It took me more than a decade of doing the tough inner work, and really learning to unapologetically love myself, inside and out. It wasn’t easy, and it’s much easier to throw money at our problems, or run away from them altogether; which many of us do by seeking comfort in a relationship.
The problem with this is we end up placing all our happiness outside of ourselves, and on someone else, who doesn’t hold the power to make us feel the way we want to. Only we can do that. So until we do learn to love ourselves, no relationship will truly bring us joy.
Loving yourself is a lifelong journey, because we never step learning. But it’s worth it. And it’s a journey you can choose to embark on today. All you have to do is commit to it.
Here are some of the things that happen when you begin to love yourself first.
You stop caring about what other people think.
When you fully love every part of yourself, including your flaws and all your mistakes; you will find peace. You’ll realize you’re an amazing human, and those parts of yourself that the world tells you are flaws, are actually the very things that make you utterly unique and beautiful.
When you have this realization, it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t like you, or judges you. Their opinion will no longer matter to you, because you know your truth. This will make navigating the world of dating and relationships a hell of a lot easier.
All that will matter to you is your opinion of yourself, and whether you’re proud of the person you’re showing up as in the world each day.
You will start to feel more in control of your life.
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” — Brené Brown
When you make the choice to love yourself first, you’ll see that you always have a choice. It’s easy to get swept up in the madness of life, and make poor decisions out of fear, guilt, or shame, which aren’t really aligned with who you are or what you want.
But when you come from a place of love, you’ll see that there are always empowering choices you can make instead, which feel good and authentic to you. And while these choices may not please others, that isn’t your goal anymore. Your needs and happiness are important, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about prioritizing them.
You become comfortable and confident in your own skin.
This is imperative before we begin dating others. When we’re confident and comfortable in who we are, we feel on top of the world, and others can see this in the energy we radiate, and that draws people towards us who are vibing on the same level. So, if you’re looking for a partner who’s comfortable and confident, you need to embody that first, so you can attract it.
Dig deep and figure out what’s currently making you feel uncomfortable or unconfident—usually the root of this can be found somewhere in our childhood or adolescence. Once you’ve discovered it, and confronted it, it can no longer hold power over you. And this is how you move on, and reclaim your power.
You will enjoy time with yourself.
A lot of people bounce from one relationship to the next, with little to no break in between, simply because they’re afraid of or dislike being on their own.
This is seriously unhealthy, and it’s important to figure out why you don’t enjoy solo time. Because you’re awesome.
When you love yourself, you’ll take time to do more things that bring a smile to your face—all the things you love. Chasing after other people’s affection and attention will no longer be your goal. You’ll be busy reconnecting with yourself, figuring out who you really are, and having an epic time!
You aren’t afraid to ask for what you want.
Taking the time to love yourself first, helps you to become a little more selfish with your needs and wants, and for most people, this is a great thing.
It requires a certain level of selfishness to go after your dreams unapologetically, and pursue whatever it is that your soul is calling you to. It requires a certain level of selfishness to know what you want and deserve, and ask for it without feeling guilty. When you love yourself first, this won’t make you uncomfortable, because you’ll know what you’re worthy of it.
You’ll stop wasting time with people who are messing around with you, or not worthy of your time, and begin making far more empowered choices when it comes to relationships.
You’re able to love other people better.
Taking the time to love yourself first is so important, because this is the only way you discover what it truly means to love. And when you know this, you’ll be able to love other people much better.
You’ll show up in relationships much more confident, and spend less time worrying about what others are thinking of you, and more time focusing on them and how you can give abundantly to them.
And when you tell someone, “I love you,” you’ll actually know what you’re saying.
You feel whole on your own.
You’ll awaken to the epiphany that contrary to what every song, movie, and fairytale teaches you, you are not incomplete on your own. We are all capable of being whole people on our own. The voids we feel within ourselves can only be filled by us, our love, and not by somebody else.
So instead of desperately searching for someone out there to complete you, you’ll feel safe and assured in the knowledge that you’ll meet someone when you’re meant to.