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Why Being Your Own Valentine is Bae

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I was never really big on Valentine’s Day. The reasons for my stance are more than I can count. I will admit that I always try to get my daughters something, even if it’s just some chocolates, just because I know how big a deal this day is to everyone else. But for me, nah. Of all the commercial holidays out there, Valentine’s Day isn’t anywhere on my list. OK, now, I know you’re curious, so I’ll give you the top 4 reasons why this “day of love” doesn’t mean to me what it does to others. And thennnnnn, I’ll tell y’all why being your own Valentine is Bae. Today and every day.

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Reason #1: 12 years ago, Jerrell Smith, a young man I cared for deeply was buried. This was 7 days after his death. He was so talented. He could sing his ass off and was a dope ass poet with a heart of gold So awesome. Had so much promise. And then BAM! he’s gone. So this day is a reminder that this happened, that I miss him. RIH, Boo. Love you!

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Reason #2: Before this year, 2019, I never had anyone that made me feel like I wasn’t single, alone, or unappreciated on Valentine’s Day. Yep, at 37-ripe-old-years of age, after two husbands and an ex-fiancée and this is the first time in my life that I felt loved. Well, by another person, anyway.

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Reason #3: A day set to show off how much someone loves you, with jewelry, stuffed animals, cards, etc. that has been bought and sold in bulk, that somebody else will definitely have one of, isn’t my thing. Write me an original poem or rub my back or take the children to dinner so that I can write. AND, when I don’t need someone who waits for one day, chosen by the big corporations, to show me how much they love me. I don’t need one day to show that I love you if I show you every day. If nothing else, let Valentine’s Day be the standard for the love and adoration that you show your significant other every day of the week, all year long.

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Reason #4: Being in love is the equivalent of being on a drug. The highs and lows take you on a rollercoaster that I’m not a fan of. I don’t do emotions. Just ask my girl. But I have to say, the feels can be fun, in moderation, just like any other inebriant. But how the hell do you get a handle on feelings? I mean, you can not pour another cup of liquor or leave the bar. You can decide not to take that hit of… whatever. But what you can’t do, is turn off love.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this thang!

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The Journey To Real Love

I learn so much from my daughters. Self-love, and how to love unconditionally, are definitely things that they have taught me. And as I mentioned before, I do try to get them something for Valentine’s Day, even if it’s a Candy Gram that I buy at their schools, that they don’t see coming. 'Cause, I mean, what girl doesn't love a surprise?

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But, I also tell them that they are beautiful and smart and talented and that I love and adore them every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. I make a big deal out of them doing the smallest thing, because they need that kind of affirmation to boost their confidence. Especially in a world that’s so cruel to girls and judge them by unrealistic standards. I love on them so hard so that when someone tries to give them the bare minimum, they’re not impressed.

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A Wake-Up Call

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About a year ago, I realized that I didn’t do the same for me. I was in a situation where I wasn't being treated well, and in a head space where I thought it was ok, and supposed to be that way. I had been mistreated for so long that I thought that was what I deserved. So that was what I accepted. I was broken.

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Before then, I'd never told myself that I was dope, and when someone else would tell me, because of my romantic track record, I felt like they wanted something for it. Usually, I was right. I could blame them for being terrible partners. But I couldn’t blame them for everything. I didn’t know what I wanted or needed, and my standards were ridiculously low, which meant that I didn’t demand what I deserved. Why? Because I didn’t know what love was. I'd never really been shown. But then one day... I woke up. I may not have known what love was, but I knew for damn sure what it was not!

Who Loves Ya, Baby? You Do!... Or At Least You Should...

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I stood up for myself and demanded the love and treatment I knew I deserved. It cost me everything, almost my life. But if given the chance, I would definitely do it again. Because now I know what I deserve.

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It took me losing everything, including myself, and going on a journey to find her… me… and convince me that I should give me another chance to realize the error of my ways. Now, can’t nobody love me better than I love me. And if you can’t love me like I love me, you need to move the hell around.

That’s my advice to all of y’all! And I’m gonna show you how.

I Love Me Some Me

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On Valentine’s Day, and every other day, I have to find a way to love on me. See, I believe that self-love is such an important thing. So few people do it. But I’m a firm believer that you can’t honestly say that you are or aren’t being loved if you don’t know what love is and feels like. And you sure as hell can’t teach someone how to love you properly, if you don’t know how you like and need to be loved.

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Not enough people know who they are, and they attach to others and accept anything that is given to them. That’s how toxicity is bred. That’s how people lose themselves in their mate, and if/when things don’t work out, you’re back at square one. It’s back to the drawing board. But here’s the thing… if you don’t know who you are, then where do you begin? Where do you go from there? What usually happens is that you attach to the next person and the cycle continues and continues and continues to continue.

But I’m here to help you break that cycle. Are ya ready???

Ways to love on yourself on Valentine’s Day and EVERY Day:

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Know your Love Language

You ever loved someone, or had someone saying that they loved you, but you didn't feel loved? It may be because they weren't loving you in the right language.

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Love Languages are the best thing since sliced bread. They’re like a zodiac for your love life. They tell you what you identify as loving, and each of us is different. Find yours. Then love on yourself that way. Get used to how amazing it feels. Then don’t take a love that doesn’t feel just as amazing.

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I had a friend tell me once that you have to "give a person the love they need, not the love you want to love them." Knowing your own, and subsequently your partner's, love language allows you to love one another how you need to be loved.

The dope thing about love languages is that you don't have to be with someone who loves just like you. You just have to be able to show them what you process as love and have an understanding of what they process as love and then love on one another that way.

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But, before you do all that with somebody else... *leans in and whispers* Why not start with you first?

