Many people have little sense of what it means to have love and acceptance for one’s self. I’m not talking about loving one’s self to the point of narcissism. That’s an entirely different thing, but often people think that’s what self-love is.
They’ll often say, “But that’s being selfish.” No, it’s not. It’s being selfish not to love yourself.
Everyone has heard that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you. The reason for this is simple – our ideal partner is a reflection of us. We attract people that are like us. Not just in terms of romantic, sexual/physical attraction. We attract them metaphysically – these people tend to turn up in our lives.
Romantic compatibility has a lot to do with this. Why do we always ask our love interest what sort of music they like? We want to know they are on our wavelength. We want to know they are drawn to the same emotional experience, so we can trust that they will understand us.
It seems like this is easily faked. All you have to do is listen to someone talk passionately and agree with them. Find something from your own experience that is similar emotionally and share it. But this can be hard work. It’s much easier if your passions really are similar emotionally. That way, things just happen.
The problem comes when you are romantically attracted to people who are not on your wavelength. This means, people who are not right for you, but who have something that you respect, or admire, or just desire. You want to be with the other person to feel good about yourself, to fill some hole inside you or to change what other people think about you. These relationships are doomed to failure from the start, because of the amount of energy it takes to maintain them.
Look at the sort of person you want to get together with. You can become the sort of person who they would want to be with, assuming that you’re not already. If the person they want to be with, is the sort of person that you don’t like, then you’ll have to let go of those feelings, because those feelings keep you from being like them.
Take the school computer nerd, who wants to get with the cheerleader. But the cheerleader likes the football players. She’s physically active, she parties a lot, and is confident in herself. So she looks for guys who are physically active, party a lot, and are confident in themselves. It makes no sense that she would want to be with a guy who locks himself in his bedroom, is anti-social, and can’t look her in the eye when he speaks.
So to get the girl, the nerd must become the football player. He can still play to his strengths with computers, and he needn’t play football. But he needs to adopt their way of being in terms of inward qualities. If he is truly attracted to the cheerleader, then he wants those qualities for himself anyway, and he dislikes the contradicting qualities he already possesses.
The nerd that truly doesn’t want to become the football player doesn’t truly want the cheerleader. He wants the bookish girl who is already on his wavelength. Either way, the solution is rooted in self-acceptance. If he accepts himself, he will accept the bookish girl. If once he accepts himself, he finds that he wants to become a footballer, he can have the cheerleader too.
Once you accept yourself you will realise your true motives for wanting someone you can’t have. If you want to be with them to compensate for your own shortcomings, you will no longer want them. If you want them because you want to be like their ideal partner, then you will become that person. So there is never a need to change yourself for someone else.
Accept yourself, and you will like the potential partners you can get.