23 July 2008, 10:37
Ah, summer. Big blue skies, singing birds, parties on the beach & tiny outfits. Is it any wonder that so many people are in the mood for lurve?
The problem, of course, is that we can’t always find someone worthy of our affections. Maybe they already have a girlfriend, maybe they’re always busy working, or maybe you run laps around them intellectually. All of these things put a damper on the idea of a summer romance! Even then, sometimes people are disappointing, or not as romantic as you’d hope, or they don’t share your fervour for eating cheese in treehouses. & I mean, honestly, a summer romance isn’t a summer romance without cheese in a treehouse. So I propose that you use all your loved-up energy on someone much more deserving.
You knew that was coming, huh? Regardless, here are my suggestions to have a rollicking good time summer romance with yourself!
The first days of fresh love are delightful & tender. You get to see the absolute best parts of whoever it is you’re seeing — such a lovely thing! Maybe it’s time to start awakening to your most fabulous features, too, & to start being gentle with yourself, regardless of the situation. Think of yourself as a new lover. Think about how supportive & sweet you would be if your new squeeze was going through a hard time, & then make an effort to extend that kind of love & grace to yourself.
Come on, now. Be good to you. If you won’t, who will?
Listen to yourself
Relationships often involve a lot of listening, especially as you’re getting to know the object of your affections. I know you’re thinking, ‘This is all well & good, but if it’s just me, what do I have to listen to?!’
The answer is that you need to start listening to yourself. Your actual, true, authentic, genuine, uncensored self. That voice which tells you whether you should do this or that. Not the rational, logical voice which takes over when we’re trying to convince ourselves of something, but the voice that speaks from a place of instinct & intuition.
It’s amazing, you know. We each have all the answers we need inside us at all times. We may think we need to ask other people, or read a book, or ask Google, but really, when it comes to what we should do about a given situation, we already know. Sometimes I like to remind myself of this by visualising my belly as a little all-encompassing galaxy, swirling with stars & question marks & answers & big, blinking exclamation points.
So make an effort to listen to your intuition. When it flashes at you — & it does, several times a day! — start paying attention. Do what it tells you, & see if it improves your life. (It will!)
Learn to compromise
This goes hand-in-hand with the point I made under ‘Court yourself’, which is about being good to yourself. That means that if you have a massive work-load but you’re exhausted & sick, you need to learn to put yourself (& your health) first. Similarly, if you’re feeling depressed & withdrawn but your friends have invited you to go out, you should probably accept their invitation. It’s all about doing what will make you feel better in the long-run.
Take sweet pictures
Yes! Romantic relics! A good photobooth strip is worth a lot. While normally you would pile into a photobooth with your beloved, have a smooch & wait for the photos to come out the other side, this time you have to go it alone. But don’t be afraid! Taking photos alone is funnnn! Dress up, blow kisses into the camera, dance around, pull silly faces, & when you’re done, put the pictures somewhere prominent so you can remind yourself how gorgeous you are on a regular basis!
Go out on dates
The best thing about romancing yourself is that you can go on dates that no one else could ever possibly understand. Want to check out the train museum, spend hours in the bakery supply store, stare at skateboards or attend a seminar on podiatry? You can, & you don’t have to convince anyone else to go along with you! Get dressed up, take yourself out & have a damn good time.
Buy yourself flowers, too. They’re an important part of the process.
Write yourself love letters
Love letters, or loved-up communique in general, is one of the best parts of being involved in a romance. It gives you something real, like a record of what’s happened, to hold, clutch to your chest, pore over obsessively (don’t tell me you haven’t done it!), & whatnot. Passionate letters are like the souvenirs of love.
If you’re having a summer romance with yourself, you might feel like this is just an arena of the lurve game you’re going to miss out on. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can write yourself love letters — & they will probably ultimately have more meaning to you than anything someone else could write.
What kind of thing am I talking about? Well, they could range from a series of amorous haiku to something snappier, like, Hey Gala, I noticed your ass is looking mighty shapely these days. Kudos!
They don’t have to be enormous, long-winded, flowery pieces of prose — you can keep them short & sweet & have them be just as effective. Even a couple of sentences is better than nothing. Make it part of your regular routine, a daily ritual if you can. Write one on a Post It during your lunch break, scrawl some endearing words in your journal before bed, rearrange the letter magnets on the fridge… Do it however you like, just make sure it happens!
Those are my ideas. How will you romance yourself this season?