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“You Can’t Love Someone Unless You Love Yourself” Is A Lie

I think you will all agree with me when I say positivity is the need of the hour.

With He-who-must-not-be-named elected President of the most developed nation in the world, Toblerone changing shape and a myriad other events pointing toward an imminent apocalypse (well, it certainly seems a preferable alternative to the recent barrage of wtf’s happening all around), cynicism and pessimism are ruling the day. But even as more and more negativity infiltrates our daily life, so does the inundation of positive affirmations.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

With every setback, there’s a friend who slips in a gentle and kind reminder about why things will begin to look up soon. With every breakup, there’s a girlfriend who allows you to drown the pain in an endless stream of vodka-induced bitc*ing and with every loss, there’s a loved one still who’s got your back and awaits your smile, after you are cried out on his shoulder. If only we’d learnt to take note of the aphorisms that filled our childhood, we’d know that there, indeed, is a silver lining to every dark cloud and all we gotta do is learn where to find it. Life has a way of sneaking in a secret yummy cookie in a plate full of ones that taste like sawdust, if only we could brave a bite of each to hit the jackpot.

Suggested read: Signs to tell if HE is your soul mate

The same goes for our online lives. As social media becomes an increasingly ingrained aspect of our daily lives, the onus of carrying the torch rests squarely on the screens blazing endless content. Being constantly ‘logged in’ opens us to an avenue that can affect our worldview in a real way, for the good or bad. Whether it’s the truth of life hidden in some self-deprecatory humor or a sarcastic rip on the current socio-political clime, if the message is positive, it stands out.

Of course, this holds only if one promises never to read the comments! 😛

That being said, there is still an inherent danger in the number of positive affirmations and empowering posts online. Though most of them are intended to inspire a feel-good vibe, they invalidate the real feelings and struggles of people who cannot and are not able to live up to the saying.

Today, I am addressing just one such immensely popular quote on the web- you cannot love someone unless you love yourself.

I hate love_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pinterest

Paraded in front of my eyes countless times, as artsy Instagram posts, aspiring status updates, Tumblr reshares or even as ‘thought of the day’ on numerous café boards, I have a problem with this widely circulated notion- and I’m just going to spell it out.

It’s a truckload of bull.

No kidding. The idea that you cannot love someone unless you love yourself is absolute sh*t.

And I will tell you why: you do NOT need to reach some sort of finish line, where you are awarded a trophy that adjudges your race of self-recovery complete and successful, to believe that you are worthy of someone’s love. In simple words, you do NOT need to reach the final stage of your recovery and healing before you deserve to be cared for.

You are worthy of love, no matter which version of YOU you are.

Claiming that ‘you NEED to love yourself before anyone else can love you, or you can love someone’ is misguiding because it emphasizes the non-yielding need to ensure an emotional wholesomeness before a romantic relationship can knock on your door.

love hate relationship_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Having been there and done that, I can tell you from experience that while none of us NEED a romantic relationship in order to want to be better and excel at self-care, reaching a certain degree of sated self-esteem doesn’t qualify as any approved parameter for being worthy of love or even, measure the success of a relationship formed afterward.

Self-love isn’t the means to the oft-cherished end goal of romantic love. It shouldn’t be. One should pursue self-love because one believes one is worthy, irrespective of the presence or absence of romantic love in one’s life.

However, claiming that one is only worthy of romantic love if one has actualized self-love is to diminish one’s sense of worth and invalidate his/her feelings of struggle, emotional chaos and turmoil and deem them ‘inappropriate and undeserving’ of someone’s care and affection.

Aren’t wounded souls worthy of love? Aren’t people in the healing process deserving of someone who can motivate them to stay inspired and look ahead? Aren’t people crushed by the darkness worthy of someone who can hold their hand and take them into the light?

Suggested read: How do you know if someone is ‘the ONE’?

A meaningful relationship doesn’t emerge from a place of complete harmony with oneself. It emanates from love. And love only. And love can happen, despite and in spite of the demons that haunt one’s soul. In the process, having someone beside you who motivates you to push harder and work harder, in a very real way, can prove life-changing. I know because my love for someone gave me enough strength to push past my fears and embrace life and love, with all my heart.

Often, when we are struggling with our own demons, we tend to demonize our self. We think of ourselves as complete f*ck-ups who aren’t worthy of any happiness. Whenever such a feeling strikes, the feeling of being loved for, being cared for and having someone who sees you for a beautiful being, even when you are broken, especially when you are broken, helps us to see the very same things in ourselves. (Of course, there’s the danger of an unhealthy attachment style or deriving one’s sense of worth from an extrinsic source- but a love that builds you up does not erode the foundation of your well being- and don’t we know what that feels like?).

couple in love_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Guess what I’m trying to stress on is that self-care isn’t absolute, and like life, it is pretty much a walk on a tightrope. Even if one seems to be at absolute peace with oneself and thereafter, find love- there are no guarantees for no future slips. But even if something goes amiss, the love from another that one has chosen (‘the one’ who has chosen YOU) can help one make small adjustments to regain balance and keep walking.

Because any fluctuation does not mean you are lost. Any pause does not mean you are retreating backward. And no stage quite means that you are unworthy of love. Make progress through life, at a pace you are comfortable with. Choose who you want to share the journey with and remember that at no point, no matter how ecstatic or rotten you may feel, are you undeserving of love!

Every stage of your life has some value and adds to who you are- and if someone does not get that, he shouldn’t get any part of you at all.

You are human and you are allowed to be what you feel.

And you are lovable, that way- and in every way.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
You Can’t Love Someone Unless You Love Yourself - Is A Lie
Do you love yourself? No? Because to love yourself is a great thing, but to be loved even when you can't find it within you helps you find a reason to!
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."