Love Yourself First

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I do not fall in love easily. In the short 28 years I have been alive, I have only been in love once. It’s not that love isn’t a priority to me; it’s just that I’d prefer to be by myself than be with someone I am not madly in love with. And I’d definitely prefer to be by myself than be with someone and completely lose myself in the relationship. 

Have you ever had this happen? Have you ever been the person who is completely focused on your career, dreams, and passions? You are so excited about your life’s mission and you have dreams to change the world. You have goals that light you up inside and make you so thrilled to get up in the morning. And then love strikes and something drastically changes. 

Well, that was me. The day I fell in love, my whole life changed. I had dreamt of falling in love since I was a kid and once it happened, I couldn’t contain myself. I was completely swept off my feet, and we were like magnets around each other. Almost addicted to one another. Every time I saw him, I’d run and jump in his arms because I was so excited to see him. He was the man I had always dreamed of. The man I would drop anything for. The man I loved so much I wanted to shout out to the world how amazing he was. The first two years of our relationship was non stop love. We were together all the time, and all that mattered was our relationship. 

At the two year mark, something drastically changed. Our honeymoon phase ended, and I realized my goals and dreams had vanished as well. I had turned into a completely different person. I stopped speaking up for myself and kept my opinions at bay. I stopped doing everything I loved, to do things he loved. I ended up loving him more than I loved myself and gave up everything I had ever enjoyed to be with him. Instead of being myself, I was the person I thought he wanted me to be. And even worse, this lasted for another three years. 

Our love didn’t last, and it makes me sad just thinking about it. This isn’t because I still miss him or because I want to be with him. It’s because I spent too many years investing more in a relationship than I did on myself. I spent too many years trying to be someone that I’m not. And I spent too many years in a relationship because I was afraid to be alone. 

Love is a funny thing. My time with him was one of the happiest times of my life and also one of the worst. Love is blind and love makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do. It makes you act in ways you wouldn’t normally act. For me, it made me a completely different person. 

I’m not saying this will always be the case. I know there is someone out there for me who will enhance my life and support my dreams. I know there is someone out there I can totally be myself around and not lose my identity in the relationship. But you know what I’ve realized through all of this? In order to find my life partner and be in a relationship that fuels my soul, I need to love myself first. I need to take some time and build up my self-worth and realize that my dreams are just as valuable as anyone else’s.

I love love. I think it is the most wonderful thing in the world. I hope that everyone experiences the kind of love I did with this man at the beginning of our relationship. But, I truly believe that love all starts with loving yourself first. And more than anything, that is what I wish for all people. I hope that everyone can find a deep sense of love for the person they are. Go jump in your own arms, be so excited to spend time with yourself, shout out to the world how amazing you are, and be the person you can’t imagine your life without. The world would be a much different place without you in it.

And once you enter a relationship, don’t sacrifice who you are. You have so many unique gifts and talents, and the world needs them. Once you embrace this, a relationship will enhance your life, but it won’t be your whole life. Love yourself first, because it is the most important and longest relationship you will ever have.