What It Really Means to Love Yourself Before You Can Love Someone Else
We’ve all heard it: You need to love yourself before you can actually love someone else.
But how many people actually know what it really means? I personally didn’t use to know. Like a lot of people, I had a vague notion of “Yeah, that sounds right.” But it is absolutely critical, it is a central concept in attracting and keeping a good romantic partner. I would say it is, in fact, the single strongest thing (as well as being the single greatest turn-on to a potential partner!).
Essentially, what it all comes down to is not needing anyone else—loving and valuing yourself so much that you are more important to yourself than anyone or anything else. Which is why it is ironic that once you learn to live this way that it is also likely the greatest turn-on to a mate! When you finally are at a place where you don’t need someone is when others will actually like you the most—it is funny.
There are a lot of people who believe they “love themselves” but I would argue they don’t really.
We are going to get deep here…
Truly loving yourself means you accept and cherish yourself at all times, in all states, in all circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you are 30 lbs. heavier than you used to be, haven’t brushed your teeth or your hair, just lost your job and don’t have anything going on this weekend. You know that *things* don’t matter, not really. These are all states of physical things, these are all circumstances—they are not you. Your love for yourself doesn’t depend on what the current circumstances of things or the judgments some other people in society could possibly have of you. Your love for yourself doesn’t depend on any of those things—they have nothing to do with who you truly are, who you are inside, the knowing/awareness inside that is you. You know that you are neither the good or the bad things that happen in your life—those are not you. You are a deeper being inside.
Most people derive their sense of self from the external things in their life—things like what they were thought of as children, how they performed in college, how physically attractive they rate themselves, what job they hold, what car they drive, who they are dating or married to, etc. But when you actually love yourself, all these external circumstances no longer bolster nor detract from your sense of self. There is a detachment from these things. You are not dependent on them for your sense of self. And you are incredibly valuable just because you are you.
Being happy and loving yourself is when you know how to connect with that that is who you are on the inside and you are able to just be as that awareness. It is when you know how to be in this state of awareness and you are regularly centered in this state. External circumstances no longer control you. External circumstances no longer control your happiness. You reside in that deeper state of awareness that can’t be hurt by external circumstances.
Being centered in this state means it is pretty much impossible for others to take advantage of you or to use you or for you to just end up in a bad relationship in general. This is what it truly means to not be desperate. If your happiness depends on having a good relationship, having kids, or anything else, you are setting your life up for others to use you. You cannot be dependent on any certain outcome of a relationship.
Make no mistake about it: You cannot think clearly if your happiness depends on anything outside of you. Being dependent on any outcome is detrimental in the dating world. The typical way it plays out is women being used by men. Predator men can smell the desperation from a mile away and let me assure you they zero in on that.
True self-love when dating
If you don’t like anything that a guy does or you just get an “off” sense about him—if you love yourself and your happiness doesn’t depend on having a relationship or depend on that date going well then you immediately take action to remove yourself from that situation. This is truly having self-love and self-respect. You do not say in your head, “Oh stop, I’m being unreasonable,” “I’m being too picky,” or “Let me just see how this goes, don’t jump to conclusions,” etc. You do not think “I don’t want to hurt him” (which is putting his value about your own!). There are ways to remove yourself from the situation that are not disrespectful to him which is all that matters. Yes, he may be let down that you left but it doesn’t really matter that a fleeting let down feeling he has might arise for him. Who cares? The true disrespect to everyone involved, but mostly to yourself, is you staying in it when you are experiencing things you don’t like or having a bad feeling. That is an atrocity waiting to happen. Respect for yourself means you value the most: your thoughts, your feelings, your opinions over what anyone else thinks! When you master this, you’re free from being controlled by others.
More love to give
When you’re free from the control and abuse of others, and free from dependence on certain circumstances, you become more able to truly love others. You live in truth because you are living in line with what is really true for you. You love yourself so much that you are able to love others without expectations from them. You don’t even need their love back. You are able to love without conditions. You are free to love without all the “negative stuff” getting in the way (fears, expectations, etc.). So start aligning yourself with your inner truth and love!