You are able to love someone else even if you haven’t learned to love yourself yet. The problem isn’t with giving love. It’s with accepting love.
When you don’t love yourself, you will have trouble believing your person when they tell you how much they care. You will doubt every nice word they have to say about you because you struggle to realize your worth. You don’t see what they see in you. You wonder whether they are lying to make you feel better about yourself or whether they really do have strong feelings for you and are going to end up disappointed once they learn the truth about how annoying you are.
When you don’t love yourself, you avoid getting attached because you assume everyone is going to end up leaving you behind. You don’t want to let yourself believe there is a chance they might stay. You don’t want to lead yourself toward disappointment. Instead, you jump to the worst case scenario. You assume there is no way someone is going to stick around once they are around you enough. In your mind, the more time they spend with you, the less they will like you.
When you don’t love yourself, you will accidentally frustrate your person. When they call you beautiful, you will shake your head. When they tell you they only want you, you will still question whether they are seeing someone else on the side. They will wonder why you don’t trust them when they have done nothing but treat you with kindness and respect. But you won’t be able to stop the nagging voice in the back of your head, saying that they probably are cheating on you, because you can’t imagine why they would settle for just you.
When you don’t love yourself, you see problems when none exist. You spend too much time imagining the horrible things your person is thinking about you, even though there is no proof they are thinking about anything other than how beautiful you are and how they can’t wait to spend the rest of their life alongside you.
When you don’t love yourself, you self-sabotage. Your insecurities convince you that your person is lying or cheating or about to leave you when they really haven’t done anything incriminating at all. You end up hurting yourself before they have a chance to hurt you, because you figure that either way, you are going to be heartbroken and you would rather be in control of the situation. You would rather be the one calling the shots.
When you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to make a relationship last, because you fight against your person whenever they try to take the next step with you. The better they treat you, the more you pull away from them because you don’t want to fall in love. You don’t want to get attached. You don’t want to feel like you can’t live without them because you are convinced they will be gone one day and wouldn’t be able to live with the pain.
When you don’t love yourself, relationships are hard. Harder than most people realize.