If another personasks me if I have a boyfriend, I maypoke my eyeballs out.
As someone who has been single for what feels like an eternity, I already know what comes next.Im told Im too picky, and I should be more vulnerable.
Weve all heard it. My therapist sermonizesit.Confidence begets confidence. Vulnerability is the key to intimacy.
And I believe it. The menI fall for are consistently self-assured and open.
Yes, Ive read of the articles out there. Ive even started doing yoga,Ive lookedin the mirror, and Ive repeated positive affirmations each morning.
I dont hate myself. I can objectively be proud of a myself in a lot of ways since I know Im not a leper. Butthere is anagging voice telling me youre not enough.
This keeps me from takingcompliments from guys I date. This encourages me to send cryptic texts. This keeps me from opening up to true intimacy.
This voice is supposed to protect my heart, but in the end, its hurtingit.
So, how should a girl startloving yourself when the story youve told yourself for years encourages the opposite?
Treat self-deprecation like a bad habit because in all honesty, thats all it is.
What if next time youtold yourself youre not worthy of a relationship, you could actually stop that thought? It can be done in the same way you stopped sucking your thumb when you were little.
Hereare three steps to start on the path to loving yourself so that you can open yourself up to loving somebody else.
Whether its that PDA-loving couple holding hands on the street, or that morning scroll through your exs Snapchat story, there are things out that will bring up the reminder that yes, we are alone.
But take note of that. Be aware.
Start to identify these feels of self-loathing come up. At first, it might seem like youre doing it all of the time because, same. Trust me,it happens.
Writedown each negativethought you have about yourself for a full day. Sure, it might make you feel a little bit sad, but you wouldnt end up vocalizing it anyway.
Though annoying at first, acknowledgingwhat youre doing is a great way of shaking the habit.
Its get you on that path to loving who you are, first and foremost.
Now that youve noticed when these thoughts pop into your head, you can take action.
Did you feel noticeably more single after stalking an album fromyour cousins wedding? Does fifth-wheeling a dinner leave you feeling empty inside?
First, just stop it. Dont egg yourself on with instances that will just have you in downward spiral of depression.
Take a breather next time your friends invite you along. Take a break from social media. Begin to develop ways that will allow you to connect more with yourself. This is your time to enjoy who you are as a person, before you can open up to enjoying who you are when youre someone else.
If you happen to be in the midst of a big family gathering, there are ways to avoid being questioned about your love life. Rather than field questions with fictitious answers, bring up the project you just started at work, or that summer trip you have planned.
Trust me, people living vicariously throughyour trips.
Im not talking positive affirmations, but more about acts of self-love.
Every time you feel thatnegative thought coming on, spin it withsomething nice for yourself.
Im not advising totreat yourself to a spa day every time you think youre not pretty enough for a boyfriend, but there little things you can do to remove that overwhelming cynicism.
It could be as simple as pulling up of a picture of yourself where you look particularly fly.
Yes, accept it, girl. You are that beautiful.
Every time you think youre never going to get married, take that big, deepyoga breath. Calm your nerves and instead, think of the present, instead of the future.
Light some candles, relax, use some hand lotion. Silly, I know, but whatever willbring out a smile is all you need.
These simple actscan retrain your brain to associate being single with kinder,loving thoughts.
Next time youre preparing for a Bumble date,applying mascara, feeling some butterflies, dont allow thatvoice to questionyour appearance. Dont make judgmental calls before youve even stepped foot in front of the guy.
Remember that its OK to speak highly of yourself, to yourself. Relish in the opportunity to learn about a new person who thinks youre pretty cool, too.
If you start to allow yourself these tiny acts of love, day by day, you will start to project a confident, more open you.
Youll be loving yourself, and eventually, someone else, in no time.