Why You Need To Love Yourself Before You Love Someone Else
Growing up, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to date. Movies like Pretty Woman and Sixteen Candles (JAKE RYAN xoxo) made love and relationships look so exciting and worth the wait. Fast forward 15 years to guys who ghost, guys who pressure you for sex within hours of meeting and guys who my 5 year old dog is more mature and responsible than. Dating has become a nightmare for most sane, smart and stable women. Today, men are praised for juggling more than one woman at a time or having numerous one night stands.
For the longest time, I thought it was me. That something was wrong with me to be attracting these immature jerks. And I was right. It was me. I’ve always struggled with confidence and have always been (and sometimes still am) extremely hard on myself.
The truth was, I didn’t love myself enough to walk away from bad behavior and disrespect. I held on to toxic, destructive people and dead-end relationships because I thought that any relationship was better than no relationship.
After my most recent breakup, I took a step back and looked at why I had settled for this person and why I allowed someone to disrespect me as much as he had. And the reasons could be traced all the way back to my high school days. Struggling with acne, low self-esteem and finding a group to fit in with, I thought that having a boyfriend meant that you were pretty, that you were worth something. I mean if this person thought I was pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, and skinny enough to date then it had to be true.
So I put up with the name-calling, the shady behavior, and angry outbursts because I thought that I needed to be someone’s girlfriend in order for other people to see that I was worth something. If I wasn’t someone’s girlfriend, then who was I really?
And that was the beginning and end of this whole thing, I didn’t know who I was. I never took the time to figure that out because I was so concerned with molding myself into someone people would like instead of someone I’d like. I didn’t love myself because I didn’t know myself.
So during my first month of freedom,
- I mapped out a new plan for my blog (Hey, girl hey).
- I started making jewelry and upped my Etsy marketing game.
- I had more “girls nights”.
- I read books I liked, saw movies I liked and bought clothes I liked, regardless if it was “cool” or not.
- I got into a gym routine that I rarely skipped because the end results made me feel good.
- I tried out a new church because contrary to what people say, life is hard and sometimes you need a reminder that everything will be okay.
Through these seemingly small steps, I feel like I’m starting to truly figure out who I am and how to love and take care of myself. I’ve recently fully jumped back into dating and it’s like night and day. I don’t tolerate disrespect, I know my time is valuable and I don’t do anything I’m uncomfortable with to avoid them losing interest. I’m able to weed out the jerks within the first date or two because I no longer desire to give out an endless amount of undeserved chances. I sleep pretty good at night not stressing over if a guy is out talking to other girls or if he’s thinking about me. The most important thing is that I’m thinking of me.
Honestly ladies, learn who you are before you invite someone into your life to learn about you. Dating in 2018 is hard. Like mind blowing, excruciatingly, “oh my God, kill me now” hard. Ease the pain by getting to know yourself – what you want, what you need and what you deserve. It’ll make all the difference, I promise.
How to do you show yourself self-love?