Why You Need to Love Yourself Before Getting Into a Relationship

Katie Sweeney

You’ve heard it a million times: In order to be half of a successful, positive, and healthy relationship, you’ve got to love yourself, first. As Margaret Paul of Mind Body Green recently put it, “you can’t love someone unless you love yourself. The hard truth is this: You cannot give to others purely if you’ve abandoned your own heart.”

According to Paul, many people skip this prerequisite that is crucial to achieving true love. People believe that they love themselves, but deep down, their inner self feels alone, empty, and unimportant. They hope that the hole will be filled by the person they’re giving their love to. However, this sort of thinking is a misguided approach to relationships that will only end in breakups.

“Love that comes from insecurity is fundamentally unsatisfying to both people in a relationship. It’s manipulative and ungrounded. It isn’t love,” Paul explains. “Not acknowledging and respecting your own wants and needs first will imbue the generosity of spirit you’re attempting to embody with disingenuousness. We can’t really ever hide or ignore our own self-abandonment. It always shows up eventually.”

While some may argue that loving yourself is selfish, Paul disagrees. Loving yourself means that you take responsibility for creating your own joy. It means that you are in a relationship to give rather than receive. It means other people aren’t your source of fulfillment, confidence, or love. 

Learn more about this topic by reading Paul’s book, Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?

Do you love yourself?

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