Wouldn’t it be nice to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, no matter what…for the rest of your life?

For a celebration that’s meant to be about love, Valentine’s Day sure can bring up experiences far away from it. Whether you’re single, separated, in a relationship or in an unhappy relationship, insecurities related to romantic love can surface in one form or another. However, if your perspective expands beyond only romantic love to include self-love and even love itself, you can experience a happy “Valentine’s Day” for the rest of your life.

You may have heard that to truly love someone, you need to love yourself first. While this may not be completely true, when you and your partner practice self-love, it certainly provides a stronger foundation for the relationship. A healthy sense of self-love includes having an inner security, self-acceptance and self-worth (please note that this is not aligned with narcissistic attributes that narcissists like to equate with “self–love,” which is not from a space of self worth).

Whether you truly love yourself or someone else, it’s the same love. It comes from the same source: You. It’s a matter of where you place your attention. If you’re able to love someone deeply, then you can also love yourself in a similar way and treat yourself as you would towards someone you’re in love with. Discover what brings you joy, what relaxes you and what you really like to do. Learn about yourself from a space of intrigue rather than judgment, as you would towards someone you’re falling in love with.

Romantic relationships can be exciting but without love and friendship as a foundation, they can also be inconsistent or unpredictable. Too often, people confuse lust or romance with love. While you can have lust and romance within a loving relationship, it’s not the same thing. Much like how pleasure and instant gratification is not the same thing as happiness. We can experience pleasure and gratification as part of our happy feelings but if we only depend on them for our happiness, it can lead to disappointment and unhappiness. If we only rely on lust and romance as our experience of love, it can lead to disappointment, emptiness and loneliness.

Rather than connecting the celebration of love with only romance, open up your perspective. This is possible when you include relying on yourself for your happiness. Enjoy your beautiful partner and romantic relationships, but remember that you are the source of your happiness. You are the source of unconditional love.

Perhaps, You are also the love you have been waiting for. The reliable, trustworthy person that will always understand what you’re thinking and will never abandon you. Cultivate this healthy, loving relationship with yourself and you can ensure that you will always have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

This post was originally published on New Stress Relief’s website.