I’ve never been wild about the idea of romance. When I was young, I always had a crush on a Disney villain (who shall not be named), felt nothing for Prince William, and thought that Romeo and Juliet were so unstable that had they not killed themselves over a relationship that lasted a whopping four days, they had little chance of overcoming inevitable “baby mama drama.”
I have been with my husband since I was 19. I am in love with him. He comes home from work, we have a drink, cook a meal, make love, go for a stroll. It’s smooth sailing. On Valentine’s Day, there are gifts, trips to New Orleans, bubble baths. “I love you”s are exchanged dozens of times a day along with a slew of adorable pet names that would turn the strongest of stomachs. My favorite is “dragon baby” or maybe “little cat wolf.” Sickening.
While I do appreciate and expect a certain level of romancing and spontaneity out of my husband, I think that it is not only necessary but preferable that the main provider of romance and intrigue in my life be me. As a society, we have started to come around to this idea. We call it “self-care.” And while I am a wild about it, there is this maternal, almost wound-licking tone to it that makes me questions its lasting effectiveness.
Self-romancing is a lifestyle. It’s not something you pull out when you’ve gone overboard with your commitments, become too entrenched with family drama, or realized your children may just eat you alive if you let them.
What is self-romancing?
There is no kind of motivator like fresh romance. Tell a person to quit smoking and watch them walk away from you. Tell a person that their crush would never date a smoker, and lo and behold they are suddenly the Surgeon fucking General.
Imagine feeling about yourself the way you feel about your crush. What could you accomplish if you wanted to please, delight, and excite yourself with the same enthusiasm as if for a new lover?
Call it my Taurean nature (‘teves, astrology is not real — but it secretly is!). I make sensuality the driving force behind all that I do. I work hard to provide for the kind of life this sexy ass deserves. I dirty talk my future self constantly. Whether it’s not wanting to go to work, or not wanting to finish a workout, a little dirty talk goes a long way. “Ooooh baby, I’m going to proviiiide for you, you gonna be so taken care of.” “Oooooh honey, I’m lifting these weights to exhaustion for you. I’ll let you touch them later if you’re lucky, you dirty bitch.”
I am constantly thinking about new ways to pleasure and surprise myself. This summer I am taking a French language course at the community college and learning how to make the perfect steak au poivre. I might get a motorcycle and learn to play the drums because I want to impress myself.
Why is self-romancing important?
Do you identify with any of these feelings?
- You don’t like yourself.
- You feel dead inside.
- You feel bored and restless.
If you were your own spouse, would you have a good relationship? Do you do special things for yourself? When you “take care” of yourself, is it in the way that you would care for a child or a someone who is sick?
Stop and think about the kind of energy you are offering yourself when it comes to self-care. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of babying, but harnessing the power of romance to take care of yourself is an endless energy cycle that is worth tapping into.
How to start self-romancing.
The best way to start taking an interest in yourself again is to learn something new. If it’s new to you, you become new to you again. Follow that up with a reward that brings you pure pleasure — and repeat. When you do something for yourself, embrace desire and never tell yourself that you “deserve it because you had a hard day.” We are going to be with ourselves for our whole lives, so keep it spicy.
How do you put the moves on you? What have you done for you lately? Let me know in the comments below!
Tiara Shelley is the creator of the popular blog Damn Girl Get Your Shit Together. When not writing, she owns and operates a ballroom dance studio in the Midwest.
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