Valentine's Day: Woman cancels date, chooses peace and her mental health over riding the love wave

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Kgothatso Motshele is happy about how she will be spending Valentine's Day. Image supplied by Kgothatso
Kgothatso Motshele is happy about how she will be spending Valentine's Day. Image supplied by Kgothatso

Kgothatso Motshele cancelled Valentine's Day plans other people badly want to have - myself included.

Being out on a date on 14 February sounds amazing, but she decided to cancel because the idea didn't excite her, and she felt like her energy was depleted.

In a conversation with her, we soon find out that the decision not to play lovey-dovey comes from a place of unlearning, self-care, self-love, peace and healing. 

And we are all for that!

READMORE | 'I act like I am fine, but deep inside I am anxiously thinking about Valentine's Day'

May we add that she is a hopeless romantic. She tells W24, "I am very corny, so I do enjoy celebrating occasions and making an occasion out of nothing. For that reason, I celebrate Valentine's Day.

"I don't reserve the day for romantic love only, though. Even when I was in a relationship, I have asked friends to be my Valentine, and I have bought gifts for a colleague. I will always jump at the opportunity to love on somebody else. I love Valentine's Day for that."

self love, self care, mental health relationships

Kgothatso Motshele's decision to stay in is self-affirming. Image supplied 

Kgothatso cancelling her day had little to do with the fact that it was Valentine's Day. 

"I had plans with someone I am casually dating, and we agreed to spend the day together because we're both single. I felt like I would rather rest and spend some time alone than go on a date," she says.

Admitting that she didn't want to go on a date was easy but deciding to honour the feeling was more difficult. What was even worse was having to disappoint someone else. But it had to be done because it forms part of her healing and honouring herself. 

READ MORE | Want to impress on Valentine’s Day? Then make sure to wear red

"Putting myself first is a recent thing I am trying. I think I have only been getting it right in the last two years or so. I have to be the first to validate and honour my feelings before I can expect anyone else to care for them. In therapy, I am learning only to do things I have the capacity for," she says. 

Ever heard people talk about their deal-breakers? Mental health is a priority in many relationships. "I cannot date someone who has no interest in my mental health," someone posted on Instagram the other day.

No one wants to feel unseen, unheard and misunderstood, especially when in a relationship.

"Fortunately, my date and I talk a lot about our mental health journeys, and when I explained my reasons for cancelling, she was disappointed but also proud of me. We rescheduled, so we'll still get to spend time," she tells us.

READ MORE | Why self-love matters even if you are in a stable, long term relationship

Kgothatso just got out of a five-year relationship where she was engaged. She is in no rush to get into a relationship for the sake of it.

She says, "I'm still figuring that out. I want to date and open myself up to new ways to experience love. I have lots to unlearn. I want to give myself as long as I need to figure out what the right love looks and feels like for me. It's not a priority for me at the moment either, but I'll be collecting the epiphanies and self-reflect as I go."

READ MORE | How China’s ‘leftover women’ are using their financial power to fight the stigma of being single

So what is Kgothatso doing today? 

"I'm going to meal prep for the week (I love cooking), listen to music and drink some wine. I'm thinking of having a solo date with candles, ropes, and toys and taking some nudes, but we'll see. Otherwise, more wine and series," she adds.

I am convinced that self-love is indeed the best love. She just made spending this day alone sound like a romantic scene. Putting herself first has enriched her experiences and has improved how Kgothatso shows up for others as well. "I am no longer as anxious and as exhausted because of overextending myself when I know I do not have the capacity for some things," she adds. 

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