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Sex + Relationships

All We Need Is ‘Self’ Love

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

There are different flavors when it comes to ice cream, several versions of coffee and guess what? Even love! when it comes to love, there are six different types that were put forward by the Greeks. These six different types of love are pretty straightforward and self-explanatory but the real definition of love can be different for various individuals. Love for you can be your cup of coffee resting in front of you, it can be your favorite book or it can be the smile that creeps up on your face while doing something that gives you satisfaction. Love can be your partner’s embrace or your dog’s bark.

Love is not constricted in these six types; it has a lot of definitions and variations. While love has taken a different form in today’s world, the oh-so-famous old-school love is slowly disappearing. Gone are the days of courting a person with letters and the days of bumble and tinder are on the rise. Gone are the days of framed pictures of your loved ones. Today it’s your Instagram feed that is filled with the person you adore, complete with cute and cheesy captions.

Over time, the way you express your love for someone has changed drastically. For some emotional people who have issues with respect to attachment, hook-up culture is abhorrent as it goes against the notion of pragmatic or longstanding love. While some may detest how prevalent it has become, I think that it has helped women find sexual liberation because now they can freely decide their respective partners.

While sex before marriage has been labeled as sinful by the patriarchal Indian society, I think hookup culture that is a great because it helps people explore their sexuality and educate themselves before getting into something serious.

What I don’t like about this culture is the objectification. The whole ‘who-banged-who’ makes it a game of dice. Some people want an emotionless, casual sexual engagement and I believe that having a fling with no strings attached should be an individual choice.
“To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture. And to a surprising degree, it is women—not men—who are perpetuating the culture, especially in school, cannily manipulating it to make space for their success, always keeping their ends in mind.” (Hana Rosin, Boys on the Side, The Atlantic) In a way isn’t this self love too?

I believe that love is not always centered around two people. The concept of self-love has been on the rise too where you prefer to be in a relationship with yourself before partnering with someone else. It’s an act of ‘getting to know yourself’, loving yourself first before sharing that love to other people in the picture. When people say they want to work on themselves and give themselves the time to improve, they are embarking on the path of self-love and reflecting upon themselves.

Self-introspection is one of the most important aspects of self-love followed by pampering yourself and working towards your goal. Sadly, this perfect picture of love has been painted in front of our eyes and we dream of having that postcard material love and when we don’t get it, we fall into the trap of not being good enough. We don’t realize that love starts from ‘self’ and you can love better when you’re done loving and accepting yourself over time. Many of us in our culture idealize love. We perceive it as some grandiose panacea for all of life’s ills. We exaggerate love because we idealize it. As a result, our relationships have suffered.

You lose yourself in the so-called toxic loved-up situation and it is too late when the realization of self-love strikes you. It might seem selfish that you’re loving yourself and giving yourself all that attention but, in the long run, it becomes beneficial as you get to know yourself and your needs and what you love the most. You look for the person who will accompany you and your crackhead energy, you find love in yourself first and then in someone else.

You will fall for a lot of people, maybe you will fall for just one who is good for you and maybe you will fall for people who are not good for you. But, first fall in love with yourself, cherish and protect yourself, go all the way to do something for yourself. Once your self-actualization form has been filled and signed, embark on the journey of finding someone else to love or just give the love to the people who give you the happy pill in your life.

Lekha Nath

Delhi South '23

Lekha is a student of literature at Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. She is at an age where she is free to explore any arena, and she likes to record her experiences in her trusty ol' journal. She goes by the tagline- "Just keep swimming". She is just another human with a journal trying to keep up with the ever-changing world. :)
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