I know you’ve been told you need to love yourself first before you can love someone else. I disagree. Can love exist without self-love? Yes. Let me explain by asking you to ask yourself the following things:
- Do you prioritize others over yourself?
- Do you tell yourself the truth?
- Do you accept the past or do you ruminate about it?
- Do you blame others (parents, ex-partner/spouse) for your past failures?
- Do you follow your gut the majority of the time?
- Do you carve out “me” time consistently?
Do you do any of these things and still want and find love? Of course, you do. We all do. Does it stop us from loving others?
Still think you need to love yourself first? Ok, let’s look at the latest dating trend Benching. In this article, Jason Chen is writing about his experience with rejection and how common it is for people to start dating then blow them off and re-surface months later and resume dating again. So, he became a bench-warmer waiting to get picked; while the other person is dating other people. He’s wondering why he got blown off, but the person comes back and you give them a chance, right? What does this say about what people feel about themselves? Why do they allow it? Should you give people the benefit of the doubt? Sure. But, what’s the cut-off? Should your ego, sense of self, or self-respect take a hit? And even when it does take a hit, don’t we still seek love? Isn’t that the opposite of loving yourself first?
What does it say about self-love? If you ask people do you love yourself, they’ll likely tell you yes.
Here’s my burning question: If you love yourself first, then what explains the faulty decision-making in relationships?
It’s not about self-love, it’s about self-awareness. I think that self-awareness is one of the keys to our relationship decision-making process. When you’re self-aware and ask yourself the same above questions, you’ll find what you accept for yourself and what helps you decide on who, when, and how to love. The interesting part of self-awareness is that it becomes most challenged while you are in a relationship. Have you ever realized that thing that s/he did that annoyed you triggered another aspect of you?
The heated you: It’s not about the toilet seat! It’s about you having no consideration for me whatsoever!
Your inner voice: OMG! Who can’t put down a damn toilet seat?! I’m gonna be miserable the rest of my life putting up with this!
The over-reaction to a small thing triggered larger issues: lack of consideration and poor communication. The irony is that people become aware of the lack of self-love in relationship to others. Self-love is cultivated over time. Our tolerance levels for other people’s behavior changes over time. With each relationship we hope to get a better understanding of our needs and what we will seek out in the future. Being more self-aware helps you reduce negative outcomes and helps you better predict other people’s behavior.
The more self-aware you become, the more you improve your chances of creating stronger bonds with people and finding your ideal type.