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How Do You Want to Be Loved

How Do You Want to Be Loved

How do I want to be loved? A note from Samantha.

Hello, dear ones.

Among other things, the Valentine’s Day holiday summons questions such as “How loved am I?,” and “How good a lover am I?” In pursuit of an answer to the latter inquiry, I looked long and hard for creative ways I might express my feelings to my partner. I googled, I brainstormed. And in the midst of this exercise my phone pinged. On the screen was a link to this poem in The New Yorker:

by Maggie Smith

How long have I been wed
to myself? Calling myself
darling, dressing for my own
pleasure, each morning
choosing perfume to turn
me on. How long have I been
alone in this house but not
alone? Married less
to the man than to the woman
silvering with the mirror.
I know the kind of wife
I need and I become her:
the one who will leave
this earth at the same instant
I do. I am my own bride,
lifting the veil to see
my face. Darling, I say,
I have waited for you all my life.

Wow. This resonated in my core!

As I returned to my notebook of ideas for my partner, I realized that I had never actually made a list for myself—a list of things that would make me feel seen, respected, appreciated, loved, and valued. Have you spent time considering actions that would make you feel seen, respected, appreciated, loved, and valued by your own self? Do you know what those actions are? And if you don’t know, how will your partner know? 

Why don’t we, as women, romance ourselves more often? As the longest relationship you will have in your life, the relationship you have with yourself deserves all things bright and beautiful! What is the love relationship you have with yourself today? And how can you enhance it?

Our capacity to love others is a direct reflection of our capacity to love ourselves. Romance can be an incredible way to receive positive reinforcement about one’s self. But without intentional time spent to understand, challenge, heal, and celebrate ourselves, our relationship with another can become a kind of codependence—an experience where you rely on your partner for the sunshine that allows you to bloom from within. When feelings of self-love are also present, the quality of that connection glows. 

To know your worth is no small feat. To cater to, nurture, and grow yourself is essential. To romance yourself is essential.  And so it is with this thought that I give myself not permission, but exaltation and encouragement, to romance myself—and to wish this for you, as well.

Encourage this inquiry in your partner, too. How does he or she want to be loved?  Then let each other know what you need, because love is our highest calling.