I think most people have felt that desire to want to be in a relationship. I certainly have. But a thought always pops into my head when I start to think about it and that is “I can’t be in a relationship until I learn to love myself” which I mostly agree with. I say mostly because the pain of having to reel myself in after thinking about someone puts me down abit. I know it’s for the better, it’s to better myself. But that small part of me can’t help but exist and crave that kind of love two people share in a relationship. I’ll be honest, that pain of having to remind myself hurts more than a little bit. Is it possible to do both? Be in a relationship while bettering myself? Or am I better off just keeping myself away from relationships until I learn to be comfortable with myself and love myself? Just a thought. I hope who ever reads this is well, and those around you are in good health.
i can only speak for me. I am married yet i still don’t really love myself i love my wife and children and truth be told if it was not for them i would not be here. they are my strength. BUt one thing i did find hard was to show my wife my truth on how i feel about my self that was the hardest thing. i always hide my mental state for years. until one day i finally broke down crying with her. and she has been one of the biggest help. she still don’t know everything that goes through my head or how many time i have came close to it. but she does know to keep a eye out on me… She also have taken a put a picture of us in every room in the house 1 on every wall. i think it her way of remind me… Of course that just speaking for me. It up to you if you want to go for a relationship or if you feel you need more time.
I think it’s probably wise to love yourself before you love others. I think that way because if you don’t treat yourself well then you’re more likely to date someone who doesn’t treat you well either. But if you love yourself and take care of yourself, you’ll look to be treated that way by your partner. Does that make sense? And in general, you should love yourself and practice self care. In any relationship, romantic and otherwise, you can’t give what you don’t have. If you want to give your partner the best you, you have to take care of and love you first. Loving them is an expression of how you love yourself.
I don’t think self love and self care is a destination type thing, it’s more of a journey. It’s a daily process and you’ll never be perfectly ready to have a relationship, but as long as you’re actively taking steps in that department, you’ll be healthy enough to date someone. You’ll be able to pour love into them and they’ll be able to reciprocate that love.
We weren’t meant to be alone. Of course you want a relationship. It feels good to be loved and to love someone else and to share all that stuff with. I’d like to think that, whether coupled or single, we shouldn’t stop bettering ourselves even when we do love ourselves. I love myself now more than I did when I first met my wife, and she played a role in that with her words of affirmation; but when we met I did have a base of self-love that I didn’t have in any of my past relationships.
I think that you wanting to love yourself instead of desperately looking for a partner to complete you shows great self-respect. Only you really know if you’re ready to date, but if you stay honest with yourself, I think you could venture out to see what’s out there. We will never be perfect versions of ourselves, so there’s no “right time” to date. Just check in with yourself to make sure that rejection isn’t making you feel worthless, and that you don’t feel like your gambling with your happiness every time you send someone a message. If you find those things happening, take a step back and re-center on yourself.
It’s such an interesting subject. And I’m personally receiving a lot of value from every response here.
Is it possible to do both? Be in a relationship while bettering myself?
I agree with all the things that everyone said here about loving yourself first. It’s really wise and interesting. But your question makes me reflect on my own experience and I’m still tempted to respond: yes, I think it’s possible. But it depends on who you’re dating - as @RayRen said, for example there could be a risk of being stuck in a pattern of abuse if you’re insecure already. And also: it’s not easy because it requires some important foundations between you and the person you love. At least in my opinion. These foundations being for example: honesty, a clear communication, agreeing with a shared perception of your relationship, heading towards common goals. And being okay to talk about it from time to time. It’s all about mutual commitment.
I’m with someone, it’s been 10 years now. We had our share of ups and downs, even recently. But when we met the first time and started to date each other I was a mess. Genuinely, very very lost. And through the years he helped me so much. But the thing is: it was not at the center of our relationship. It was only a positive effect of feeling loved and cared for, and to be with someone who neved had anything but good intentions. Despite his own struggles. Also, I don’t know if it can be considered as self-love at all, but I absolutely refused to put him in a role of a savior or healer. It’s almost a decision I had the moment I realized I was in love with him. Because the way I see our relationship is that we’re doing life together, we’re somehow bettering ourselves as individuals and as a couple, but there are some things that - for me - requires a different environment and resources than a loving relationship. There is trust, honesty, but I learned to find the right balance between not sharing at all or sharing too much. He helped me for that, in one way: by being him, by being here and by loving me, still. And this love, reflected on me, helped me to realize that it’s worth to try to learn to love myself too.
So… basically, I think there’s a time and an environment for everything. It was clear for me that if I started to love love and not him, then it would ruin everything. And somehow I found some strong motivation in this to keep fighting for myself as an individual.
But doing this can be very tricky and not to be done with anyone or at any moment of your life. I guess for your question: it’s hard to have an absolute answer. What’s I’d like to say is: trust your instinct. If it tells you that it’s better for you to learn to know yourself first, then so be it. It shows that this is something meaningful to you, so it’s likely what would work for you.
Sorry if my response is confusing. Your question is very interesting and there’s so many layers of discussion /w this. Might have too many thoughts at once.