Many relationships start with a craving to be loved instead of a craving to give love. Why does it happen this way? I believe it does because a person must start with loving themselves before they can truly give love.
There is so little attention given to self-love in comparison to receiving love from another person. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Isn’t self-love the starting point for a healthy romantic relationship?
How often have you observed or been in a relationship where one person demands love from their partner? And they are often very specific in how they expect to be loved. They give their partner a list of demands on what they must do for them to feel loved. Their conditional reward is to give love back. But it’s never enough in quantity or quality to satisfy them. Or more accurately, it’s never enough of either to fulfill them. The trouble is that they never will be fulfilled. It’s impossible without self-love.
Self-love can only come from within. Another person can make you feel better about yourself to a certain extent and for a limited amount of time, but they can never make you truly love yourself in a healthy way. You must do that for yourself.
So before you begin a journey to find the love of your life, fall in love with yourself first! The same is true if you are beginning a project of personal change through self-improvement. If you think you need to make some major personal changes to feel self-love, begin this process by becoming your own best friend.
With self-love you’ll progress in these endeavors with more personal power and your results will be on target. Without self-love, you can easily get off track and settle for less than hitting the bows eye.
I don’t consider myself an expert on self-love but here’s what I’ve discovered. You have to make a choice to find love for yourself from within. This goes against the conditioning we may have received from our upbringing, religion, or social norms. So it may feel a little strange in the beginning.
Falling in love with yourself is much like discovering love for another person. You focus on your best qualities and you overlook your flaws. You can only get there by making a conscious effort to appreciate each of your qualities in great detail. And just as you would do for a close friend, but to a much greater level since we’re talking about you, forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made.
Appreciate your uniquenesses. And do so even if some of them don’t align with the practices, beliefs, or opinions of certain people in your life. Remember it is often been the oddballs throughout history that have proven to be the ones we later admire.
Here are some fitting quotes about self-love from people I admire.
You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.
Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.
– Ravi Shankar
Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.
– Louise L. Hay
If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.
– Barbara De Angelis
If you need more guidance on learning to love yourself, start reading some books on self-love here under the category “Life Skills…”