Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

Relationships

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.

By 

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.

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. 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.

Why Self-Love is the Way to All LoveThe 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.

Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love

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!

Raised in California and North Carolina, Jen is both an actress and a writer. She loves writing fiction, especially for young adults, and exercising her non-fiction muscles through Urbanette and her chocolate blog: Chocofiles. Jen also loves adventures, yoga, live music and spontaneous dance parties.

Reader Discussion: 21 Comments

  1. Rosemary Robles

    Perfect timing. A really brave call you made here. This deeply resonates with me, thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Sometimes life can be so confusing, and it’s nice to read words that cut right through to the soul and address the truth like this one. Thank you. 🙂 🙂

  2. Heather Strobel

    This is exactly what I needed to hear. Reading this meant so much to me. In fact, I will read it everyday this week and beyond until I own it. I think this article does a great job of clarifying an area that has had people very confused. Thanks for encouraging us to let ourselves off the hook, gently listen to our own wisdom and love ourselves.

  3. Kimberly Vigil

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying. Thanks so much for pointing this out. This is a food for my soul and I am going to be digesting it for the next several days. You showed me that no matter what I seek to do in the world I must first and foremost, take care and love myself. Thank you for this beautiful piece of writing! 🙂

  4. Lela House

    Thank you so much for these great words. I think you did an exceptional job with this post. It was so thorough. I am deeply touched. These words reminds me of the fact that we enter a time of more consciousness and awareness of ourselves.

  5. Grace Stirling

    Hands down, one of the most helpful posts I’ve read. The timing of me reading this couldn’t be better. You have spoken to my soul and all the layers of me exactly what I desperately need to embrace this year. You have opened my heart and articulated my deep human purpose so beautifully in your article. Thank you so much for writing a lovely article.

  6. Helen Dark

    These are powerful thoughts as I work on me and my hunger for wholeness. Makes so much sense. This is exactly what I have been dealing with myself. Before I can offer love or thoughts to others, I have to be rooted in me, finding and feeding my true voice.
    Thank you for honoring us with your brilliance.

    xoxo,
    Helen

  7. Louise Stone

    This post gave me a fresh perspective, Awesome. Absolutely gorgeous writing and thought are in this post. You’re words are so lovely and reach deep in my heart. You’ve opened a new door in my path to love myself even more. Thank you for affirming that we are important.

  8. Hazel Collins

    I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on this topic. It came at the right time and answers so many questions for me. I even felt more relaxed just by reading your article. Thanks Jennifer. This one will be read, again and again.

  9. Elsie Spurlock

    A beautiful post, thanks for sharing. I agree with you on every level. Love is the way. If we love ourselves, we have more love to give and share and the world becomes a stronger place for it. Thank you again for the reminder of this perspective. 🙂

  10. Jenny Garett

    Beautiful and practical approach to self respect and love. I hope to apply it to my life. Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you for reminding me to be my own soulmate and to always be my soft place to land. Reading this article is the perfect start to my day and the rest of my life!

  11. Esther Earl Harris

    Thank you so much for this article. The timing is perfect for me. Thank you for the clarity. I love the notion of my purpose being to love myself. This was the written equivalent of a warm hug after a tough day.

  12. Merry Robinson

    Yes! I’m keeping this one. Sooo beautiful. Just what i needed to be reminded of today. I’ve been struggling with this for the last several months and I now feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my heart. Thank you! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. Cornelia Green

    I love this Jennifer! Your energy is amazing. These tips are so helpful for me. Thanks for sharing. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us and for putting yourself out here. Great post.

  14. Ashley Moore

    I feel like you just gave me a hug and then I gave myself a hug. 🙂 This is total brilliance! Just desire to say your article is as astounding. Thank you for putting it into this fabulous string of words. You hit the nail on the head. I’ll be sharing this with everyone I know at every opportunity.

  15. Melani Kalev

    That’s a good one! Very useful reminder. It sounds like a cliché but the quest that many of us have – to find the dream guy -, it will never happen if we’re not in sync with ourselves. And when we’re finally in sync and marching to the beat of our own drum (incl fully loving ourselves), we can see more clearly the wrong things and people in our lives, and we’re more open to the right things.
    Living alone in a foreign country where it wasn’t very easy to find ‘my tribe’ I became my own best friend and I learned the art of self-love. This experience, not always great, has made me stronger and I wouldn’t change anything about it. Frankly, I would rather prefer that all the young people would go through it at least once their life.

  16. Jen Garcia

    After reading this article, I was like “mmmmmm….”

    I remember back in first year college, I had no boyfriend and I feel a loser each time I need to eat alone. I even skipped meals because I really don’t want to eat alone. For me, having a companion in everything I do makes me proud, complete and happy. But my friends had their “partners” (and I had none, never had one) so they can’t spend most of their time with me. My first year in college was really a struggle. But, I discovered that if I keep hiding instead of people seeing me do things alone, I won’t survive college. I read books about building self-confidence and I consulted the university’s guidance counselor to help me. And one thing that the guidance counselor told (that I remember clearly until now) me was “You can do it, if you’ll learn how to love yourself.”

    She was true, when I learned to spend time in the cafeteria alone, I gained more friends (even met my boyfriend who’s now my husband). One thing I learned is that, doing things alone (or having some time alone) does not make you a loser BUT a TRUE winner because not all people discover how to love and appreciate oneself which can only be done if you spend some time alone.

  17. Gabrielle Williams

    Wow, this article brought me so much clarity. We’ve all heard that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else… but I was never sure why. Maybe I’d be a better partner if I had high self-esteem – more put together, happy and confident? Maybe that would make me more attractive/fun? But that didn’t seem like the whole picture.

    Jennifer gave me an AHA! moment here: “The way in which you deal with these “shortcomings” will largely be defined by how you deal with your own shortcomings. 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.”

    Finally! Thanks, Jennifer! And now off to practice some self-love with my newfound mindfulness…

  18. Courtney Watson

    You can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t love yourself, how can you give and share love to others?! That’s impossible.

    I love how the author of this article explained self-love! Fantastic!

  19. Ansley Barrington

    Too many people look for a man to cure all their problems, but that'll only end in disaster! This is really great advice. In order to pamper myself I love taking bubble baths with Lush bubble bars.

  20. I agree, in order to love someone else, you must love yourself first. I'm trying to practice my own form of self-love by engaging in yoga and spending a good amount of time reading. I already enjoy spending time with myself, so everything I partake in is mostly for my own benefit. Men and woman love to see a potential spouse whose confident, passionate, enjoys life and truly loves themselves!

  21. Excellent advice! It's definitely important to spend time on yourself, without ulterior romantic motives. Personally, I love setting time aside to read (extra points if I get to sit on a window seat with tea in a rain storm, but a good book is a must).

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *