Loving Yourself is Only Step One

Once upon a time, I heard someone say, “No one can truly love you until you learn to love yourself.” This seemed like a great justification for me being eternally single all through high school. I didn’t love myself. Just like every other girl with an awkward phase and some body image issues, I struggled with that for a while, but I’ve moved on. Birth control cleared up my skin and turned my literally nonexistent boobs into boobs that kind of exist. I embraced that my thighs touch. I started buying bikinis again. I’ve embraced the weight I’ve gained since high school, even though no one warned me that the freshman 15 is accompanied by an additional couple pounds every year after that.

I look in the mirror and as long as I’m having a decent hair day, I like what I see. It took years to get here and if you ask me how I did it, I assure you, I won’t have an answer, but I’m here, and I’m happy in my own skin. I can say with confidence that I love myself, so now what?

All through high school, this point seemed so distant and unattainable that I never thought about the fact that I would one day get here, and then have to keep moving. It seems stupid to ask, but if I love myself, who’s going to love me next?

I assumed I’d get to this point and someone would look at me and say, “Gee. She seems happy and content with herself and I think I should ask her out.”

This hasn’t happened. Boys still don’t look at me and I don’t see why not. I’m great to look at. I put so much value in the idea that once I loved myself, other people would too. I’ve always had great friends, even at my ugliest, and let me tell you, I really did have a glow up. I never worried about that. I just wanted a boyfriend.

I’ve heard that confidence is attractive, so I guess what I’m saying is, why can’t everyone else see that I’m confident that I’d be a kick-ass girlfriend?

Perhaps it has to do with more than just confidence. Maybe I actually have to talk to people. Maybe in order to meet the guy of my dreams I have to seek out and talk to guys. Maybe my prince charming isn’t going to come find me. Maybe I have to pull up my big girl pants and go find him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I recently discovered that self-love is only step one. There’s another factor called “social confidence” that I still have to master, and I feel like I’m right back where I started. Who knew “No one can truly love you until you talk to them” was part two?