I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day. I love the hearts, the chocolate (obviously) and the anticipation of what just might be the perfect date with the perfect guy.
I even have special Valentine's Day outfits in my closet: a magenta and white heart-print blouse, a color-block shirt that boldly pairs red with pink and boasts frilly sleeves and a pair of fuchsia Vivienne Westwood pumps decorated with a gigantic red heart on each toe.
But here's the thing: In my 26 years, I can count on two fingers the Valentine's Day dates that have lived up to my expectations (and one of them was just with my BFF, involving multiple pitchers of sangria).
The rest have been a bust, including mascara-stained tears and getting catfished by a boy who turned out not to be a boy at all. More often than not, I've spent the most romantic day of the year alone, eating pizza or cupcakes (usually both).
So this year, I'm saving my boyfriend from the roses that cost more than an Uber on New Year's Eve. More importantly, I'm saving myself from the uncomfortable and underappreciated special occasion negligee.
Instead, I'm vowing to fall for myself this V-day.
In a world where the beauty industry relies on your insecurities, where real life is Photoshopped and filtered and where we're constantly being criticized, scrutinized and manipulated into thinking we're not enough, self-love isn't only an important aspect of self-care, but it's also an act of rebellion.
Self-love is all about appreciating your own unique brand of beauty and recognizing your myriad gifts. It's about saying “no” to comparisons and realizing you are perfect exactly as you are. It's about never again having to question your own self-worth.
It's about making the time and space in your life to take care of yourself, celebrate yourself and — most importantly — honor yourself and the divine being you truly are.
No matter how dreamy your boyfriend is, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is sometimes, the greatest happily ever after comes from falling in love with yourself first.
When you do, you will never be lonely. Here are 20 undeniable advantages of falling for yourself:
1. You begin to attract amazing relationships in your life.
2. You can go after anything you want (including your dream guy).
3. You no longer settle for anything less than you deserve because you know your worth.
4. You're a happier person.
5. You realize you're capable of doing and achieving anything you set your mind to.
6. You know what you want, and you unapologetically go for it.
7. Your confidence level skyrockets.
8. Annoying people don't faze you as much.
9. You no longer look outside yourself for validation.
10. You have a luminous glow.
11. Strangers smile at you more.
12. Every area of your life improves.
13. You become a miracle magnet.
14. You have this uncanny ability to light up a room.
15. Other people no longer have the power to offend you.
16. Your entire world expands.
17. You become a lot better at saying no.
18. You rise above drama, gossip and situations that don't serve you.
19. You make better decisions because you love and respect yourself.
20. You will never be lonely.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? It is.
Wondering how to achieve this magical freedom?
Or, better yet, on Monday, February 15 — after the price of roses has dropped back down to normal (which, let's be honest, is still too high) and after the chocolate hangover and bitter taste of Valentine's Day's unmet expectations have subsided — do something for yourself.
Join thousands of women from across the world for Love Bomb Bootcamp, which is 30 straight days of radical self-love alchemy.