I have always heard the saying,
"You can't love someone until you love yourself."
And I am a strong believer in that saying. It makes sense. How can you show someone a sense of love if you are unable to do it yourself? The thing I didn't know is, I really lost a sense of love for myself.
I have been in a total of three relationships in my life, and I never felt that feeling of 'love' in any of them. Yes, I had feelings for them at one point because I wouldn't have dated them if I didn't. But, I was searching for the wrong kinds of feelings.
After I got out of my most recent relationship, I realized I wasn't searching for a relationship filled with a connection, happiness, and in the long run love. Instead, I was just looking for someone to make me feel important. I had lost myself to the point where I looked for someone else to find it for me. Regardless of if they were bad for me, I just wanted someone to show me a sense of importance. That's where I went wrong.
Once I realized this, I decided I needed to take some time to myself. I needed to find out who I was.
I have this tendency when getting into relationships to change myself. I change my taste in music, or hobbies to best fit the person I am talking to. I keep a majority of my interests or passions to myself in fear of them not liking me. This was the biggest realization I had while in quarantine. Once I realized this, I knew I would never do that to myself again.
I spent the last six months figuring out what I truly love. Whether that be music, fashion, hobbies, sports, etc. I didn't let myself have anyone influence my opinions. I learned what I like and dislike, and I learned how to voice my own opinions regardless of what others thought. I started putting myself first for once.
I also learned another thing: standards.
When in previous relationships, I would always notice that the person I was seeing lacked traits I had always wanted but I would push them aside. I would tell myself I was asking too much. This time I spent single, I realized I should never tell myself I am asking too much. I deserve exactly what I think I deserve and nothing less. If the next person I am seeing doesn't meet those standards, then on to the next. And every person reading this should understand that too.
I would also ignore red flags. I had a tendency to make excuses for someone treating me poorly. Or just hearing them say things I didn't think was OK. Like for example, a guy I was seeing made a joke about a topic that was very sensitive to me. I told myself he didn't know it was a sensitive topic for me so it was OK. The reality is why would I want to be with someone who makes jokes about things I don't find funny? Most girls ignore the small red flags like that, myself included, and then we wonder why things didn't work out?
The best gift a person can give themselves is time for self-reflection.
To discover who you truly are on your own. Without any distractions and other opinions getting in the way of it. You are the only person who knows what is best for yourself. Start taking that time. Start being the person you truly want to be.
Follow Swoon on Instagram.