Is it really love or is it something else? Sometimes what we think is love is actually something else entirely, and that something is not a good thing. Almost everyone has heard the quote “If you don’t love yourself you cannot love anyone else.” It really is true. If you love yourself you know what love looks like. You know how to treat people, and how you should be treated. You know what loving dialogue sounds like, and what demeaning dialogue sounds like.
When you love yourself, you respect yourself. You also recognize disrespect right away and will not tolerate it. You attract, and are attracted, to people who treat you with love. When you do not love yourself, you are insecure. You are attracted to people who make you feel insecure. You want to win their affections, but at the same time, feel unworthy of them.
When we are younger, it seems harder to truly love yourself, because many people are still on the journey of finding out who they really are. This could be why younger people are more prone to become infatuated with “bad boys” that are nasty to them or unkind. They may think they like the challenge, or that they like someone who keeps them on their toes. In reality, they tapped into their insecurity.
Feeling insecure makes us uncomfortable, so in an effort to rid ourselves of that feeling, we try and win the affections of people who make us insecure. It may feel like love, but it isn’t. It simply does not make sense that you could care for someone who treats you like garbage. You may have feelings for them, but those feelings are coming from a negative place.
Now, if at one point someone was good to you, and feelings between you developed and then they suddenly (or over a long period) began to treat you badly, that is real love, because it was really present at one point. But if it never was or never has been, take a look at what your real emotional investment with this person is.
Maybe its lust, where the physical pull makes them irresistible even though they have not treated you in a loving manner. You may be obsessed with changing this persons mind about you, and seeing you in another way. You may think then things between you would be more like a loving relationship. But the truth of the matter is, until you heal your wounds, and deal with your own insecurities yourself, you will have a hard time loving yourself.
And if you don’t love yourself, you will find yourself attracting and being attracted to the wrong people. If you don’t love yourself but find yourself lucky enough to meet someone that can truly love you, you may find yourself sabotaging the relationship. Bottom line? If you want real love in your life, it has to start with you.