Updated: Feb 9
It's not just for partnered people, lovers and those in situationships!
Day to day life often sucks the romance out of our lives, spirits and relationships. Usually in a quiet stealthy way, drawing on the exhaustion created by the capitalist grind culture we have been born into. While it’s normal for the romance of daily life to fade away, there’s a personal power in consciously choosing to bring it back.
Most articles and blog posts I’ve read on this subject talk first and foremost about how to keep the romantic spark alive in our sexual/romantic relationships. Here I want to focus on the romanticism YOU deserve in your daily life whether partnered or not. So if you’re looking for a “How to Keep the Spark Alive” checklist - this sure as shit isn’t it! However, if you’re looking for ways to fall back in love with living, with yourself and with your own daily life - read on!
Why Bother with Romance for One...
Personally I can’t count the number of mornings I’ve woken up with perfectly normal days, plans and projects on my calendar - and yet my inner sparkle refuses to join me. Instead all I felt was mild dread at having to ‘grin and bear it’ through another day. So how does one bring back their inner sparkle for life when everything seems to blur from one day to the next, with news headlines so dark you can’t tell what is satire and what is actually happening in the world?
Reflection Creates Room for Romance
For many moons I would wake and happily prepare a favourite coffee for my partner, or a freshly squeezed juice for my love. It took many more moons before I realized I had never cared for or catered to myself in this way. This realization hit like a ton of bricks… Why would I put so much love, time, energy and thought into caring for a romantic partner but not myself? The only answer I’ve come up with so far is this - I was never taught to love myself first. Instead I mimicked what I saw on TV, read in books and in what I saw in the relationships around me. Which was to pour all my love, passion and attention into my beloved - before ever considering that I needed some of that love and energy for myself. So here I was giving 110% to my romantic partners while hoping the runoff would be enough to sustain me in the times said romantic partner(s) weren’t meeting my emotional, social or love and belonging needs.
I think you can guess where this is going… that didn’t work. Not once. So a few years back I decided to flip the script - how could I love me first, more and better?
By extension, how can you love yourself more fiercely?
Start small. Imagine yourself as the lover, partner or person you’ve always wanted to wake up with, hang out with, fall asleep with - the works. For the first time in my life instead of waking up and saying “UGH I guess I have to take care of myself today” it was “Today I GET to take care of myself.” This manifested in so many ways throughout my daily routines I cannot begin to capture them all in one post. So let’s talk about the handful that made the biggest impact.
Ever catch yourself doing simple self care tasks more frequently when you’re partnered or newly dating - things like shaving, moisturizing, exercising, eating well, etc? Take other people out of this equation all together. Start asking yourself what matters to you and why. For example exercising and eating well - most of us want to look good naked for our partners - but what other benefits do YOU get from doing these things? Do you feel better in your own body? Are the stairs at work easier? Hell is it just easier to get off the couch? Find the smaller reasons to pour time and energy into your own self care, and then keep those in focus. Celebrate your wins regardless of if they would be considered wins by anyone else. Because let’s face it, self care isn’t self care if we only do it for someone else.
I think everyone I know has let their place get to be a bit of a pigsty and then as soon as someone is coming over it’s panic cleaning mode! Not only is this unnecessarily stressful for yourself… but ask yourself - do you not deserve to enjoy a clean and tidy space even when no one is coming over? Our environments are a reflection of our inner state of being - everyone is a pigsty sometimes, but show yourself the same courtesy and effort you would a new romantic partner or friend. Take the time to tidy up, put things away, light a nice candle and bask in YOUR safe, clean environment.
One of the coolest things about learning to romance yourself is the realization that your relationship with yourself will last your entire life. Regardless of how many times you disappoint yourself, or let yourself down.. You can’t leave you. It’s both impossibly frustrating and beautiful. Learn to seduce yourself the way you’d want a partner to seduce you. Take the time to learn what your body, mind and spirit respond to! Whether that's with gentle or rough touches, new toys in the mail, or a guaranteed orgasm routine that clocks in at 2.5 minutes no matter the time or place (here’s mine). We get one body for this wild and crazy life. Learn yours, love it and let it love you back.
For me personally this one has been one of the hardest to lock down. I tend to want to do all the things, even when my body is telling me to slow down. In order to show myself love I have to be rested, there is no way around it. Subsequently in order to show anyone else love, I have to be loving towards myself first. Have you ever tucked a loved one into bed when they’ve had a long hard day? Learn how to do the same for yourself. Leave your phone in the other room, wear your favourite pjs, drink your favourite tea before bed - whatever it is YOU and YOUR body need in order to get the rest and relaxation you inherently deserve.
This is so different from person to person. It can also be hard to identify solo joy if you’ve never tried to find it before. For me I knew how to identify joy through a partner - watching their face light up when seeing a favourite artist live, laughing with their friends over wings, swinging their nephews through the air - I could see so clearly the things that brought them joy. It took me much longer for me to figure out what brought me joy. Now I know my version of joy is seeing a new leaf unfurl on a plant, watching my pets play and experiencing their own joy, throwing the final stitch into an art project for a friend's new baby. Finding what brings you joy, and then making the time to do actually include these joyful things in your life is, I believe, one of the most romantic things you can do for yourself.
You Are Worth the Effort
I spent years hoping to be brought joy, romance and fulfillment through relationships, both romantic and platonic. It only took about thirty years for me to realize I was the one who could give these things to myself. Romance yourself! You deserve it, and it will create room for even more romance, love and gratification in your life.