Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love

It’s cheesy 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.

Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love

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 then we won’t feel the need to constantly agonize over whether others are validating us, which makes for much easier, healthier, and less stressful relationships. Heck, it makes for an easier life in general! Not to mention, self-love has a way of shining through and attracting the right people to you. And 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.

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.

Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love

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 and meditation, 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.

Why Self-Love is the Way to All Love

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!

Avatar of Jennifer Spillane

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: 112 Comments

  1. Avatar of Jenny Marsh

    Jenny Marsh

    I stopped caring about what people think years ago. Honestly, it has helped me listen to my own voice.

  2. Avatar of Meredith Lewis

    Meredith Lewis

    If you’re always trying to absorb the vibes of others, especially if it’s bad, it’s going to take its toll on you.

  3. Avatar of Kristen Andresen

    Kristen Andresen

    I want to love myself more but the people around me always make me feel useless, like I can’t do anything right… No matter how hard I try, I always feel inadequate.

  4. Avatar of Diana Delic

    It’s so difficult to love yourself because society makes us feel like we’re too entitled or that we’re self-absorbed whenever we would do this. It’s like a little self-love will make others murmur things like she only cares about herself. When in fact, all my life I’ve cared about others and now I just want to prioritize my own happiness first. Let’s not just others when they’re doing this because we don’t know what they’ve been through. We don’t know what made them like that.

  5. Avatar of WILLIE


    Learn how to acknowledge your little achievements daily. Those feelings make you feel very special and good.

  6. Avatar of Diana Murathanova

    Don’t love other people until you figure out how to love yourself. I’ve been there and nothing good came out of it. I only attracted broken people that made me feel worse until I was so ready to bury myself to the ground. Like-minded people tend to get magnetized together. You wouldn’t want that, right? So I really suggest that before you get into a relationship, figure out how you can appreciate your self more and love yourself more. It can help you see the goodness in everyone.

  7. Avatar of Mamie Howell

    We should all raise children who are happy and loving towards themselves and maybe it won’t be too hard for them to know how to love themselves in the future.

  8. Avatar of Rosalie Harris

    Rosalie Harris

    How do you really love yourself, anyway?

    • Avatar of Elizabeth Baker

      Yes, I also agree that it’s the little things. Like buying that cute pair of shoes!

    • Avatar of Deidre Timm

      Deidre Timm

      It’s the little things, actually. The little things that we don’t mind. Like having quiet time in the mornings while we drink coffee and we know that we feel thankful for waking up today.

  9. Avatar of Amelia Jones

    Amelia Jones

    You wanna know why we can’t love ourselves as easy as we thought we could? PERFECTION. We aim for that so that moment that we aren’t close to being perfect, we take a deep dive to misery.

    • Avatar of Tracy Fletcher

      Tracy Fletcher

      THIS!!! We think perfection is the goal so when we do something less than perfect, we feel so down and we think we’re not good enough.

  10. Avatar of Lucia Houston

    Lucia Houston

    I educate my child as early as now not to take crap from other people and that red flags should be taken note of.?

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