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Finding Yourself Before Finding True Love

“You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else.” How many times have your friends encouragingly offered this advice when you are feeling down in the dumps about a guy? They might even use the phrase after seeing you lounging on the couch in your baggiest sweats with Ben & Jerry’s as your preferred company. Let’s be honest, we all eventually begin to resent the saying. We tell ourselves that we want to find true love, we need to find true love. Loving ourselves is no substitute for a significant other, right? Yes, you can share meals with yourself, laugh with yourself, and grow old with yourself, but what is the fun in that? As humans, we constantly search for the acceptance and love of another, so being told that we need to “love ourselves before we can love another” is not always what we want to hear.

However, the advice has some truth to it. I will always remember a conversation I had with a BC student who graduated a few years ago. It was the May of her graduation and we were talking about the BC dating and hook-up culture. I asked her what her experience had been like and her response was something worth sharing. She said, “I spent my four years at BC getting to know myself and learning about myself. Yes, I went through ups and downs with guys and experienced the hook-up culture, but that wasn’t what determined my BC experience. I used these four years to get comfortable in my own skin and develop my own person, so that I can experience what life has to offer and what love has to offer while remaining true to myself.”

Wow. Her words left me speechless. I’ll admit that I was one of those girls that always laughed at the saying “You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else.” However, my opinion completely changed. I decided on that day to focus on my own happiness and my own wellbeing while at Boston College. I realized that guys will always come and go, but my true self would stick with me throughout my life.

So feel free to laugh at the saying or poke fun at it. Roll your eyes at any friends who use it to encourage you when you are feeling down in the dumps. But secretly appreciate the wise words. Take time for yourself, focus on your own happiness and your own life’s journey, and learn to love yourself. Eventually you will find what you are looking for.

Check back next week for our “10 Easy Ways to Love Yourself Now.”


Kelsey Damassa is in her senior year at Boston College, majoring in Communications and English. She is a native of Connecticut and frequents New York City like it is her job. On campus, she is the Campus Correspondent for the Boston College branch of Her Campus. She also teaches group fitness classes at the campus gym (both Spinning and Pump It Up!) and is an avid runner. She has run five half-marathons as well as the Boston Marathon. In her free time, Kelsey loves to bake (cupcakes anyone?), watch Disney movies, exercise, read any kind of novel with a Starbucks latte in hand, and watch endless episodes of "Friends" or "30 Rock."
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