You, yourself, are the only person that you spend your entire life with. That being said, you have a big job. You must ultimately make all of your own decisions, build your own views and values, and establish your own moral compass. No one else can do this for you, so why would it make sense that someone else holds the keys to teaching you to love wholly, healthily, and truthfully? That's on you too. In order to maintain and create a relationship with a significant other that fulfills you, you must understand yourself, what you enjoy, what you despise, and most importantly what you deserve. If you do not understand yourself, you will have a hard time finding someone that compliments you and achieves your desires in a romantic relationship.
If you accept, believe, and love yourself prior to a romantic relationship, your embodiment and confidence in yourself will bring a significant other into your life who brings you closer to yourself, supports/adores your entire character, and encourages you to continue your self-growth journey.
Or in Ru Paul's words, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?"
Here are six ways you must love yourself before you are capable of finding your compatible partner.
Take time alone to discover what you love
Your interests, passions, and curiosities weld your character together. The books you enjoy reading, the movies that invigorate your inspiration, and the activities you take part in are how the world comes to know you from an outside perspective. If you deny to the outside world that you love these interests because they are "nerdy," "sappy," or "boring," how do you think you will find your community, let alone your future partner. So embrace who you are and where it with pride. Suppressing your character leads to loneliness, even if you are in a crowd of "friends."
Learn to love your body
Your body is unique to you. No one else has your legs, your arms, your stomach, your aches and pains, your face, or your eyes. You have the pleasure of experiencing this world in your own particular vessel, and that makes you so lucky. You get to experience the world in an entirely different way, so the sooner you accept, adore, and love your body, the sooner you will leave behind your insecurities, and find confidence in your physical body.
A tip I suggest: Sit in front of a mirror one day and find your favorite physical trait of your body. Say, "I am beautiful/handsome because of my…" Then go to your second favorite trait, your third, and so on until you come across your greatest "flaw" in your eyes. State the same sentence over and over until you believe it. Facing your "flaws" will open a space for vulnerability, trust, and eventual love for yourself.
Eat and move with intention
Now that you have been working on loving your physical traits, it's time to do so from the inside. When you learn what food makes you feel good, and whatever form of body movement makes you feel free, you grow closer to yourself. Much like if you are with a significant other and you do things for them to express your love, you must do that for yourself. Pay attention to your body and what makes it feel good. Eating healthy food and taking time to move your body will make you feel sexier, more energetic, and more alive.
Clean yourself up in order to talk yourself up
Having self-confidence doesn't just happen overnight. It is something that must be found day in and day out through solidified self-love and acceptance. Some days are tougher than others and for those tough days, you must learn what "hypes you up." Try wearing clothes that express your inner self. This will invite like-minded people to gravitate towards you. Turn on your favorite music that pumps you up before leaving for school, work, or play and see how much more confident you feel!
Incorporate acts of self love into your normal routine
I think that each action you partake in throughout the day can be an act of self-care. When you wake up, you can take a moment to breathe deep and think about the gratitude you have for your life. When you brush your teeth and shower, you can do it with the intention of taking care of yourself and your hygiene, rather than just "doing it." If you wear makeup, do it for fun, not because you "need" it. When you are walking to class, blast your favorite music in your headphones and smile at the people you see. In my opinion, this is the key to furthering your self-love past your therapy appointments or that one day out of the month where you check in with your mental state.
Stop comparing yourself
While you are in a relationship, it's easy to question your worth in all aspects. Am I as attractive as that girl/guy my partner is glancing at? Am I as smart as that girl/guy in my partner's class? Am I too much compared to other people? The reason people love you is because you are you. It does you no good comparing and contrasting the "pros" and "cons" of who you are to others, because it creates self doubt. Self doubt is more damaging towards your self love progress than anything else. If you know who you are, what you love, and what your goals are, than the right partner will notice and fall in love with who YOU are.