Ever since we were little kids, our worlds have totally revolved around love. Remember playing MASH with your best friends and hoping you would get to marry your latest crush? Or twisting the stem off your apple while singing the ABC’s so you could know the first letter of the name of the guy you were going to call your husband? We started the search for love at a very young age, and we haven’t stopped. It’s super easy to fall in love with the idea of love. It truly is a beautiful thing. But unfortunately, when the search for love takes over your life, you stop focusing on you. You pretty much ignore and forget who you are and what a beautiful person you are becoming. And focusing on you is an important thing to do. In fact, taking the time in your life to do so will actually make finding that special someone and falling in love even better. Here are 15 reasons why you need to take the spotlight off of love and put it on yourself instead.
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1. Love Isn’t Everything
Society loves the idea of love and it’s a super hot topic everywhere you go, from the movies to songs to magazines you read as you wait in line at the grocery store. Society pretty much makes you feel like love is all you could ever need. But here’s a little reality check for you: love is not everything. It shouldn’t be your life goal, and it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your daily life. Yes, love is awesome. And finding the person you are going to spend your life with is a beautiful thing. But there are so many other important things to be focused on – most importantly, yourself. Once you do find love you will realize that even though it is great, it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. You will realize how important you are in your relationships and in this life.
2. Love Can Keep You From Your Goals
Focusing too much on love can keep you from focusing on your goals. Say you want to travel the world or go to grad school — those things are pretty hard to go if you’re focused on your relationship. Setting goals for yourself (and actually accomplishing them) is an awesome feeling, and it’s something that is so much easier to do if you aren’t tied down. Now, it is not impossible to accomplish your goals when you are in a relationship, but it does make it harder. Focusing on you will allow you to see your hopes and dreams come to life. And who knows, maybe you will find true love in the midst of achieving your goals – maybe you will find someone with the same passions as you. And honestly, what’s better than that? Next thing you know, you’re traveling around the world with your new travel buddy who also happens to be the love of your life.
3. You Won’t Be Single Forever
At some point in your life, you will find yourself in an amazing, loving and healthy relationship. You’ll be chatting marriage and kids and the whole nine yards. As much as it may seem like it right now, you are definitely not going to be single forever. And honestly, once you are in a relationship, you are going to miss some of the aspects of single life. There’s a sense of freedom that comes with not having to report to anyone and not having to take anyone else’s feelings or wants or needs into consideration. If you want pizza for dinner, you order pizza. You don’t have to think about that fact that your boyfriend is allergic to cheese. Say there is a new guy at your favorite bar — well, you have the freedom to build a relationship with him, even if it is just a friendship, and not have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings or crossing any lines. You can pretty much do whatever the heck you want, and that’s pretty awesome.
4. Relationships Mean Compromise
Once you enter a new relationship, fall in love, and start talking long-term, you’ll realize that relationships require compromise. This isn’t a bad thing and it basically comes with the territory. But you still have to come to terms with the concept, and the best way to do that is definitely spending a ton of time doing what you want when you want, and not compromising at all. If you have already accomplished some of your biggest goals and seen some of your biggest dreams come to life — you live in your dream city, for instance — then moving because your boyfriend got a new job won’t seem like such a big deal. A good guy will compromise for you too, so you don’t have to worry about it only being a one-way street. But focusing on yourself, where the only things you have to compromise are ones you want, is a benefit of taking the time to be selfish for a little while.
5. You Need To Love Yourself First
You’ve probably heard this one before but that’s because it’s such awesome advice. You have to love yourself before someone else can truly love you. It’s just the way that it is. The more you understand yourself and how to love yourself, the better you will be at understanding another person and giving them the love they deserve. And when you’re happy with who you are, you are able to give love uninhibited and you won’t be concerned about whether it’s good enough or you’re good enough. You already know that you are. So, spending some of your time focused on who you are and falling in love with that person is actually going to benefit you when you do fall in love.
6. Casual Dating Can Be Fun
Just because you’re focusing on yourself doesn’t mean you can’t go on some casual dates. In fact, you should! Casual dating can be pretty beneficial, as it will help you realize what you want and don’t want in a guy. Now we’re not talking about getting drunk with a bunch of random guys and doing things you will regret in the morning. We’re talking about good conversation, classy evenings, and maybe even some free food. There is absolutely zero harm in that. You will find that everybody brings different things to the table, some good and some not so great, and as you meet different types of people you begin to figure out what type of person is going to be the best for you. No guy is going to be perfect, but your standards will begin to become clear, and when you are faced with a decision of whether or not to pursue a relationship with a guy, you will be able to refer to what you learned from other people.
7. Love Happens When You’re Not Looking
Have you ever needed a specific thing, like the perfect black dress for a night out with your girls? The last time you went shopping, you saw about a billion of them at every store, but when you actually need one and make a special trip to find it, well, it’s like this article of clothing has gone totally extinct. Then, once the night is over, they start popping up again. Annoying, right? Well, it’s the same way when it comes to guys and finding love. You will find it when you aren’t looking. Instead of settling for the not so flattering dark gray dress because it’s the closest thing you can find to what you actually want, wait for the real thing to come along – even if it means not getting it exactly when you want it or think you need it. And if you do, you will not be disappointed.
