Do You Have to Love Yourself Before You Can Love Someone Else?

love yourself before you can love someone else

Yes, if you hate yourself and you’re living a reckless life, you probably should work on you a little (life coping tools) before investing in someone else. But the idea that you have to fully love yourself before loving someone else is not true. It’s a banner hung by people who have read too many self-help books. It can be a wall we hide behind because we’re afraid to love.

It’s also lined with shame. It sets you up to ring a high bell that’s unattainable because loving yourself doesn’t come with a certificate or a finish line. It’s a life-long process. It’s not a class. It’s a concept.

Related: Osho on the Concept of Love and Self Love – some of his deepest Teachings

Like any relationship, your relationship with yourself goes up and down and sideways and requires a daily feed. It changes as you change, as your circumstances change, and as the people around you change.

So, no matter how much work you’ve done on yourself or how far you’ve come in life, there are days you’re not going to love yourself, because of so many other factors. You may be kinder to yourself. You may no longer hate yourself. But we all snap back at times. We all live with our demons to a certain extent, because we all have our stories. And our stories have caused imprints and false beliefs. None of us enter adulthood unscarred.

That banner injects people with fear, and they begin to dig moats instead of building bridges.

So it’s actually not about loving yourself. Let’s move away from the pressure of that, especially when it comes to qualifying yourself to love someone else.

Instead, see loving yourself as the action of self-love and self-care in your everyday life and your everyday choices — from what you decide to eat, to who you decide to love and surround yourself with. Loving yourself is the practice of self-love, and it’s ongoing. Forever. Until you die. It’s not a bar to measure yourself before getting into a relationship.

Entering a relationship should not require you to be a certain person or at a certain place in your life.

What’s more important when it comes to investing in a relationship is that you like yourself. That’s more of the constant. That’s the island to swim to. That’s real. That’s a secondary change.

Related: Relationships & Self-Love: 9 Self-Love Rules In A Healthy Relationship

When you get to a place where you like yourself, the action of loving yourself will come more naturally. You’ll have non-negotiables. You won’t tolerate certain behavior from others. You’ll seek less approval. Your friendships will be less lopsided. You won’t have as many holes to fill within you. You’ll be more gentle with yourself, more forgiving. You’ll believe you deserve more, better, different. You’ll finally stop breaking the promises you’ve made with you. And the relationship you have with yourself will improve.

Still not convinced?

Okay, here’s the other reason why “You have to love yourself before you love someone else” is a bumper sticker.

We love ourselves through others.

The way we learn to love ourselves is through other people and the relationships we have with them. We are literally designed to learn, grow, and love through other people. We are tribal creatures. We’re not meant to do life alone.

I understand the importance of The Hero’s Journey. It’s the solo quest, especially after your relationship has expired and you need to do some soul searching. But that is temporary. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s not meant to be.

Eventually, you choose to love someone new and bring what you’ve learned about yourself, love, and the world into the relationship. This relationship, assuming it’s healthy, creates the space for you to love yourself exponentially more because you are actually experiencing someone loving you.

Someone else loving you will always be more powerful than you loving yourself. It’s easier to love someone else than ourselves, no matter how much work we’ve done on us. Think about it. The love you have for your children. Your husband, wife, brother, sister, friends. You would do so much more for them than yourself, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself. It means you’re human. And that’s what makes us magical.

When we experience healthy love back — someone treating us like we have value, without conditions and judgment — we learn to treat ourselves that way. The relationship lays the tracks.

On the contrary, when we are in unhealthy, toxic relationships where we are controlled and not allowed to be ourselves, we learn to turn the gun to ourselves and not love ourselves.

Related: How To Tell If You’re In A Healthy Relationship (When You’ve Never Had One Before)

That’s why it’s so important to be in a healthy relationship. The relationship itself becomes a self-love machine.

So you don’t have to love yourself to love someone else. But you should like yourself because when you like yourself, you will make healthy choices and create a space (build a relationship) that will promote self-love.

– Angry

Subscribe to my audio course?  “No more unhealthy relationships.” Click HERE

If you want to build yourself a brand new container, get my book HERE.

If you wanna be a life coach, come ride with us HERE.

