The saying commonly goes “love yourself before you love a man” or “love yourself before you let a man love you,” something to that effect. Basically what people are saying now is that you ought to love yourself before you begin a serious relationship. However, that was not the case for me.
You see, I used to love myself, for the most part, before I had my first boyfriend but after that first relationship, I was a mess. My confidence sunk, and my anxiety skyrocketed. For a week or two afterwards I was pretty up and down in moods but I finally got myself back together and came to peace with everything. Then, a month later I met my current boyfriend and we’ve been together for over a year now, and I couldn’t be happier! Even though I had the confidence to send him the first message, I still wasn’t super happy and confident with myself. But little did I know, he was restoring my confidence, lessening my anxiety, and teaching me how to love myself. I think loving yourself is a bit like building trust; it takes forever to build, and seconds to destroy. Also, I think I tricked myself into thinking I was OK and confident but really when you dug deeper, there was an unsure of herself, shy, unconfident girl who was so worried about what people thought of her and my boyfriend saw that, but he also saw a beautiful, strong, smart, caring, kind woman.
Slowly but surely I would let my guards down and he’d break through the wall I had put up. He was able to see everything. He saw me at my best, and at my worst, but through it all he still loved me, and he still does to this day. Some days I’m great and I’m confident in myself and I love everything but some days, I feel like I’m at an all time low, I look in the mirror with disgust, I replay parts of my past that I don’t want to remember, I feel terrible. But on those terrible days, I can always count on someone to pick me up and remind me of who I am and how much I mean to them and how wonderful they think I am, and that’s all that really matters, and that person is my boyfriend.
So no, I don’t think you have to love yourself first, if you do great! But if you don’t, that’s OK. Hopefully your significant other can help you learn how to love yourself and support you in doing so. My boyfriend has taught me a lot and I’m still learning. Loving yourself isn’t easy, media and other things make it much easier to be hard on ourselves than loving. It’s going to take time and patience but, it’s all worth the effort because YOU are worth the love.