8. You’ll Always Have Yourself
Guys come and go, but you will always have yourself. Through the good and bad, the highs and lows, you aren’t going anywhere. It is important to focus on your relationship with yourself so that when life does hit you hard and you find you are all you have, you realize that’s okay because you’re all you need. This doesn’t come easily or naturally. And it is definitely a lot harder for those who have never been too fond of themselves. The thought of being alone makes you instantly scared of being lonely. That’s ok – you still have the time and opportunity to learn about yourself and become ok with hanging out with just you every once in awhile. Having an independent life is important both while you’re single and once you find love. You should never be dependent on anyone, and developing that skill before you get into a relationship will help guarantee that your life will not fall to pieces even if something bad happens. You know you will always have yourself and you know that it will be okay.
9. You’ll Be A Better Partner
Life is the greatest teacher, and a lot of the lessons we learn as we go through life teach us about love. When you have a conflict with a co-worker and you have to suck up your pride, approach them about the issue and learn how to resolve conflict respectfully, you’re definitely learning how to communicate effectively, which will benefit your relationship. When you are watching the cooking channel and you learn a new, really cool recipe, you are giving yourself ideas to use later on in life when you want to surprise your lover with a candle lit dinner. It may sound silly now, but everything you do today, even the little things you learn and discover that don’t seem to matter, are going to find their way into your relationship at some point, and they are going to make you better prepared to be an amazing partner.
10. You’ll Avoid (Most) Heartbreak
Trying and failing to find true love means falling for people who claim to be something they’re not and ultimately having your heart broken. This is, of course, only until the most amazing man who defies all the rest comes by and sweeps you off your feet. Instead of subjecting yourself to low-quality guys just because you want love so badly, wait for your knight in shining armor to come and save you from any unnecessary heartbreak. And yes, I understand it is hard to know who is sincere and who is just trying to get you in bed, but the slower you take things the easier it will be to realize who has serious boyfriend potential and who definitely does not. There’s no point in getting your heartbroken and carrying that baggage with you into your next relationship if you can avoid it and just focus on you instead.
11. Love Is Hard Work
Sure, it’s definitely worth it, but still, it needs to be said. The benefits totally make up for the tough times, but it is important to make sure you are ready for the tough times before you jump into them. Fighting with someone you love, and knowing you have made a promise to them and can’t just walk away, is hard and is something you can’t prepare yourself for. Deciding huge matters like living together, marriage, children, finances, is hard, especially if you and your man don’t see eye to eye. You have to be a tough person to be in a relationship and to make love last. It is definitely not something for the faint of heart. Instead of worrying about all that seriousness right now, take some time and enjoy the easiness of focusing on you. The time will come when you need to step up, but until then, don’t even worry about it.
12. Your Friends Are Important
Instead of trying to find and foster a romantic relationship, focus on your friends. Besides yourself and your family, they are the people who are most likely to stick around for the long haul – especially if you spend the time and effort developing quality relationships. You are going to need those friends when you do fall in love and are faced with tough times. It’s better to make them now with quality people and know they will be there when you need them than to wait until it’s too late. And who knows, a really great friendship with a guy could turn into a really beautiful love. Now, don’t go out and start befriending all these dudes because you see them as potential love interests. Just be open to the idea. You never know how, when, or where love is going to come – just focus on what is important to you and be ready for it to surprise you.
13. You’ll Choose A Better Guy
The more time you spend focusing on yourself like what you like to do in your free time, where you like to spend your money, what you want and desire in a partner, the better you are going to do picking a guy that is everything you want and more. It’s easy to fall for the sweet lines guys say to you or get distracted by their irresistible smile and hot body, but if you know yourself you will be able to look past all those qualities and make sure they possess the other ones that are even more important to you. Love is a pretty serious thing and needs careful thought and consideration. They better you know yourself, the better job you will do at filtering out the bad guys. And the only way you can do that is by taking the time to learn more about you.
14. True Love Takes Time
Relax. You’re probably not going to find your perfect guy tomorrow and fall in love at first sight. The best love, the kind that really lasts, takes time to develop. Yes, being in love is an amazing thing, but it is important to understand the difference between infatuation and love. Infatuation is what you feel in the first couple months of getting to know a person. You most likely have heard this referred to as the honeymoon stage. And it’s definitely a fun stage in a relationship, but it isn’t love. True love is what you feel after years of being together through the thick and thin – after being faced with temptation and fights and still choosing each other, day after day – that is when you know you have found true love. So be patient. It will come when the time is right.
15. You’re Enough
You don’t need anyone to complete you or make you happy or fix your life. You have the power to do all that and more by yourself. When you do find love you won’t be finding your other half. You will be finding another whole person who will support you for who you are in all your wholeness. When you know who you are, that are you are enough, you will be able to support your partner instead of relying on them to complete you. So don’t be afraid to live life for yourself for a little while. Not only will it prepare you for when you do find love, but it will help you realize what an awesome person you are all by yourself as well.