Written By John Kim
Originally appeared on Psychology Today
You Have to Love Yourself Before You Love Someone Else - Why It Won't Work For You
love yourself before you can love someone else pin

— About the Author —

Up Next

Feeling Alone In The Season of Togetherness? 5 Tips To Cope With Loneliness On Holidays

Feeling Loneliness On Holidays? Tips To Brighten Your Days

Winter celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa are all about having fun with friends and family. But sometimes, even with all the happiness around, you might get the feeling of loneliness on holidays.

If you’re dealing with bouts of loneliness, it’s important to know that you’re not the only one, and there are ways to deal with it. Dealing with long-lasting loneliness might need some special help. But there are also simple things you can do when you’re feeling lonely during the holidays.

This guide is here to help you understand and handle holiday loneliness. We’ll give you easy tips to feel better and enjoy the festive season more. Let’s beat those holiday blues together with simple steps and support. Happy holidays!

Up Next

How To Use Binaural Beats To Let Go of Fear, Pain, And Overthinking

How To Use Binaural Beats? Best Binaural Beats Benefits

Ever wondered how to use binaural beats correctly? Find the best ways to heal, relieve fear, pain, and excessive thinking. Your journey begins here!

There are a stunningly vast array of benefits you can experience from listening to binaural beats – a fascinating form of soundwave therapy.

When one of America’s most famous living philosophers, Ken Wilber, was asked what the average person could do to raise their consciousness, he replied:

There’s already a technology that can be used to raise human consciousness. It’s called binaural beats.

Up Next

How To Live In The Moment And Be Happy: 15 Strategies For Embracing The Present

How To Live In The Moment And Be Happy: Strategies

Do you ever find yourself caught up in the whirlwind of life, constantly worrying about the past or stressing about the future? But what if I told you that the key to true happiness lies in embracing the present moment? Let’s find out how to live in the moment and be happy.

Today most of us struggle with stress, anxiety and depression as we struggle to face the increasing challenges of the fast-paced world. This not only robs us of our inner joy but also keeps us from being truly happy.

So let’s explore the art of living in the moment and uncover practical strategies to cultivate happiness in our everyday lives. Let us embark on this enlightening journey together and discover the true joy that comes from being fully present.

Up Next

Becoming a Social Butterfly: A 5-Step Guide to Cultivating Popularity

Social Butterfly Meaning: Step Guide to Being Popular

Have you ever wondered how your friend becomes the life of the party? Ever wanted to effortlessly make connections like them? Learning the social butterfly meaning can be your secret to forging similar connections. 

In today’s world, being a social butterfly can make a significant difference. Struggling to connect in a room full of people can negatively impact both your professional and personal life.

That’s where learning how to become a social butterfly can be your beacon of hope!  

Social Butterfly Meaning

A “social butterfly” refers to someone who effortlessly thrives in social setti

Up Next

What Is Self Reflection? 9 Helpful Tips To Understand Yourself Better

What Is Self Reflection? Helpful Tips For Self-Examination

Ever found yourself pondering over your thoughts, actions, and experiences? Have you ever taken a step back to examine your emotions, motivations, and personal growth? These moments of introspection and self-analysis are crucial for personal growth. Let’s explore what is self reflection in psychology and learn some self reflection tips.

What is Self Reflection in Psychology?

Self-reflection, in the realm of psychology, is a process of introspection where individuals examine their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a conscious and objective perspective. 

It involves lookin

Up Next

How To Stop Feeling Disconnected From Life? 7 Healing Ways

How To Stop Feeling Disconnected From Life? Best Ways

Ever find yourself in a funk, feeling disconnected and sad? Fear not! Discover seven healing ways to shake off the blues and reconnect with yourself!

You feel disconnected right now, perhaps even a little sad or lonely – or even like no one really cares about you or sees you fully.

Accompanying feeling disconnected, you might feel lost in life, like you’re aimless, bored, unhappy, restless, and have no direction.

In essence, you feel like a tiny island drifting in the middle of a big ocean, cut off from all signs of life for miles.

How do I know this? I’ve experien

Up Next

What Is Existential Intelligence And 9 Ways To Develop It

What Is Existential Intelligence: Ways To Develop It

Have you ever pondered the deeper meaning of life? Contemplated your purpose and the existence of the universe? These existential questions lie at the core of our human experience. Let is dive in the driving force behind these question and find out what is existential intelligence?

Join us as we delve into the fascinating realm of existential intelligence, understanding the characteristics of existential intelligence and discovering activities for existential intelligence. So, let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery and unravel the mysteries of our existence!

What is Existential Intelligence?