Many of us dream of growing old with a person we really love. We imagine coming home to this person every single day. We envision long conversations over the dinner table, sleeping soundly in the same bed, coming home every day and seeing their face. We want commitment, loyalty, and trust. We want to feel safe. We want security – the pleasant fact that we have someone who has promised to love us and keep us company for the rest of our lives. We want to proudly marry them, have children with them, raise a family with them. We want them to support us. We want to think about them more than we think about ourselves. We want to make them the happiest they have ever been.
In the meantime, we date. We look for people who we think would make great boyfriends or girlfriends. We want something that will become serious. We want to cook for them, take them to parties, introduce them to all our friends. We want someone who is funny, kind, caring, and smart. We want a partner who we can be honest with, someone that will listen, someone who will try to help in any way they can. We want them to not only be our girlfriends and boyfriends but our best friends, too. We want someone who has the ability to the cheer us up and bring us down. We want the jealousy and the pain. We want all the agonies too, because that’s what happens when you’re in love.
Many of us just want to be loved.
The problem is, we forget to love ourselves. We cannot expect someone to commit to us if we are not devoted to ourselves. We cannot hope for someone to support us if we don’t have faith in ourselves. We cannot wish for security and laughter and jealous fights if we do not believe that we deserve it. We cannot be honest with our partner if we lie to ourselves. Our partner cannot listen to us if we muffle our own inner voices. Our partner cannot take care of us if we don’t know how to heal our own wounds. Our partner cannot make us feel confident if we are deeply insecure. Our partner will not believe in us if we do not believe in us.
We cannot expect someone else to love us if we do not love ourselves.
We need to be committed to who we are. We need to support all our hopes and dreams. We need to believe we are funny if we want to make someone truly laugh. We have to learn how to take care of ourselves before we let someone else try. We need to know what we want out of an argument before we start bickering. We need to listen to ourselves. We need to take a deep breath and listen. We have to have confidence.
Only we can pull ourselves out of the black hole of insecurity. We have to know that the only person who we can depend on is us. We have to like our personality. We have to recognize our weaknesses. We have to love ourselves through our mistakes, self-described flaws, and any regrets we may have. We have to believe in who we are, always and forever. We have to.
And only when we have learned to love ourselves, someone else will too.