Romantic Love Doesn’t Replace Self-Love


Self-love isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a real important thing. A real important act.

“Love yourself.”

These words follow us everywhere. I say it. You say it too. It may visit you in Instagram posts and Twitter pages. It rolls off the lips of people we know. But honestly, there are times when the words are empty and the meaning escapes.

Here’s the thing. You deserve attention. Your mind deserves to be fed on a continual basis. You are supposed to hear authentic, rich, empowering statements like, “You are enough. You are entirely deserving of your dreams. You’re doing a great job. I love you.”

Your body deserves to be fueled. How it’s touched and what touches it, what’s ingested and what’s rubbed on it - it matters.

But because a lot of self-love mantra is chalked up in bubbly, “be positive” outlines, when the festering, dark feelings of unworthiness bubble to the surface, self-love feels out of reach. It feels like an impossible act that only exists in the context of light, feathery textures.

And so, the desire for love from self manifests as the desire for love - from others.

“Romantic love doesn’t replace self-love,“ I soberly, but compassionately tell one of my clients.

“But peeling back the layers of what you desire from romantic love will help you understand how you need to love you,” I optimistically follow up.

Misappropriating the love we seek from self will always have an impact on our relationships. Can I keep it real with you? It's presumptuous and unfair to expect someone to love you in a way only YOU are supposed to love you. There’s a certain level of disillusionment we step into when we expect such a thing. No one’s sole reason for existence is to love you 24/7 at 100%. That’s your job. That’s your number one priority.

Here’s the truth about self-love.

It will be easy to love yourself after a popping Dominican blow out. After indulging in new Shea Moisture products you got for buy one get one free. Or even after happening upon a gorgeous item from a thrift store.

But self-love will be hard.

There will be moments where you cannot look yourself in the mirror. You will wonder if you’re doing a great job. You will doubt your readiness for a new position. In the beginning of my journey of self-love, I thought I was failing when I honestly struggled with accepting myself. The journey has shown me, those are some of the most sacred moments of the journey.

Loving yourself is not just about loving yourself when it's easy. It's about doing it when it’s not. It’s about not abandoning yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and say, “I choose you. In the joy, discomfort, pain, peace, uncertainty and expansion - I choose you.”

For the romantics who are self-loving, self-accepting and self-settling, your commitment to yourself will manifest positively in your romantic affairs. How you love you sets the standard on how you require others to show up in your life. It provides you with a clear roadmap on how to direct people into your heart - because yes, this is a thing. No one will know how to love you 100% off the back, but with communication, chemistry and wholesome intentions on both ends - people can grow into loving you exactly the way you desire and deserve.

Here’s one last deliciously empowering truth: Self-love will always be the most dependable love you have access to. Take advantage of that knowing.

brittany josephina