Finding lasting love is the goal for most people. After all, the human species is one which ideally mates for life. As such, it is instinctual for us to seek out partners with which we can have a committed relationship. Yet, before we can commit ourselves to someone else, we have to look within. Here’s why it’s so important to love yourself first when looking for a relationship.
Yet, as most of us know, the search for a marriage-minded partner is not always a simple one. In fact, most encounter a great deal of heartbreak and loneliness in the search. The latter is a truth which can leave many discouraged and even jaded.
However, there is hope.
The first step to finding lasting love is to love yourself first.
Focus Internally First
Though it is often said, “You cannot love someone else, if you can’t love yourself,” the actual practice of falling in love with oneself is not a common one. After all, the dating scene is not exactly focused on the internal.
When people refer to “the dating scene,” they are referencing the external; the world of potential partners surrounding us. Yet, few people realize the dating scene quickly becomes painful if there is no self-love to accompany it.
You may have fears, insecurities or unresolved issues from the past. That’s normal, but when focusing on yourself first, you can work through those issues and create an atmosphere of healing, personal growth and empowerment. This lays the foundation needed to find lasting love with another. Without this commitment to your inner self, there is no hope for a healthy, happy and committed external relationship.
Find “The One” Inside You
The first person you need to date, fall in love with and commit to is you. As such, it is necessary to look for that ideal person within.
If you want a romantic partner who is kind, thoughtful and considerate, you must first find and accentuate those qualities within yourself. Additionally (and here’s the most important part), you must exhibit them within the relationship with you.
Sounds simple enough, right?
In theory, maybe. Yet, it is not always so easy to put this into practice. In fact, many people who take an honest personal inventory find that they fall short of their expectations. Maybe you’re guilty of negative self-talk (belittling, criticizing, blaming, shaming, etc.), refusing to listen to your own inner voice, or neglecting your own needs. More serious issues like substance abuse, sexual exploitation or self-harm could also be at play. In any case, it’s time to transform yourself into the type of person you hope to date.
Love Yourself Back to Health
In order to be the ideal partner you are looking for, it is necessary to heal the relationship you have with yourself. Seeking the help you need to do so is a courageous act of self-love.
Whether you turn to self-help books, spiritual guidance, professional counseling or (preferably) a combination of the three, you are paying close attention to your own needs, listening to your inner voice, and nurturing and healing the relationship with you.
Be patient with yourself throughout the process. Change doesn’t happen overnight, especially when it comes to unlearning unhealthy habits. Healing from the past, becoming self-aware and learning to practice self-love, rather than self-sabotage, takes time.
Remember, the process is about progress, not perfection.
As this healing takes place, begin to woo yourself. It may sound silly, but the process of loving yourself first is no different than falling in love with another.
So, spend quality time with you, speak words of love to yourself through daily affirmations and engage in mirror talk – literally looking into a mirror and saying positive things to and about yourself. Additionally, offer gifts to yourself, like flowers, music, poetry, massages, pedicures and other acts of self-love. And, of course, listen and be attentive to your own needs.
The journey of finding and falling in love with yourself can be just as anxiety-invoking, if not more so, as finding someone new. But, as with any relationship, the risks you take, vulnerability and humility you show, and time and effort you put in are well worth it. The rewards you reap are endless and lasting, as is the love you will then be able to secure with a life partner.
You may also be interested in How To Find Yourself Again After A Breakup