Tracy McMillan, television writer and relationship expert, wrote a blog post in 2011 for The Huffington Post that went viral. It chronicles 6 reasons why she says women aren’t married even when they really want to be. One of her strong messages was that as women, we need to love ourselves first. This will set the stage for more fulfilling, authentic relationships with other people. Here are some of her suggestions:
Love where you are right now, no matter what.
Before you can love someone else, you need to love and accept yourself at this very moment. Take pride in your work, love your body, and give yourself some credit. Maybe you just suffered a big disappointment in your life; you lost your job or you’re having financial troubles. Be supportive of yourself, just as you’d be supportive of a spouse who’s suffering. Macmillan says, “Realize that you’re whole right now….” There’s no man, job, or circumstance that can make you feel more whole.
Embrace your past and your flaws.
McMillan advises that you face your flaws and take comfort in yourself when you’re in pain. Ken Page, a New York-based psychotherapist who specializes in intimacy and spirituality, suggests that we learn to love ourselves, with our flaws. “…Sometimes the only way to learn self-love is by being loved–precisely in the places where we feel most unsure and most tender.” He believes that you need to address the parts of yourself that you hide from the people you date and work through those feelings. Eventually, you will need to share them with a partner so you both can grow together.
By loving yourself, you learn a new way to love.
When you begin to nurture yourself, you come from a different place and are looking for a long term relationship for the right reasons. You don’t focus on if “he” liked you, but whether you felt great after the date.
– Barbara Bent