Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love
It’s cliché but true: you have to love you before you can expect to love another person.
One of my close friends from college once told me that the most appealing thing to him is when he sees a girl out by herself–just having a coffee, reading or working–and having a great time. He explained that it’s a huge turn-on if she’s comfortable enough with herself to be alone and enjoy it.
As an introvert, he may have been a little biased, but I think he makes a great point. For one thing, if we already love and appreciate ourselves, if our partners do not have to constantly build us up, then there is time and space for other things in the relationship. For another, the love you have for yourself is a pretty strong indicator of your ability to love other people.
Become your own best advocate. It will make you feel amazing, and it will show potential partners that you value yourself enough to do it.
It’s cliché but true: you have to love you before you can expect to love another person. Like, really, really love another person. No matter how wonderful and doting your partner is, ultimately that person is going to do something you really wish they hadn’t. When that happens, you’re going to be faced with the realization that you’re dealing with a human being–a human being that is just as flawed as your family, your friends, the people you love as much as the people you hate, and you yourself.
The way in which you deal with these “shortcomings” will largely be defined by how you deal with your own shortcomings. If you are loving and accepting of yourself in spite of your flaws, you are likely to react with that same love and acceptance towards others. However, if you are disdainful and unforgiving towards yourself, expecting perfection at every turn, then guess what? That’s exactly how you’re going to treat your partner.
If you want to find love, you need to find a way to love you. Your version of self-love doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. You might want to practice yoga, or take the time each day to read a novel, or treat yourself to a bubble bath. Don’t be afraid to indulge or be a little silly. This is about becoming the best, most secure and vibrant you. So play. Try something new. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as it makes you feel cared for, worthy and in control of your own destiny because you absolutely are! Become your own best advocate. It will make you feel amazing, and it will show potential partners that you value yourself enough to do it.
By the way, the point is not to get a boyfriend. If you do loving things for yourself hoping that this will attract a man who will then take over, don’t kid yourself. Self-love, like many popular versions of romantic love, is a lifelong commitment. If you’re only doing it to attract a guy, it’s not going to work. The idea that prince (or princess), charming is going to save you or transform your life in some grand way is not only unrealistic. I’d argue that it’s overrated. Romantic love can certainly be wonderful, magical, and perhaps even transforming, but it works best when both partners have a sturdy foundation to build on. This is not the picture of love that the media or the entertainment industry would like us to have, but it is a picture grounded in reality.
Practicing self-love is its own reward. Remember that this time, before marriage or children or even a serious relationship, is one of the few periods in your life when you are able to indulge, spend time alone, and take care of yourself to the extent that you’re able to right now. It won’t be this way forever. Cherish it.
How do you practice self-love? Share your stories with us below!