Why The Most Important Love You’ll Ever Have Is The Love You Give Yourself

It’s easy to get stuck in the frame of mind that tells you the only thing that matters when it comes to love is how much others love you. Yeah, it’s good to be loved by your friends, your family and your boyfriend, but the truth is that the most important kind of love you can get is the love you give to yourself. Here’s why:

  1. It starts with being gentle. If you’re hard on yourself, well, join the club. Everyone’s their own worst critic from time to time, but you have to learn to be gentle with yourself in order to really take care of your heart. If you’d rather have a gentle kind of love given to you, try taking your own advice when it comes to loving yourself.
  2. The love you give is very often the love you receive. It’s not always the case, but for the most part, the kind of love you’re comfortable sending out into the world is the same kind of love that will come back to you. If you want to be loved in a beautiful, bold way, it makes sense to give that love to yourself first. It will teach you how to give and receive gracefully.
  3. You have to convince yourself you’re worthy of love. This is often the hardest part. If you don’t believe in taking the time to learn to love yourself well, chances are you may not believe you’re worth it. You may have great self-esteem on a surface level, or be proud of your accomplishments in some areas, but if you can’t dig deep and give yourself love? You might have some deeper-rooted issues in believing yourself worthy of it. How will you be able to be loved by someone well if you don’t even think you’re worth it? Take the time to try and see what issues you have in this area now.
  4. Like attracts like. Sounds like a scientific principle, but it’s also one that’s true of love. If your heart is used to being treated carefully, that’s what you’ll automatically gravitate to in a potential partner. If you beat yourself up constantly and can’t ever let anything you’ve done wrong go, that’s not the kind of love you deserve. You don’t want to be the person who attracts the kind of loving that berates and picks you apart.
  5. Practice makes perfect. If you want to be loved that way, chances are you’ll need to learn to practice how to love someone else in kind. Why not make the first person you try it on yourself? You’ll get the practice you need to love well, and you’ll know what it feels like to be treated gently. When the real thing comes along with the right guy, you’ll be an expert on love.
  6. It’s easy to forget to love yourself. It’s so easy to put that on the bottom of your priorities, but that’s a mistake — one that a lot of people make and that’s hard to remedy. Putting in the time and dedication that you deserve in the area of self-love means you’re seeing your heart and saying “I won’t forget you’re here.” You deserve at least that much from yourself.
  7. No matter what, your effort won’t be wasted. Even if it feels like you keep ending up with tons of crappy dates, you WILL see the pay off one day. When the right one comes along, something in you will spark, and you’ll be able to feel it because of all the love you practiced giving yourself. In the meantime, caring for yourself wholly and gently is never a bad thing.
  8. Cherish your own self the way you want someone else to cherish you. It’s simple: if you want someone else to treat you that way, why wouldn’t you treat yourself the same? You deserve to be loved deeply and fully. Give yourself a chance.
Becca Rose is a writer with high hopes for her student loan debt. She's a musician and aspiring novelist, but don't ask her to write poetry, because she's terrible at it. She has written for HelloGiggles, The Toast, The Huffington Post, and more. You can find her on Twitter @bookbeaut