I’m single. And, honestly, happily so. It’s not that I don’t want a partner, a husband, to share my life with. It’s not that I don’t want love. I do. I long for a union with someone who understands me, accepts me as I am, doesn’t ask me to be anyone but who I am, and who honors me for who I am. Who doesn’t want such a blessing? But, until the time that I am with this man (and I absolutely know, without a shadow of doubt, that this is coming to me, at the most perfect and divine moment), I’m romancing myself.

It took me a long time to learn to love myself. For so many years, too many years, I felt unworthy of love. I felt I had to earn it, by being the best daughter, the best sister, the best student, the best friend, the best employee, the best girlfriend possible. The pressure I put on myself to be perfect was unbelievable. As a child, I never misbehaved, never got into trouble, never broke a toy, never made too much noise, never asked for anything, never asked for love, never made myself a “burden” to my parents in any way. I felt I had to earn their love. I hoped that by being the perfect child they would love me the way I yearned to be loved.

In college I strived to make the best grades possible, and accumulated A after A, Dean’s List after Dean’s List, honor after honor, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with English Honors and a 3.97 GPA. I asked for nothing for graduation. In fact, I was surprised when my parents gave me two gifts: a fancy new typewriter and the Oxford English Dictionary. .

As a girlfriend, I slaved away in the kitchen, cooking up gourmet meals, seducing with my kitchen witchery. I am a great cook and I know it. This is something I pride myself on. With a combination of intuition, love of good food, an innate knowledge of what tastes good, sensual appetite, and love of the best ingredients, I am able to conjure up wonderful, earthy, sensual meals that make men swoon. I have wielded this magic like a weapon, and no man has ever been able to resist. One bite, and they’re mine. At least, for a while.

After my last serious relationship ended, I was at a loss. I felt so unloved, so rejected that getting through each day was an effort that seemed overwhelming. Why was I so unlovable, I wondered, and how was it that women I knew who were not perfect, not undemanding, not uncritical, not gourmet chefs, not perfectly beautiful, were in loving, happy relationships? I went deeply within. My innate sensuality and love of things that feel, smell, sound, look, and taste good won out. I decided that just because I was single, it didn’t mean that I should deprive myself of anything. I started spending more money on food at the Farmer’s Market. I missed eating delicious food, and realized that if I wanted it, I’d have to make it for myself. So I did. I also started buying myself flowers, nice perfume, and sexy underwear. Just because there was no one there to appreciate it but myself, it didn’t mean that it went unappreciated. I really, really appreciated it! I liked the feeling of soft silk on my body, the smell of beautiful perfume and scented candles, the taste of fine food in my mouth that was made with love.

That New Year’s Eve, I was alone. I went to a market and bought myself a seafood buffet of smoked salmon, shrimp and crab, a small bottle of my favorite champagne, Veuve Cliquot, and some fine chocolates for dessert. I came home, lit the candles and had one of the nicest New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had. There was no debate about what to do, no arguing over a menu or restaurant or whether or not to go to a party, no need to be out in the chaos of a New York City New Year’s Eve, just peace and tranquility and lovely food, and most importantly, Gratitude.

I did the same for several New Year’s Eves as well as Christmas. Some people have said that it’s horrible that I’m alone on these holidays, and that they wish they could invite me to their festivities, etc. etc. and I usually tell them the same thing: It’s OK. I will have a fine time by myself.

Tonight, it’s Halloween. Not a very important holiday, but one which I’ve always liked. I’m alone, and tonight I’m making myself coq au vin, with pastured fresh chicken from the Farmer’s Market, steamed potatoes and a beautiful salad of microgreens, also from the Farmer’s Market near my house. With it, I have a really interesting red wine and some cheeses for dessert, followed by an Italian almond paste cookie. I have fresh flowers on the table, which I will set, as I always do, with my simple flatware and cloth napkins. I will not eat in front of the computer, or standing up in the kitchen, will not answer the phone if anyone calls, and will not have a TV on ( I do not own one). I will serve myself, sit down, offer a prayer of thanks for the blessings of this meal, and leisurely enjoy every bite. When I feel like it, I will clean up. Then I’ll enjoy the rest of the evening, doing whatever I feel like doing, and go to bed when I feel like it.

This is my single life. And, from what I’ve observed, this is a lot better than the life of most of the people I observe. What is different? Love of self, I think. I decided to love myself unconditionally, and treat myself the way I would like to be treated by my partner.

The meal was delicious, by the way. As I was cooking it, I realized that the last time I’d made that dish was over 12 years ago, for my ex-fiance. What a pity that I waited so long to make it for myself.

Author's Bio: 

Anna Pavlakis is a BTB Feng Shui Consultant, Intuitive and Spiritual Counselor, Celestial Light Healer, Teacher, Public Speaker, Channel, Certified Usui Reiki Practitioner and energy healer. Anna has given workshops at East-West Living, Aveda, the NY Theosophical Society, and the Alignment Center, and has appeared on the Staten Island cable TV show "Second Sight" with Chris George and Christine Schiavone. She has recently done a rare public channeling at Wesak 2010 in the Catskills of Lord Averran, a Galactic Master who resides near the Galactic Core. She is a student of Pierre Dubois, and a member of the Council of 12, working to heal the planet and help the human race ascend. She can be contacted at apavlakis@wooddragonfengshui.com, www.wooddragonfengshui.com