The newly released song of Miley Cyrus is garnering applause and also inviting bashing left and right. I give kudos to her for creating such a wonderful composition that can stir strong emotions, engage following, and start intelligent conversations.

These are the lines that have become controversial and which make women repeat and tell themselves as a reminder.

“I can buy myself flowers…

Write my name in the sand…

Talk to myself for hours…

Say things you don’t understand…

I can take myself dancing…

And I can hold my own hand…

Yeah, I can love me better than you can”

I’m not a highly opinionated woman but if there’s something that I feel I can put value in, I also do my share, for the benefit of my sheer small number of readers (ehem, my students and friends!).

Here are my questions:

  1. Why wait for a man to buy you flowers?

I know that we, women, or some of us may wait for guys to give us flowers because we enjoy the romantic gesture as it can make us feel special and appreciated. It does not have to be about flowers alone. It may be the thoughtful way of giving us what we like such as chocolates, books, cards, accessories, clothes or trinkets.

My take here is that we can furnish these things to ourselves. Why wait or why expect our partners to offer them to us when we can very much give them to ourselves? We should shower ourselves with these gestures so we don’t create unwanted longingness for it. We can even date ourselves to a nice 4-star dinner or even treat ourselves to a solo staycation.

If our men buy us flowers and all these things, well and good. That would be really awesome! Let’s not forget, though, that regardless of our partner’s romantic actions, we should be the first to award ourselves with the treatment that we want.

2. Why wait to have a partner to be able to talk to yourself?

Women love conversations because they provide a great way to connect and build relationships with others. Conversations are a way to share stories, experiences, and advice and to learn from one another. They can also be a great way to relax and just enjoy each other’s company. 

Although there are many benefits to having conversations with our partners, let’s also face the reality that not all men are skilled with handling both deep and funny conversations (sorry!). Some just want to go straight to hugging, kissing or …( you know what I mean!). Some prefer to be quiet and just show what they mean through actions.

Rather than waiting or relying on our partners for a talk, I guess it won’t hurt if we dedicate a designated time to talk to ourselves. Talking to ourselves can be a great way to gain clarity and direction in our lives. It can help us process our thoughts and feelings, brainstorm ideas, and reflect on our experiences. It can also help us to build confidence, resilience, and self-esteem. By talking to ourselves, we can gain insight into our values and priorities and make decisions that align with our goals and help us become better versions of ourselves.

3. Why can you not dance alone?

I understand that dancing is nice when done with somebody else, and for that matter, with your loved one. Who wouldn’t find it sweet and sexy, right? 

Dancing with your boyfriend or hubby can be a great way to express affection, build trust, and have fun together. It can be an intimate moment where you both can connect, share a laugh, and learn something new. It’s also a great way to stay active and creative together, so it’s a great activity for couples. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time together and create special memories.

But we must not also be afraid to dance alone. Dancing alone can be a great way to express yourself and let go of your worries. You don’t have to worry about what others think and you can be free to move in any way that feels good. You can also use it as a time to practice new moves, experiment with new music, and really focus on the feeling of the music and the movement. So why not give it a try?

4. Why can you not hold your own hand?

It’s just but natural for couples to want to hold hands together. Holding hands is a sign of affection and love between two people that can provide a feeling of comfort and connection. It is a way to show the other person that you are there for them, and it can even help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Holding hands is a great way to express love and intimacy, and it can be an important part of any romantic relationship.

I strongly believe that holding your own hand is an equally important gesture that we must do for ourselves as a woman. It’s about self-love and self-care. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety by providing comfort, calming the mind, and helping to regulate emotions. Holding your own hand is a simple, yet powerful way to show yourself that you are loved and cared for.

5. Why are you expecting your partner to love you better than you can?

Being in a relationship, it’s understandable to expect our partners to love us better than we can love ourselves. It’s about recognizing that our relationship is a partnership of mutual love and support. Through their actions and words, we hope that our partners will show us a level of care that’s more than what we give to ourselves.

But, in my view, I feel it’s selfish to want our loved ones to love us better than we can love ourselves. The goal must be to love ourselves so we can be more loving to them and our partner to also love themselves so they can be more loving to us. 

Our love for ourselves should be our own responsibility. In the same way that our boyfriends or husbands should not also expect us to love them better than they can do for themselves. That is their personal responsibility, too!

I know that the lyrics of this song are not just in the literal sense of every word in it. The bottomline is we, women, allocate so much of our attention and energy on our partners to the point of forgetting ourselves. Then when the relationship turns sour, it’s only when we realize that we’ve sacrificed so much for the love that we were yearning to have.

And the next part that I’d like to talk about next is enabling ourselves for more than just flowers, dances, conversations, and love. Because it’s Valentine’s Day, I’d also like to put my perspective out there and who knows maybe, just maybe, a woman or a man out there may ponder on it.

Though I can give myself flowers, I prefer if I  can be given access to my own room, and a room with a view would be lovely for that matter. I mean this in a literal sense and also in a metaphorical perspective.

In the past 3 weeks I’ve been traveling on my own, I was asked many times why I wasn’t with my hubby going places, what a married woman like me was doing which typical married women won’t do, and why I was allowed to travel solo. I didn’t get offended at all. In fact, I welcomed the conversations because I guess there has to be a discussion around a woman’s persona that should be independent of her man.

What must a woman have to be able to empower herself? For me, empowering entails a lot of things. It’s not just something you chant or holler when you’re in a street protest. I’m not a strong feminist. I do love men (yes, I’ve loved so many of them, haha!). 

It is an empowering feeling to be able to take ownership of one’s own life and make meaningful decisions. Empowerment also involves recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, and taking steps to ensure that one’s rights and well-being are respected and promoted. So when I define it this way, empowering a woman involves providing her with a domain where she can be who she really wants to be (again, independent of her man). This includes being able to take higher studies, engage in employment, pursue hobbies and interests, make decisions around having children, go on a solo trip, invest in properties under her name, start a business, and many more.

This, I feel, can begin when you’re given your own room at home. I’m not talking about the bedroom or the children’s room. I’m not referring to the living room nor the kitchen. I’m referring to a separate physical room where you can be on your own to journal, to meditate, to do crafts, to read, to sing, to dance, to exercise, and to spend your “me” time the way you want it.

Sure, I’d love to receive material things, but a space is where the empowerment starts to trickle in. A woman must have her own room and preferably with a view. A closed room is too suffocating. Putting in a window or balcony will make the view more refreshing.

I’m just probably lucky to have found a partner who allows me to do what I want in life and that empowers me to bring out the best in me by my own effort and choice. I can continue to develop my own personality, strengthen my voice, and deepen my core. And yes, I have my own room at home!

If your husband cannot provide it for you, at least be the person to provide it for yourself. Trust me, it will make a whole lot of difference in your self-esteem.

I hope you won’t be in a situation where you’d have to sing these lines:

“I can buy myself flowers…

Write my name in the sand…

Talk to myself for hours…

Say things you don’t understand…

I can take myself dancing…

And I can hold my own hand…

Yeah, I can love me better than you can”

Because with or without a man, we should buy ourselves flowers, write our name on the sand, talk to ourselves, express ourselves, dance alone, hold our own hands, and love ourselves better than anyone else can.

To my readers out there, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Maria Nerizza S. Veloso-Liyanage

A big believer in wondering, I founded Snippets of Wonders in hope of it being your Creative Learning Hub. Through stories, life lessons, strategies, ideas, resources, and courses, shared on this site, may I inspire you to keep wondering. For me, there’s always an option to live life differently…only if we WONDER enough!

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