There have always been these posts circulating through social media, claiming that until you love yourself, you cannot love anyone else. Honestly though? That’s a load of bullshit. Yes, you should not run into the arms of anyone who is willing to love you, simply to replace the love that is lacking; however, these posts fail to realize that sometimes seeing someone else loves you can teach you how to love yourself better than any therapist or self-help book ever could.
When I first met my boyfriend, I was lacking in self-love. To be quite honest, I was at a point where I did not like much, if anything, about myself. I was engaging in a lot of negative behaviors that were only hurting me. However, it was his love and support that eventually made me want to get better and improve myself. Slowly, I started to like things about myself; things that I had previously hated.
It was not until I actually started to love myself, that I was truly able to start loving him the way he deserved to be loved. This is why, we did not start dating until I was at a point in my life where I was capable of loving him in that way. We were friends for a long while prior to our relationship starting, because I knew it was not fair to him to start a relationship when I was already in a pretty rocky relationship - with myself.
That’s what these posts always fail to mention; that sometimes someone else loving you is what you need to be able to love yourself. At the same time though, you should not “put all your eggs in one basket.” While, yes, it was with the help of my boyfriend that I learned to love myself, I also was cautious to not be too reliant on his love for that. Reality is, he could have chosen to leave at any moment during that process, and had I been completely dependent on his love, that would have set me back.
Someone else's love has the capability of doing wonders for you and your own mental health, however, you should never become dependent on that person. Dependency on anything, or anyone, is especially dangerous when you are struggling with your own mental health and self-love.
Re-wiring the way you think about yourself is an extremely hard task. Don’t let anyone shame you simply because you were able to do so with the help of a loved one. Do be cautious though, that you are not too reliant on any one person.