A Hot Date

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Take yourself out. Yeah, it may be awkward, especially tonight, or this weekend, when everyone is all cuddled up and shit. But if you’re a bold one, then have at it. Walk up in that restaurant, face beat to the gawds, dressed like the diva you are, smelling like heaven, and sit down to a good meal. Hell, T-Pain yourself and buy yourself a drink… or two. But not if you’re driving, because though dating yourself ain’t illegal, drinking and driving– it kinda is.

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Fellas, this goes for you, too. Go get a fresh line-up, step out all crispy and fresh, smelling like bow-chicka-wow-wow, and get yourself a nice t-bone steak. Or go for a walk in the park and enjoy the beautiful scenery that nature has to offer. Go to a movie, a concert, a play. Take yourself shopping or to the museum. Try something new– sip’n’ stroke (painting, pervs lol), pole dancing or line dancing classes, do comedy/poetry/karaoke open mic, work-out, or go to a yoga and meditation class.

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The benefits of these is that they give you the chance to socialize. To meet others with no romantic expectations. To enjoy life, even if you’re single. Because, contrary to popular belief, being single isn’t a death sentence. You can breathe being single. You can still eat, smile, leave a mark on the world, and be a great person– and still be single. *Gasp* Who knew?!

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Now, here’s the kicker, if you do happen to meet someone when you’re out with yourself, get their number, but don’t let them– or getting to know them, stop your journey to get to know you. Because, the most important part of this is learning to enjoy your own companyGet to know your dopeness. The kinda food, movies, events and outings that you like. These will be great tools in educating your next love interest in how to love you– properly.

Notes to Self (Positive Affirmations)

Write yourself love letters. Tell you what you love about you. Be honest with yourself. Define things that you need to work on, and then tell yourself that you’re ok the way that you are, while planning to improve in the areas you see fit. Celebrate your successes. Write notes on note cards to yourself that you read daily. Meditate on them. Speak them aloud. And then go out into the world and manifest them shits! Speak life into yourself.

I made a slideshow of memes and little notes that encourage me. Save 'em to you phone to revisit when you need to. 

Netflix, A Joi Miner Novel, and Chill…ed Wine... 

There’s nothing better than binge-watching a series and having a bottle of wine, or some soda pop, or a smoothie. See, the difference between drinking out and at home is that you’re already at home. Laugh loudly. Cry openly. Write in your journal. Eat that whole pint of ice cream, make yourself some popcorn, cook you dinner. Enjoy your space. The space you work hard every day to pay for. And then do it all over again, as often as you see fit.

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And of course, as an author, I am under contract with myself to let y'all know that reading my books are another awesome form of entertainment. Click the link to read my most recent release, "King & Dani: A Feelings on Safety Valentine's Day Prequel". (There! I've met my contractual agreement to me. Lol.)

Gettin’ A Lil’ Freakyyyyyy

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OK, now I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring this part up. I mean, it's my favorite subject. Lol.

When I said get to know you, I meant all of you. This is another issue that I found with me, and y’all know I have no issue sharing any stage of my journey, so buckle up. Here's some music to set the mood! Touch Myself by T-Boz is my jaaaaammmmmm! Now that you're feelin' me (see what I did there? Lol)... Read on.

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I went on a what is coined by a fellow Blogger Brianne Patrice as a “single on purpose” journey after my last relationship. It lasted 231 days. That’s 33 weeks, or 7 months and 17 days. I didn’t have sex with anyone for 126 days (18 weeks or 4 months and 4 days of that time). Granted, I was no stranger to masturbation before that, I really found myself waist-deep in it during that time. Lol. Did I just say that? Yeah, I just said that. Lol.

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During this journey, I didn’t date. I spent time with friends, my children, and myself. I didn’t sleep with anyone, either. I didn’t want there to be any kind of emotional attachment, or expectation of anything more, just because I took them down through there.

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I had a stockpile of batteries, and a plethora of toys to choose from. I mean, g-spot finders, butterflies, vibrating and non-vibrating dildos. You name it, I had it. And it was glorious. I could get me off without being worried about anybody else. Or worse, not getting mine because they got theirs first.

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I learned how to achieve an orgasm– in many, many different ways. Yes, there is more than one way to have an orgasm. Ten proven, to be exact... Wait, or is it twelve? Lemme go back and do a lil' more research.

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I know you're thinking...

Y'all: Joi, how come you know this

Me: How cum you don't?

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And, when I was ready to date, sex was completely different. Again, I’ll go back to the point that, if you don’t know how to get you off, how in the world do you expect anyone else to know? They don’t know your body. It’s your body.

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If you think the idea of loving on yourself is nasty, then hey, don’t do it. But lemme give you a little nugget here to think on. How the hell can you rationalize letting someone else enter your body or running up in someone else, if you can’t do that with, to, or for yourself?

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Here are some other ways to love on YOU, today, and every other day. Try it for seven weeks and see if you don’t feel the difference. It takes that long for anything to become a habit and for there to be noticeable results.

Now, go forth and love yourself and the ones that truly love you back!

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Happy Lover's Day To You & Your Bae!

So, to all the lovers out there, Happy Lover’s Day. I hope you love on one another like you do and will every breathing moment. But most importantly, I pray that you love on yourself just as hard as you love on one another.

And to my sexy singles out there, love on you. You deserve it. You are worth it! That needs to become the new trend.

You can get to know yourself and someone else. These things are not exclusive.

Oh, and when you achieve le petit mort (the little death) or as we like to say it, bust a nut, testing out some of those methods I showed you... You're welcome. Lol.

Love y'all! Now go love on yourselves AND each other... in that order. 

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Always,

Joi Miner

PS To my Love, thank you for making this my first Valentine's Day that matched every other day that we share with each other. Thank you for giving me the love I've always dreamed about. 

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