A couple of years ago I learned about Sophie Tanner, a 37-year old from Brighton, after a long string of disappointing breakups realized that she had enough and married herself.
At first, I just regarded this as a single fling or artsy performance. But then came Linda Doktar, a 34-year old life coach from Australia decided to go through with the ceremony after a painful breakup. And Laura Mesi, a 40-year-old fitness instructor from Italy, made a pact that she will marry herself if she hits 40 and doesn’t find the Right One, and that’s exactly what she did. And some other women too.
After doing research I came across a Japanese travel agency that offers bridal ceremonies for single women. So, is this a phenomenon?
A Youtube interview with the first woman sparked a very emotional reaction, both negative and positive. Most of the comments are on the former side, unfortunately. Users label Sophie as a “narcissist” and “miserable spinster”, call her out for being just a “lunatic, seeking attention”. And that was the moment I realized that I don’t subscribe to this point of view. As a matter of fact, I realized that with all my self-criticism I can hardly imagine doing something like that. It required the amount of self-love and self-acceptance that at that time I couldn’t even dare to imagine. This was the moment I started my quest to find ways how to like yourself. There were highs and there were lows. There were moments when I felt absolutely stuck. There were diets and makeup challenges and etc. This list below is my personal list, put in no particular order, the steps that helped me most throughout years of this journey.
1. Talk to yourself as you would with your best friend
Your friend went on a date and it went badly. The Tinder date was rude and then left. Or never appeared. Or they were dumped. Would you look straight into their eyes and tell him or her:
- Of course, what else did you expect? You should be thankful for being given even a chance! Just look at yourself. You are so ugly and boring! How on earth would you ever get anyone by your side! How on earth should you ever be treated?
Your friend would definitely slap you in the face or block you forever and that would be the most reasonable decision. But that would never happen because you would never tell something like that to a person you sincerely love and care about. And now put yourself in the place of the said friend. How does it feel now?
The way you talk to yourself speaks a lot about your self-esteem and can answer a lot of questions regarding your well-being. Do you scold yourself too often? Do you praise yourself, but not enough? Before changing your attitude to yourself you should change the language you apply to yourself.
2. Treat yourself like you would treat your significant other
Hack the media love industry, ask yourself out! You might have already had a bucket list of things you would like to do with your lover/partner/tinder date/spouse and that’s great! Just use this bucket list on yourself. You don’t need a partner to go skating, party, hiking, that yoga class or restaurant/cafe you really wanted to dine and wine at. If you are looking for the best candidate who can fulfill all your wishes and expectations, it’s no one else but you yourself!
And as it was mentioned before: people take this to a higher level and even marry themselves. But you don’t need to rush, of course, take some time to know yourself better before making a move.
3. Practice acceptance
Accept your past failures. Accept your present struggles. Accept the fact that the future is unknown. Accept even the fact that you are not going to love yourself immediately after reading the article. Accept the fact that it may take a longer time than you expected. Accept your imperfections. Accept the fact that no one is actually perfect: the world is filled with imperfections and this is the most exciting part of it. Accept that you won’t feel uplifted all the time. There will be times when you won’t feel uplifted at all. This is still not the end. This is how you learn how to like yourself the way you are.
4. Acknowledge your progress
Do you ever wonder about how you like yourself? Step back and admire all the work you’ve done to be where you are. Even if it is as small as taking a shower or leaving your home. Try writing a list of things you already like about yourself, things you have accomplished, even the smallest ones and things that have changed for the best. Put it on your wall and whenever you need some self-awareness, just a glance at it will make you feel better. It will be easier to like yourself if you have these arguments right before your eyes.
Use this checklist the way it suits you best. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t put yourself under pressure. I hope that these tips will help you like yourself more and eventually marry yourself in a metaphorical way (or you can throw a party if I am invited).