In my mind, nobody says it better than RuPaul, “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
It makes me smile every time I hear it now, although it felt like a slap in the face years after my last relationship ended, and I was still single.
Had I not spent most of my adult life figuring out how to love myself? So why do I continue to have failed relationships?
I read Eat, Pray, Love a million times, I channeled as much of Diane Lane from Under the Tuscan Sun, and Must Love Dogs as I possibly could. It felt very easy to get into a downward spiral around loving myself, I was still having failed relationships.
But why is it so important to love yourself first? Contrary to what you might believe, what I certainly believed, it isn’t too attached to a partner. The goal of loving yourself is not to find a partner in the end.
This is what I have been doing wrong, I have been loving myself to find a partner. You need to love yourself for yourself. I also feel that if you can't love yourself, how the FUCK do you expect someone else to love you?
If we are being honest, and we have no reason not to be. Loving yourself is an ongoing practice. You need to wake up each morning and choose to love. Eventually, it becomes second nature, but here are some tips to help you love yourself.
- Fill your cup: we have all heard this phrase, but make sure you are doing things that make you happy allow you to approach relationships from a space of giving not lacking. Being able to fill out your emotional cup means when you meet the right person, you won’t be dependent on them. Emotional dependency is a state of mind where a person is incapable of taking full responsibility for their feelings. This reliance puts strain on both people in a relationship.
- Go to that restaurant: order since this is a global pandemic get that takeout. You do not need to wait to experience life with a partner. Take yourself on a date night, rent that movie you want to see, go hiking. Whatever hobby or activity you were waiting to do with a partner, just do it.
- Take it one step at a time: it can be hard to go from a place of lack to a place of love. Like a muscle, you need to build it. Focus on finding love in the things you appreciate as often as possible. The more you practice the easier it becomes.
When you do find yourself in a relationship again (when you are ready and want to be) being able to love yourself makes it easier to say no and advocate for your needs. If you can love yourself, and not rely on a partner it means you can express your wants and needs without the fear of being left without love. You won’t worry about what saying no might mean because you won’t fear losing love. You hold all the love you need.