Why You Shouldn't Fall For Someone Else Before Falling In Love With Yourself

It’s a Sunday night before a holiday no-school-Monday and my friends and I are reunited at one of our friend’s dorm room. We have nothing better to do than to listen to music, eat cheap snacks from Northside, the market downstairs, and swipe on boys on Tinder and Bumble with fake hopes to match with our prince charming. This is how my friends not only convinced me to join these dating apps, but also convinced me that you cannot love someone else until you love yourself.

For one of my friends, swiping through these boys' profiles also means initiating a toxic session of negative comments towards her physical appearance by saying that those boys will never swipe right on her. Whenever one of them do swipe right on her, she starts obsessing over them and gets extremely upset when she realizes that one of them is only looking for a hook-up (like most guys in dating apps) or when one of them stops answering her texts; which, of course, is extremely unhealthy. So, today with this article I want to give you the same message I gave her because one more girl feeling this way is too many.

We’ve all had insecurities and we can't deny them. They’re part of being a human and that’s okay. What you shouldn’t do, though, is exaggerate them. Instead, we have to put ourselves in the difficult and tumultuous path of beginning to accept who we are, embrace it, recognize our uniqueness and love it. I may be lying to you if I tell you that this path of self-love has an end-point, because I haven’t reached it yet and frankly, I think it doesn’t exist. But putting yourself in that track is the important point.

Throughout your entire life, you’ll have up’s and down’s in your self-love journey, and it actually makes a lot of sense because every day our bodies change and new beautiful things and quirks may appear and you have to learn to love them in the way. Just remember that no one else spends that much time looking at you and critizing you as you do to yourself when you look in the mirror.

 

Image courtesy of haleyincarnate on Tumblr

When it comes to dating, this aspect is still really important. Some years ago, I was just like my friend and I was telling myself that no one would ever love me because there was nothing pretty in my physical appearance. Now, I left those years of toxicity behind and put myself through the tough passage of loving the uniqueness of my high-maintenance curls, my body’s expressions of being alive through acne and cellulite, my big forehead a.k.a. the signal of having a big brain, and my other things that, despite not following the stereotype of what’s beautiful, possess natural beauty.

You may have found yourself in a situation where a person compliments you on something about you that you don’t like and you have most likely responded with a “thank you” followed by some excuse of why the compliment is not entirely true. I’ll give you an example: One day I told my friend, “Wow, your hair looks AMAZING today, girl!!” After a side smile as her response, a second elapsed and she said: “Thank you but it’s actually kinda chaotic. I washed it and in the front is kinda wavy and in the back, it’s ending in these weird curls.” In reality, her hazel hair was looking runway-looking gorgeous with some strands of amazingly defined waves and curls, but she just couldn’t embrace her hair and accept a compliment. However, I know that in that side smile and in that second that elapsed, she liked the feeling of being flattered, because she would rarely feel it herself, and that is not good at all. She has even told me sometimes that she loves when I compliment her even though the compliments are supposedly “not true,” but I swear to you, girl: I meant what I said!

 

When you put yourself into a relationship, the same thing happens.

 

Image courtesy of modernwitchesdaily on Tumblr

 

When people who feel this way get into relationships, they experience the feeling of being loved for the first time in a while because they usually don’t do it themselves. This puts a burden on them to only rely in their significant other to find self-acceptance. But some relationships are only temporary and once that person is no longer with them, this self-acceptance vanishes. Most of them just loved the feeling of being in a relationship. They enjoyed how the other person loved the things they hated about themselves and that made them love those things for the duration of the relationship. Just like my friend’s side smile and a quick second. However, once the relationship is over, they go back to the path of not feeling good about themselves and this time, in a more exponential way.

This has sadly not only happened to this friend that I’m telling you about, but also to many others.

This was not only unhealthy for my friends, but also to their partners. They started to realize that my friends didn’t love them either, they just loved the way they made them feel about themselves, and that is also not okay. When it comes to sharing love with a significant other, it has to be because of who they are, and I think we should all know this by now.

The online magazine Psychology Today also wrote: “[People with low self-esteem] they tend to also report less satisfaction with their relationship and less optimism about its future. Further, those who question their own self-worth are more likely to anxiously expect rejection and vigilantly monitor their partners' behavior for signs of it, at times mistakenly interpreting benign acts as hostile and rejecting.”

Mathew Hussey, a renowned dating expert and founder of Get the Guy, explains that people who lack self-love live in fear that they'll be abandoned and lack intrinsic self-confidence, which leads to the acceptance of poor treatment. "When we don't have a strong internal sense of self-confidence, it usually leads to the feeling of 'I'm not worthy,' or feeling that we don't deserve this person," Hussey explains. "People who lack self-love tend to rate those they fall in love with higher than they rate themselves, which means they'll accept it when their partner constantly criticizes, acts selfishly, or doesn't give the love and effort they deserve. They may also be afraid to communicate their standards and stand up for what they want out of fear that their partner will withdraw or react negatively."

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Every day I read and hear more about this on the internet, which, I think, is really important. Nonetheless, there has also been a lot of backlash against this argument stating that people who think that they should love themselves before loving someone else are just narcissists who are scared to love someone else. But in the world of today, where there’s more awareness than ever on the mental health issues that society is affronting, I think it’s irresponsible to make this claim.

Yes, there may be people who just don’t want to commit to a relationship, and that is totally okay and there is nothing bad with taking some time for yourself.

I am also not supporting narcissism by any means, and I think this can be proved when I say that self-love is a never ending process. I’m just advocating for you to finally put yourself into the track of self-acceptance. That way you could eventually find love not only in a significant other, but also in yourself.

And never forget: you’re perfect just the way you are!

 

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest