I have been single for quite a long time now. This used to make me feel like I was a bad, or weird person. It even made me think that I was unlovable. Until the day I decided to fall in love with myself.
Now spring is finally here! It seems like love is in the air. You may have seen those faces looking for a date, for someone to share the upcoming beautiful, warm spring days, and nights, with. Maybe you’re even one of those people who don’t have that “special someone” who cares for you, or invites you out to a picnic? So what? How can it be that this season has the power to make us feel uncomfortable with our single status, although most of the year we don’t really mind?
You might be thinking “Oh, I actually like myself, I’m pretty okay.” No, I mean you really need to fall in love with yourself first. Think about it, if you just like yourself most of the time, how can another person fall in love with you, if you cannot even love yourself?
Here are six ways to fall in love with yourself:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Sure, we all have days that we feel less attractive, not as funny, not as smart, not as successful, not as great as our friend/colleague/acquaintance, etc. Comparing yourself with others is a battle you will never win, because you are your own enemy. Until recently, I was looking for a job, living at home with my parents again, and single. Believe me, this doesn’t exactly makes one feel super attractive and self-confident. However, I kept looking at it as being in a great situation, because my status made me flexible, and gave me a chance to find out what I really want to do. In the meantime, I got to network, meet new people, and check out new places every week. I stayed proud of myself and my accomplishments, which gave me the motivation and self-confidence I needed to keep my head up. Again, still today, I don’t even try to compare myself to others, because the grass always seems greener on the other side, even though it really isn’t. We all have our own battles to fight. There is no need for comparisons or even jealousy.
2. Forgive yourself. Have you experienced those moments where you keep checking your phone for new texts or calls from this one person? You go to the locations where you could possibly run into him/her, just to see if he/she is there? You make a fool of yourself to impress him/her? That’s okay, I think it’s safe to say that we have all been there at one point or another. Change your perspective and look at how dangerous it actually it is to rely on another person to make you happy, or even feel incomplete, if another person isn’t in your life. It makes your happiness and contentment with life dependent on another human being. Remember that you cannot control other people’s actions and feelings, only your own. So give yourself a hug, smile about the past and how much you’ve learned; grown from it, and forgive yourself.
3. Discover yourself and your needs. Imagine you are shopping for a sweater. Ask yourself: What are you looking for in that sweater? Does it need to keep you warm? Does it have to be comfortable or just chic? How do you know it fits you well? How do you know it suits you and your lifestyle? What is the purpose of this sweater? To keep you from being out alone and “naked” on colder days? Or to keep you company and give you a special feeling on a cool but beautiful day?
4. Get comfortable with yourself and with being on your own. I've had clients who went from one date to another, not realizing that they had absolutely no clue what they were looking for in a mate. Turned out, most of them were scared and uncomfortable with being on their own; they felt like they had to date. The constant dating simply prevented them from being alone, or even from being seen as strange. Unfortunately, being single used to (and still does today for some people) mean that no one wanted you. I look at it this way: I know what I want. I know what I need. I know how I want to live my life. I simply know myself. Therefore, I know what I am “shopping” for, and I won’t settle for any less than that. That’s what F.L.Y. is all about: First Love Yourself.
5. Be proud of who you are. Be proud of yourself! Look at what you have accomplished in the past and still accomplish today. I cannot say it often enough: you need to understand your worth. Since you cannot control other people’s decisions and feelings, it is crucial to know who you are. You need to know your worth, as well as feel complete, and comfortable, on your own. If you don't love yourself, you will most likely have difficulties believing that another person can love you. This usually makes you uncomfortable and insecure, and oftentimes shows itself in the form of jealousy, and codependency. Look at that other “special” person as someone who keeps you company, like a companion.
6. Stop beating yourself up and practice positive self-talk. I used to think that my own happiness and self-worth depended on having a great relationship, a great career, and great looks – being perfect. When this didn’t quite work out for me, I started beating myself up and became my biggest critic; until I realized that being critical with myself did nothing more than actually prevent me from pursuing my dreams. So I started approving myself instead. Frankly, this is something I used to shy away from, because I thought it was strange. How can I possibly talk to myself in a positive way without becoming arrogant? The practice of positive self-talk, in the form of affirmations, or just by writing down one great thing about yourself every day for at least one month, is a very powerful tool that I have used successfully with clients before. You will see that you will discover, or remember, great things about yourself that you may have forgotten while you were busy beating yourself up. The benefit of making a list is that you can take it out at any time and re-read it when you’re having a bad day. Keep your head up, pull yourself together, and be proud of who you are. No one has seen or done the same things that you have. Remind yourself, especially in weak moments, that you are awesome, and that anyone who ends up with you as a mate, is one very lucky person!