LoveYourself

If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”   -RuPaul

We live in a society where the capacity of our love can only be validated by others through social media. Think about it: how many times have you heard someone say, “Yes, but they aren’t Facebook official.” For someone to truly care about someone else, one must declare those emotions and make them public to everyone. This is a crappy enough scenario for those in a relationship who don’t feel it’s necessary to advertise their affections all over the Internet, but what about for those who are single? A bit of a stigma exists around those who are unattached to anyone, especially if they appear to be single and loving it. How could such a person possibly be happy on their own?  What do they do with themselves?

But perhaps such singletons are on to something. How many times have you encountered a girl or guy who doesn’t appear to be able to properly function without being in a relationship? We’ve all met them. Such people are always attached to someone and have spent less than a week of their entire lives being single. While this may appear to be a romantic notion, it begs to question the state of such an individual’s self-esteem.

An important aspect of any relationship is each individual’s sense of self. The most attractive and magnetic people are those with firmly established personalities. But in order to figure out what exactly it is that makes you yourself tick, you need to spend some time finding yourself.  And doing so is extremely difficult while in a relationship because of the amount of time and energy spent focusing on your love interest.  Therefore, in order to know who you truly are, you’ve got to do a bit of soul-searching … alone.

What are your favorite foods?  What do you like to do in your free time? What are your favorite bands? Those are all questions that anyone who’s ever dated before have more than likely asked and been asked. But when you answer, are you being honest or just saying what you think the other person would like to hear?  If you’re not sure, it may be time to embark on some of the aforementioned soul-searching.

Besides figuring yourself out in order to be happier with someone else, do it just to be selfish!  There’s only one person who will ever be constantly present in your life: you.  You could lose your friends, have a fallout with your family or have a faith crisis (if such a scenario is applicable to you).  In any of these events, you’d be left feeling alone with only yourself remaining.  So make sure you love yourself!  Figure out what you like, what makes you happy, your strengths and weaknesses. Treat yourself well and be respectful of not only your body, but also your mind and feelings.

Now if you find yourself in a situation where you appear to be alone, think again. You’ve got yourself, and you are your best possible ally.  Plus once you find yourself, it’ll be easier to surround yourself with family and friends who truly appreciate you.  You’ll be able to better connect with family, find friends who really understand and value you and, who knows, find yourself in a relationship with someone who really makes you happy and allows you to be yourself.  Once you really respect and admire yourself, you’ll find other people who treat you in a way that reflects you attitude towards yourself.  As Stephen Chbosky wrote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “We accept the love we think we deserve.”  And don’t we all deserve to be happy?

Don’t worry about coming off as arrogant or egocentric; there’s nothing shameful about really understanding and appreciating who you are.  Try taking yourself out on a solo date.  Go to The Cheesecake Factory and order whatever you want; you’re a grown up and there’s no shame in eating alone. Or go check out that new movie you’ve been dying to see. Remember that you don’t have to depend on someone else to have a good time.

And even though Facebook doesn’t have a setting that allows you to tell the world how much you care about yourself, it’s okay. Your love is more than enough.