit more. Next is courting, right? Some women say they want to be courted from day 1. Others want that trust factor to be established before allowing a man to court them. It's all about how you view courting, and what you define it to be. Ultimately, dating is nothing but another phase in the courting process. Historically, courting was a big thing. It was actually getting the families of 2 people involved who were considering and on the path to marriage. Most today feel as if courting is about a man showing up to their door with flowers for dates. They see it as mutually agreeing to be exclusive while determining if there's a future. Either way, it is more intense and serious than dating. However you define it.
Therefore, courting yourself is something I recommend. Because now you've gotten to know the real you. So kick things up a notch. This is where you go all out and splurge on yourself the way you desire to be treated! Because here is where you fall in love with yourself based on how you want to be treated, actually following through on those things. Do gifts matter to you? Then you should be purchasing things for yourself. Do flowers matter? Then send yourself flowers or at the least, buy fresh ones often to have on display in your home. Enjoy fine dining? Then make it a habit of doing this for yourself when you can. In this stage is where a strong sense of self-love is developed. And it truly does set the tone for any subsequent relationship. Because at this point, there are things you've gotten and grown accustomed to. Whether it's fancy dinners, gifts, surprises, mini vacations, etc. And therefore you expect a man who's serious about you to do the same. Keep in mind you can't get here until you've truly taken the time to date yourself! Just like a romantic relationship, the dating stage is all about being intentional with the screening to see if this person fits your future! Because graduating the courting stage leads to marriage for those who desire it.
Because at this point, there are things you've gotten and grown accustomed to. And therefore you expect a man who's serious about you to do the same.
Yes, I want you to wed yourself. "OK Coach Vee, get real!" I can hear someone's thoughts now. But I mean what I say. Well, no need planning a ceremony. Let me clear. And I don't mean being weird when people ask your relationship status and replying, "I'm married to me." That's a sure way to scare men off! Just like saying you're married to Jesus. Wedding yourself is the inner intimacy. It's being at one with yourself. It's vowing to choose you, no matter what. When we think about it, we know how important marriage is. God views it as a covenant. A legal, binding agreement that you're joining with someone. You're going to respect, love, be faithful to and loyal to that person. It's a sacred act and state that is God-centered. "Self-love is the best love" sounds great and I do believe it. However, one can't even develop this until they have truly spent time experiencing and being encompassed in the love of God. Because that's a love that teaches you how to view and see yourself. One that teaches you about grace, patience, and caring for yourself. Dwelling in His love is how you love yourself for real and also love others. It's what helps you love your future spouse better. But for now, the person you're wedded to is you. Meaning you won't cast yourself to the side or betray yourself. Ever again.
Here is where you experience a level of self-awareness and self-confidence that's out of this world. Because you've taken the time to truly get to know yourself. The ins and outs, the faults and flaws. You've traded the ashes and received the beauty. You know who you are and Whose you are. No one can tell you nothing! Meaning men can't easily get over on you either.
There are benefits of dating yourself NOW. It means you set the tone. You determine what it'll look like for someone to come in your life and be allowed to stay. You know what matters to you when it comes to affirmations, quality time, gifts, flowers, respect, etc. You know what mentally stimulates you and emotionally moves you.
I know that self-care seems to be the new "in" thing. But self-care is literally you caring for yourself. In all ways, all across the board. Your mental, your environment, your peace and joy. Once you've gotten in the habit of caring for yourself, there's no way on God's green earth that you'll ever date or be with a man that doesn't show how much he cares for you.
So I repeat what you've heard before. "Don't wait for a man, sis!" It's time to date yourself.