Love. It's like a never ending source of happiness in our lives, and is the thing we're told to fight for at any cost.
Searching and striving for love is a constant goal for many of us - finding that other half that will complete us and make our lives worth living. All of those romantic comedies taught us that life is meaningless and we are living in the dark until the day we stumble upon "the one". And when you know, you just know.
Except when you don't.
Unfortunately, there's a lot more that goes into a successful relationship then just loving your partner. And a lot of the time, one of the biggest problems comes from not loving yourself first.
Especially after a breakup, it's easy to feel lost. It's as if a part of your identity is suddenly absent, making you less of a person because that part of your life is over. It is easy to feel like you need to replace that lost love with somebody else.
Many of us have been taught that being alone equates to loneliness. That if we don't have a partner, then somehow that translates to a feeling that we are unwanted. That the only way to ensure that we deserve to be loved is by proving we have someone who loves us.
Falling in love provides validation. A rush that comes with somebody seemingly telling you that you are worthy, that you are the one that they desire. But the problem comes if you don't know yourself well enough to even understand what they love about you. Every relationship will crumble if you expect it to.
So here's my point: before jumping into a new relationship, consider dating yourself first. Remember all the things that you used to love to do when you were single, and take time to better yourself as a person. Remember how your ex told you that you complain too much? Maybe take time to decide if that was just them being insensitive, or if you really should work on being more positive. Because we all have flaws we can work on, and while your single is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Think about how you act in relationships, and decide if you would be happy dating yourself. You can do this in a relationship, too, by making sure that you’re happy even when independent from your partner. Make sure you are still doing the things you like to do, pursuing your own dreams, and not sacrificing who you are to make the relationship work.
Being single is a time of exploration. It’s a time for freedom. Time to find who you are and become who you want to be. Every day is an opportunity to get better as a person, and remember that it’s never too late to change. Forgive yourself, and vow to never make the same mistakes twice. Become somebody that you are proud to be. Remember all the things that make you happy, and realize that you are enough completely on your own.
After a breakup, before dating somebody new right away, try dating yourself. You may just find that you fall in love.