A relationship isn’t going to solve all of your problems. It might bring you a surge of excitement and happiness, since finding someone whose heart fits yours is a beautiful thing. It might temporarily raise your confidence and make you excited about waking up in the morning because there’s nothing more exhilarating than a butterfly romance. But at the end of the day, another person isn’t going to save you. You have to put in the effort to save yourself.
Your forever person can give you a million little compliments. They can tell you how much they love you, how beautiful you are, and how they couldn’t dream up a better person than you — and they could mean every word. But you need to put in the effort to love yourself, or you’re never going to believe them. Not fully. You’re always going to wonder whether they’re missing something obvious about you, whether it’s only a matter of time before they turn around and say goodbye. You’re always going to doubt their intentions, even when they’ve given you no reason to wonder whether their love is true.
It doesn’t matter how hard your forever person tries to make you feel comfortable in your body. No matter how many compliments they give you or how many gorgeous pictures they take of you, it isn’t going to change the way you look at yourself in the mirror. They don’t have that type of power over you. You need to do the work yourself.
And it is work. It’s not easy to start loving yourself after decades of treating yourself like a punching bag. You’re going to have trouble looking yourself in the mirror and liking what you see. You’re going to have trouble snapping pictures without deleting them as soon as you pinpoint a ‘flaw’. You’re going to have trouble believing the affirmations you say to yourself in the mirror, even if your gut knows the sentiment is true.
Watching someone else fall in love with you isn’t going to magically make you love yourself. They are two completely separate journeys. You need to give yourself the time and the tools to grow comfortable with your real, authentic self. You need to set aside time to focus on what makes you tick, what makes you happy, what makes you feel your most beautiful.
Your forever person might be perfect. They might say all the right things at all the right times, but in order for you to believe they’re true, you need to practice self-care, self-love, and self-respect. You need to take the same energy you’ve been putting into your relationship and put it into your relationship with yourself.
You would never neglect your partner, so why would you neglect yourself? Why would you make yourself feel worse when you could put effort into strengthening your relationship with the woman in the mirror? After all, it’s the longest relationship (and the most important relationship) you’re ever going to have. It matters. You matter.