Every fairytale makes love out to be the answer, the “everything,” the moment of clarity where you discover what you were meant to do and who you were meant to be with. We’ve grown up believing that finding love is one of the most important journeys, that we’re meant to chase this “happy ending” and until we find our “other half” we’re simply incomplete.
I reject that narrative.
But not in the way you may think.
See, I love the idea of love. I love the excitement around finding your “person.” I love the idea that we have a soulmate or someone who is destined to be ours. And even though I know that fairytales are make-believe in there isn’t a person who will “fit our puzzle pieces” and make us “whole,” I do believe that love exists and is worth fighting for.
But not at the cost of our own self-love.
What I believe is that life is a delicate balance of loving ourselves and loving others. We are human, which means we crave connection. We crave intimacy. We crave closeness and being in a relationship with someone who understands the deepest parts of us.
And this isn’t something to apologize for.
Where we lose our way is when we focus so much on the “finding love” piece that we forget that love is already within us. We forget that the greatest and most profound love we can ever discover is the love that we give to ourselves.
Self-love is at the core of our growth. When we learn to love ourselves—our flaws, our imperfections, our visions, our triumphs, our failures—we learn that life is full of possibilities. We discover our personalities, our passions and purpose, our hopes for the future, and perhaps even the direction we will embark upon as we grow.
When we pour love into ourselves, we learn that we can accomplish and fight through so much more than we ever imagined. We also discover the boundaries of what we will and will not accept when it comes to others, which is infinitely important as we navigate the world of relationships.
Self-love can (and should) be the core of relationships. It should be the benchmark for what we see as healthy, and it should be what we build our future connections around.
It is from the foundation of self-love that we can learn who we’ll let in and what it means to be valued. It is from that initial self-relationship that we learn what we’re worthy of and how we should be treated.
But so often we stray from self-love, trying, so desperately, to discover ourselves in the eyes of others. We put “find love” at the top of our to-do list and look everywhere else but in our own hearts. We chase people and relationships that are broken. We run after souls that don’t value ours. And we spin ourselves in circles until we feel empty and alone.
But what if it didn’t have to be like that?
What if it didn’t have to feel like one or the other—loving yourself or loving someone else—and instead, could be a balance: I love you, but I also value who I am. I am committed to pursuing a relationship, but I will also commit to my own self-journey.
What if you could be ready for love and have self-love, too?
We’ve been conditioned to see love as a fairytale, but what if we need to see it for what it is—imperfect but beautiful—not everything, but something we shouldn’t have shame for wanting. As long as we remember who we are along the way.
Wanting to find love, wanting to build love, desiring to feel and share love—that’s not wrong. But it shouldn’t come at the cost of de-prioritizing yourself. This is not a one-or-the-other type of scenario.
Yes, you can be ready for love and have self-love, too.
To read more about relationships, head to our blog page! PS: Yes, it IS possible to find someone you’re compatible with who will support your self-love journey, too! Take the Birdy’s FREE personality test on our app to learn more about what you need and who might be the perfect fit.