18 Things You Need To Love Before You Try To Love Somebody Else

You can’t give your all to someone else unless you’ve been as generous and loving to yourself first. That seems like a tall task, but if you want a love that lasts, you have to realize that your most enduring relationship is with yourself.

  1. Make it a goal to accept your flaws. It’s this simple: if you can’t love your flaws, you’ll never believe that someone else does either. It takes a lot of work, and that’s not to say that you can’t choose to improve the things that bother you—as long as you’re doing it for yourself. Your love for yourself shouldn’t be conditional, though. Never say you’ll love yourself when you reach a goal or milestone.
  2. Love every single thing that makes you weird or quirky. Quirks, kinks, bad habits, odd ticks—love all of it. Own it. My wife is deathly afraid of the cotton that comes in some patent medicine bottles. I gnaw my thumbnail when I’m trying to keep my mouth shut. Everybody’s got something.
  3. Embrace the stuff you can’t get perfect. Again, everybody’s got something. There are some things you just cannot perfect. You have to own that before you let yourself fall in love with someone, or else you’ll always worry that your partner’s focused on those imperfect areas.
  4. Learn to enjoy compromise long before you fall in love with somebody. Your relationship won’t work if you don’t like to compromise—no relationship will. Call me a fortune teller but I’d bet money on it. Turn your ability to compromise into an art form prior to getting into a relationship and you’ll experience fewer tiffs and arguments.
  5. Develop a taste for adventure. Falling in love is an adventure in and of itself, but having new experiences as a couple will cement your relationship even further. You might prefer planning things down to the smallest detail and that’s totally fine, but try to allow a little more spontaneity into your life.
  6. Have fun being open with yourself. Do you trust yourself? You need to. And not only that, but you need to love the honest relationship you have with yourself. The thing is, how are you going to be honest with someone else if you aren’t even truthful with yourself?
  7. Nurture a knack for trying new things. Eat new foods, listen to new music, read new authors. Cultivate a taste for trying things you’ve never experienced before. That way, you won’t be resistant or nervous when the person you fall in love with wants to introduce you to something new.
  8. You should love your life just the way it is. You may want better things, but being content with your life is more than that. If you’re always reaching for something else to fulfill you but it never works, then you can’t think that a relationship will help either. Self-contentment is crucial if you ever want to feel that comfortable with another person.
  9. It’s essential to enjoy spending time alone before you connect with anyone else. Loving your own company will save you from countless fights, lonely nights, and problematic behaviors. You can’t lose yourself just because you’re in a relationship. Not only do you need separate friends and interests, but you can’t spend every minute together. Be comfortable hanging out with yourself.
  10. Cement your independence so you can always fall back on it. Enjoying your company helps set the foundation of your freedom as well. Love being on your own just in case you find yourself single again. You take care of yourself marvelously well. Remember that you don’t need anyone else to do it for you.
  11. Adore the sound of your voice as you stand up for what you want. It’s vital that you love to stand up for yourself. You might find yourself in the position to do so when you meet someone new, particularly during the beginning stages. Never let anyone else drown out the sound of your voice.
  12. Acquire a taste for humility, at least in its place. Hardly anyone enjoys being humble, of course, but the fact of the matter is that no one is ever right all the time. Learn to apologize and mean it. Take lessons from the occasions when you’re wrong.
  13. Have respect for your boundaries and everyone else’s. Your boundaries are your boundaries. They cannot, by definition, be wrong. Love them, accept them, and never be ashamed to share them with potential lovers. Don’t welch on the vice versa, however. You have to respect your partner’s boundaries as well. It’s just much easier to do that if you respect yours.
  14. Be proud of the choices you’ve made and the decisions you make now. Don’t carry regrets and second-guesses into your future. You don’t need the baggage, nor do you want to haul it into a new relationship. Everyone does things they wish they hadn’t. Instead of regretting the decisions you made in your past or going back and forth over the choices you make now, you need to own them, view each one as a lesson, and be grateful for that knowledge.
  15. Ensure that you adore the things you do that make you, you. It doesn’t matter if you snort when you laugh or chew your nails when you read. Love your love of fanfiction, Adam Sandler movies, and marching band (why am I describing myself?). Don’t ever feel sorry for the details that make up the finer edges of your personality.
  16. Make room in your heart for your own opinions. It’s all too common to lose yourself in a new relationship, a new person. Without even realizing it, you shift your perspectives and change your opinions to match your partner’s. Eff that. Love your point of view. Speak your opinion loud and proud. Who cares if someone disagrees?
  17. Appreciate hearing the opinions of others too. It’s a two-way street. You don’t have to agree with anyone and no one has to agree with you. Everyone should respect a difference of opinion, though—there’s no reason to bicker, fight, or break up, at least not in most circumstances.
  18. Above all and most importantly, love yourself first. You know what they say, and they’re right—you can’t expect anyone else to love you if you don’t love yourself. More to the point, you won’t be able to believe that another person loves you unless you love yourself. Allowing someone to love you depends on your ability to see yourself as lovable.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.