Blossom Independently, Love Interdependently

By Tami Kiekhaefer, LCSW

Remember reading the story line, “Girl, go buy your own flowers!” and we all rushed out, buying our own flowers, writing our own self-love notes, posting “I love ME” sticky notes on our bathroom mirrors. 

And that felt great.

Until, the flowers died, and the love notes faded, and the sticky notes fell off the mirror. 

That’s when the reality set in with the realization that it would be really nice to share a sunset with someone or have someone text good night before drifting off to sleep, or someone checking in to see how that crazy meeting at work went. 

Do you know why? Because extremes never work, and defense mechanisms only put a band aid on the real emotions that can only be stuffed in a tiny box inside for so long. 

Telling ourselves that we don’t need someone in our lives to make us feel happy and have a sense of worth is not wrong. Needing someone to fulfill this space can feel like we are losing our independence as women, or setting ourselves up to rely on someone that might not follow through and keep us lonely in the end. 

But wanting someone to be a partner, to hug and snuggle with us, that is normal, and healthy, and okay too. 

So what if we recognized the defense that we put up to guard our heart, and instead, took our power to develop a strong sense of self and the ability to understand the difference between need and want. 

What if we created a realistic list of what we are needing in our lives to create a healthy, romantic relationship? 

What if we took that look in the mirror and recognized what we have done in our past relationships to push people away, put up with bad behavior, stifled our ability to be assertive. 

When we shift our perspective and allow ourselves to be vulnerable in a healthy, well-intentioned way, we just might answer the door to a florist with a bouquet of flowers and a card saying, “You have worth and I’m grateful for you XOXO” .


Tami Kiekhaefer, LCSW has operated a successful psychotherapy practice since 2002. She provides individual, family and couples therapy around anxiety, depression, domestic violence, trauma, relationships, and empowerment. She has taught workshops and spoken on podcasts guiding people to gain awareness of what is not working in their lives while offering strategies to gain a sense of internal control. 

Tami is a certified yoga instructor and weaves concepts of holistic therapy into her clinical work. Combining a body, mind and soul approach, she addresses every angle crucial for stability and peace. 

Her book, Preparing for the Jungle: Avoiding Snakes and Pitfalls on the Path to Healthy Love  provides hand-on tools required to work through the past, stabilize the present and prepare for a loving relationship. Having experienced her share of heartbreak, Tami’s compassion with real life adds to the richness of her writing. 

Imagine being able to sort through the past, stabilize the present, and prepare for the future in a safe and structured environment. Her book and supplemental self-paced course will provide readers the hands-on tools, strategies, and exercises to implement that will change how you see yourself, others, and the course of your life in a positive and empowering way.


NFM Staff
Author: NFM Staff

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