This Valentine’s day, you’re in a relationship. No, not with the person you made out with last night in exchange for breadsticks, you breadstick-loving weirdo. You’re in a relationship with yourself.

Love it or hate it, you’re stuck with yourself. Even if you wear a cool fake mustache, you’re still the same you. So, knowing that you’re married to yourself, how do you get along?

Forgive Yourself

You probably remember every stupid embarrassing thing you’ve ever done.

I know I do. Oh man do I remember my failures, especially the weird ones. I screwed up two different first-kisses when I was younger, and do you know how bad that messed with me and my ego? All I could think about in math class was how I was an embarrassing weird loser who screws everything up.

I learned, though, to forgive myself. Stuff happens to everyone. You’re not uniquely terrible and people don’t remember stuff. No one in college looks at me and goes “that’s the kid who ate half a leaf-energy card in 1st grade.”  Similarly, no one else remembers all the weird stuff you did; they don’t care, and neither should you. Move on and forgive yourself.

Improve Yourself

If you want to love yourself, make yourself worth loving.

That sounds meaner than I mean it. What I mean is that you should be yourself, but if you want to be happiest, you should be your best self. Don’t just think about doing things; do them.  Push yourself to go the gym or sign up for a play. Make yourself into the best version of you and you’ll fall in love with yourself right again. Narcissism just means you’re in a self-dating honeymoon, right?

Find Supportive Relationships

You know the couple that has transformed into one, immovable person? The type of couple that holds hands at sports-bars and finishes each other’s increasingly boring sentences? Don’t do that with yourself.

Just like they need to get away from their partners, you need to get away from yourself to like yourself more in the long haul. Don’t burn out on self-love: go hang out with friends and have adventures. Similarly, don’t get too caught up in dating that you forget your own personal time. Like any couple, being in a relationship with yourself requires you to spend some time with yourself, too. Otherwise you’ll break up with yourself, and I don’t know what that’d look like, but it doesn’t sound fun.

Treat Yo’ Self

The most fun advice is the best advice, too.

Treat yourself, and treat yourself well. Go eat good things. Go watch cool movies. You’d do that on a date, right? So go there with friends. Order in Thai food on a snowy night and watch Netflix. Hop in the shower with yourself. Sleep in and make brunch. It sounds like a good date, doesn’t it? Doing it by yourself, for yourself, is just sound, good living. Take yourself out to concerts and treat yourself well: it’ll be good, make you happy, and who knows? You might find someone cool who likes those things too. And you’ll have such good practice being awesome to yourself you can be awesome to them, too.

Photo Credit: Daniele Zedda