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Lacking Self-Love Kills Your Love Life

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that a breakup would get better or easier, I would be able to retire and buy a one way ticket to an exotic island.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to let the entire social media world in on such a personal situation, but it’s time to make it public knowledge, and if this can help someone going through the same issue, then it's well worth it.

Breaking: I recently got dumped by my (now ex) fiancé.

I like myself. I think I’m strong willed, witty, beautiful inside and out, and definitely handy about car knowledge, but I’ve never really, truly loved every inch of myself or felt comfortable being alone in my own presence. I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach all of the time. It’s an anxious, lonely, eat-away-at-you feeling. I hate staying in on a Saturday night watching movies by myself. I hate sitting around without any kind of plan in motion. I have trouble keeping myself entertained. Maybe I have more of a fear of missing out feeling, or loneliness, or maybe it’s my depression acting up, or a combination of all of the above. I’ve never explored my own thoughts, never taken time to go out and do an activity by myself, like see a movie or read a book at a coffee shop. So maybe it’s good that this is happening now, while I’m still young and have a lot of life to think about.

Flashback to two years ago, to October of 2016. I met a guy. A pretty great guy. A kind of guy that makes you gush about the same moments over and over again. A guy who would soon become my partner in crime. Our relationship moved way too fast at a pace we weren’t ready for, which is mainly my fault. I’ve always been known to rush into things. We dated for a year, got engaged on our anniversary, and then were together for 8 more months before it ended in July of this year. I have an inclination to get overly attached to anything that moves. I could probably get attached to a rock if it gave me the time of day. If I like you, there’s a good chance that I’m already attached to you. I’ve never been the one known to just date around and enjoy life. I for one don’t think I’d be able to deal with the lack of commitment in casual dating. (Which I recently tried, and I was right.) I crave commitment and an unrealistic amount of reassurance, due to my own inner issues. I require too much time spent together, too much effort. I can be overly judgmental, and too into the 'Facebook official' status public statement. I’ve learned the hard way that if you have issues towards yourself locked away, they eventually claw their way out and become bigger issues directed towards your relationships. My lack of self-love led me to become too dependent and extremely selfish. I became almost miserable being by myself.

I’ve almost always depended on other people for my own happiness. I’ve always thought a relationship alone could solely bring me happiness. The cliched truth I’ve discovered is, only you can bring yourself happiness. (Shocker, right?) You have to fill your own cup before you can fill other's. If you’re not happy or comfortable with yourself and being your own person, your relationship will complicate everything, and only make you more miserable in the long run. You can’t expect someone to drop everything to come to your every beckoning call. You may not even know that you’re doing it, but that’s part of being self-aware, which I now put in the same boat as self-love. You can’t have self-love without being self-aware. Relationships are all about give and take, which I’m not gonna lie - I suck at. I’m still learning how to be more selfless and less selfish. I am so picky and controlling about every aspect of my life and care too much about what other people think about me, that I forget I need to be more selfless and loving towards others and focusing on how to make my partner happy.

My naive self has always thought that love would be enough, that any problems you faced could be conquered by love alone. I was wrong. (Shocker again, right?) With great love comes great responsibility. You can't expect love to fix all of your problems. Relationships aren't about finding your other half, you need to be whole before you can love someone else.

Overall, I've become grateful that this happened because it’s opened me up to a world of possibilities for future relationships, careers, and friendships. While I loved him with every fiber in my body, I wasn’t great at showing it and still need to learn how to. I still have a lot of growing to do on my own. Every breakup teaches you a hard life lesson, and I think everything does truly happen for a reason. I think the fact that I've learned something and that I am okay, is a great sign. It wasn't meant to be, and that's okay. I'm gonna clean up the mess and keep moving along.

Since the breakup I’ve taken up yoga, blogging, and hanging out more with my friends and family. I’ve been trying new foods and experiences, and taking more chances and risks. I’ve been thinking more about what career I want to have, and if I want to go back to school. I've taken more time to be by myself. All the things in the past that I said I would start ‘next week,’ I have finally taken a chance on and tried. (Like writing and building this blog, too!) You have to take it one day at a time and implement small gradual steps to achieving total self-acceptance. I had gained a bad habit of waking up right before I needed to leave for work and skipping my hair and makeup, which left me feeling awful during the day and contributed to my misery. I’ve started waking up way earlier than I need to so I can have a ton of time to relax and get ready in the morning, and that alone has made a huge difference for me. I’ve taken more time to pamper myself, like doing a hair mask in the shower, painting my finger and toe nails, using some self tanning products, yoga, journaling, and going places by myself. A lot changes when you focus more on yourself and improving your own life. Maybe it's true what they say about love finding you when you least expect it. All of the adult relationships I've been in, have been from me going out and searching for someone out of loneliness. I need to be in love with myself before someone will come along and love me too.

For the first time in years, I can honestly say I’m happy at this moment in time - with my job, friends, family, and most importantly, my self. I'm not fully healed, there are some days where I feel lonely and still miss the idea of him, but i'm taking it one step at a time. It's not an overnight process, you have to be patient with yourself.

So here are some of my simple ideas of ways to show yourself some self love and good ole’ TLC!

*Spend time with your family or friends

*Get up early to do something special with your hair and/or makeup

*Splurge on a new makeup or hair product

*Go to bed early

*Binge watch a new show (or The Office for the 30th time)

*Go to a coffee shop to read, blog, etc.

*See a movie by yourself

*Re-decorate your room

*Paint your nails

*Complete a workout

*Jam session complete with a 30 second dance party

I knew that guy was special from the moment I met him. I thought it was because he was the one I was going to marry, but turns out he was the one who was supposed to teach me a hard lesson instead.

Once I realized I didn’t need a man to be happy, my whole perspective changed and I started to love and thrive off of being independent. A relationship alone cannot make you happy and truly fulfill you. You have to love yourself, too. Life is like a puzzle, you can't force the pieces to come together if they don't actually fit. As someone much wiser once said, when one door closes, another opens.


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