Opinion: Love yourself first, then love will come to you

All of this wedding and relationship talk has made me think back to a time when I thought wedded bliss would never happen for me.

I am talking about a time that I convinced myself I never wanted to get married. I lied to myself and others, saying marriage was not for me, when deep down, it was the feeling that I would never meet the right person.

I am reaching out to you, the reader, who hears all of this wedding and love talk this month and feels lonely. You might hate Valentine’s Day, like I did. You might feel as though “the one” is not going to show up, and you are feeling hopeless. Maybe you are wondering if you will be alone forever. Or worse: Will you settle?

People would tell me all of the time that when you are not looking is when you will find love. You want to know what I think? Love yourself first, then love will come to you.

When you have reached a point in your life that you love spending time with just yourself and are content and happy to be alone is when you will be ready and open to receive someone who deserves you for the unique perfection that you are.

If you want to stay single forever, kudos to you. Then, the love that finds you will be all your own. But if you are seeking to spend your life with a partner, don’t seek any further until you feel completely content with yourself.

Don’t change. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Love you for all of you. Have fun with yourself, and don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t see the entirety of your greatness.

If someone would have shared this valuable secret to me long ago, it could have saved a lot of heartache and sadness. If I would have just known how special I was and how anyone would be lucky to have me in their life, I would have not been so quick to date those that treated me less than that.

You can’t give what you don’t have. How can you give real, true love if you don’t find it within first?

Talk to yourself how you want to be spoken to. Treat yourself as a best friend. Find happiness in the times you are alone. Have fun with just you. When you begin this process, you won’t have to look for love anymore. Love will find you in the most unexpected way.

The lonely days can seem so bitter. Looking back now, I am so happy I never settled.

When I found my self-worth and had fun just being me, and when fell in love with who I am, that is when I stopped looking outside for something that needed to be found within.

That is when true love found me.

And it will find you, too.

Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at www.HealthyHairdresserAddie.com.

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