The idea that you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else — or be loved by anyone else — is bullshit. But at the same time, it’s significantly harder to date when you don’t love yourself because your insecurities are at the forefront of your mind.
You have trouble believing people are authentic when they swipe right on dating apps or call you beautiful or ask you on a date with them. There’s a nagging part of your brain that warns you they must be screwing with you or stringing you along or trying to get something out of you. You have a hard time believing anyone would want to date you and only you when the world is packed with so many beautiful, talented people. You assume everyone else sees you the way you see yourself. As nothing special.
It’s hard to date when you don’t love yourself because you hesitate to put yourself out there. You walk into situations assuming the worst. You assume you’re going to get rejected. You assume you’re going to make a fool of yourself. You assume you’re going to end up heartbroken.
Since you can’t even imagine something good happening to you, most of the time, you don’t even try. You let opportunities pass you by. You scroll by pictures of your crush without hitting the like button. You break eye contact too early. You avoid walking up to anyone attractive or sending the first text out of fear of being ignored.
It’s hard to date when you don’t love yourself because when you find someone who treats you right, you aren’t sure how to handle the sudden surge of affection. You aren’t used to being treated with so much tenderness. You expect to be treated as a backup plan or punching bag. You expect to be abandoned and heartbroken. You have trouble accepting unconditional love from someone else because you’ve never even shown that kind of love to yourself.
It’s hard to date when you don’t love yourself because your doubts get the best of you. Even once you’re in a stable, healthy relationship, you need constant reassurance. You need to know your person hasn’t grown bored of you, hasn’t lost interest in you, hasn’t strayed from you. You need to hear those three little words as much as humanly possible because silence scares you. The unknown scares you.
It’s hard to date when you don’t love yourself because you have trouble understanding where your person is coming from. You don’t understand why they would want to be in a relationship with you, why they would stay loyal to you, why they would dedicate their lives to you. Your trust issues might start some accidental fights because you can’t wrap your head around why your person loves you so much when you can’t feel the same love for yourself.
It’s hard to date when you don’t love yourself, which is why you should take some time to work on getting to know yourself better. That way, whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, you’ll always feel loved.