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6 Signs You Love Yourself Enough To Love Someone Else

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how to love yourself
Love, Self

Because you can't love someone until you practice self-love.

"If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?" These beautiful words spoken often and beautifully by RuPaul have meant a lot to me for a long, long time. In part, these words resonated because they are absolutely true.

Can you fall in love with someone while hating yourself? Well sure, love knows no bounds. But I'll tell you this right now: if you're looking for a healthy, happy, growing relationship, if you don't know how to love yourself and don't treat yourself with love and respect in every single romantic relationship, you will feel even worse about yourself. 


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It makes sense, doesn't it? Relationships can only work if the people in them work together to build each other up. If that balance is divided, one person is going to be doing most of the heavy lifting, and when things aren't balanced and fair in relationships, it leads to some serious strain.

That's right, just when you thought low self-esteem and your inner self-loathing couldn't ruin things anymore than they already have, now they're pissing all over your chances at love. Awesome.

Here's the thing, though — loving yourself isn't a process that you ever just complete. You don't wake up one morning and magically discover that you are flawless and you love every bit of yourself. For most of us, it's a process, learning our goods and our bads and being able to understand that both are necessary to create a whole individual.

Since the process of self-love is never-ending, it can be a bit confusing to think about what you have to have figured out about self-acceptance to get yourself into a relationship that will go the distance. Well, fret not, because we have identified 7 things you need to do before you're ready for love.

1. You know your faults.

Before you can go into a relationship expecting success, you need to really have a handle on yourself as a person. Contrary to popular belief, loving yourself doesn't mean ignoring your faults. True love is seeing your faults, acknowledging them, and doing your best knowing that your faults are just as important to who you are as are your strengths. 

None of us is without flaw. If you think that, maybe it's best you NEVER date. 

2. You are honest with others.

To my way of thinking, the worst things we do to each other when we date come from cowardice. 

Younger people are in no hurry to be honest with the people in their lives. Yes I like you, no, I'm not attracted to, it was great meeting you, I didn't feel any sparks — these are all simple phrases that save you from having to play games with others, leaving them in a panic about what you really think and feel.

Honesty might be hard, but it makes everything so much easier, particularly when it comes to engaging with people you hope to become romantically enmeshed with.


RELATED: 5 Reasons Why It Feels So Darn Hard To Love Yourself Sometimes


3. You embrace your baggage.

A lot of the time there is a temptation to try and keep your baggage out of sight when you're dating someone. That's not treating you or the relationship with love and respect.

Until you can present your baggage, share it, and speak to how it has limited to you and how you have grown from it, you aren't ready for real love, end of story. Plus, sharing opens up a whole other gnarly level of intimacy, and isn't that what we all want? 

4. You take care of YOU.

If you exist in the world then you've probably heard of the concept of "self-care," but you might not exactly know how it applies to you.

Here's how: you're a person, you need care. Take showers regularly, nurture yourself, meditate, sleep in, get a facial, go to bed on time — do whatever you need to do to treat your body and mind with all the rest and love that they deserve.

If you can't take care of yourself, there's no way you're going to be able to help take care of another person. 

5. You know what you want.

Sometimes self-loathing can be paralyzing. It can be such a shock when people want to date you that you probably seldom stop to think if you actually want to be with them in the first place.

Don't do that. Know what you want. Until you can clearly express what you want and need in a partner as a person who is worthy of those things, then you aren't ready for love. 

6. You know how to forgive.

If you really know how to love yourself, you know how to cut yourself some slack. More importantly, you know how to forgive yourself for mistakes or for choices that wound up being the wrong ones.

If you can't forgive yourself truly and honestly, then it's going to make forgiving anyone else next to impossible, and without forgiveness all our relationships are doomed.

7. You take your time.

You'll know you're in the right place when it comes to being love-ready when you are more than willing to go slow. When you don't love yourself, every person you date becomes a challenge. You need to get this person to like you as soon as possible and lock them down as your significant other OR ELSE.

But relationships aren't video games (sadly). You need to let things grow, see what evolves, and not put pressure on yourself or the other person.

People used to date before getting into exclusive relationships, and part of me thinks it would be better for all of us if we did that again. That way, when you actually know that you want to be in a relationship and you're READY to be in one, you can start it up.


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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the love and dating advice show, Becca After Dark, on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.