When I was looking for love years ago, a lot of people told me: “Love yourself. Because you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” All true of course. But I found that hard to gauge in the same way that, say, “Stop eating when you’re starting to feel full” is. Me, I don’t feel full until my plate is empty, and with no way to measure self-contentment, how do I know if I love myself enough?
What was easier to do, I realized, was to start loving my life. Because that was something I could do in an active, measurable way. For example:
Instead of going for drinks in desperation with any stranger I met (I mean, how many glasses of rosé can one girl drink?), I began to spend more time with my friends and my family who I loved. I went for lingering brunches and inhaled my freedom. I walked for hours around the city appreciating my health, my home, my apartment, my job and everything else I had going for me.
And because I didn’t have a husband and kids (though I wanted both), I traveled more than ever, and felt even better about my life when I was out exploring the world. And the more I appreciated my life, the happier and more fulfilled I felt. And the happier and more fulfilled I felt, the more I glowed. And the more I glowed, the more confident I was. And the more confident I was, well…that’s when the men came flocking. Yes, I had plenty of down days (my God!) But I had far more happy ones, and I’m grateful now that I made sure to have them.
So I suggest the same to someone looking for love this summer: Love every single second you have—and I mean that literally. Think about it: If all goes according to hope and plan and you do meet someone and fall in love, won’t you wish you didn’t waste these weeks or months of singleness you had left? If a crystal ball could tell you that you are going to meet someone in three months, aren’t there a few things you might want to do with the commitment-free single nights you have left? (Like, I don’t know, make out with a hot bartender you see absolutely no future with, just because you can?)
While you search for a partner, try not to bog yourself down with must-do dating rules or depressing thoughts or too many dates that you forget who you are and what you’re looking for in the first place. Look for love, of course, but while you’re doing it, live and love the life you have now. The more you do, the more likely it is that love will come flocking to you to find out your secret.