A black girl with short hair standing under a blossoming tree
Taisiia Stupak – Unsplash

Loving yourself

You are your first love!

The hero in this story is not a flawless knight. The hero isn’t one of the eligible singles from church. It isn’t the person who will finally treat you with the respect you deserve. The hero isn’t even your soul mate. The real hero in this story is the person you have forgotten, the one you need to fall in love with again; you.

If you believe that your life isn’t complete until the right person comes along, then you really need to ask yourself how you got to a point where you thought of yourself as incomplete. 

A partner is not coming into your life to save you. They are coming into your life to love you. I insist that you never allow the difference between those two scenarios to be lost on you. What you are looking for in this partner are the very things you have denied yourself. If it is companionship that you seek, then you also need to learn how to create value in the time you spend alone. If it is faithfulness, you won’t find it in someone else, you will find it in fiercely fighting for the things that have your best interest at heart. You have to first be faithful to yourself. You are your most important suitor. Find the highest peak, and fall hard for yourself. 

When you have finally reclaimed your missing half, when you can finally see yourself as whole again… It will be time to kiss a few frogs.

Here is where you remain faithful to yourself. Never betray who you are by posing as someone else. Don’t apologize for who you have become. There will be suitors who will find this irresistible; those are the only ones you have time for. The ones who see you for who you are, and not what they want. There’s a difference. Open the door for the one whose values best match up with yours.

There will be the attractive one – who doesn’t want kids. There will be the PhD holder who believes your place is in the kitchen. There will be the religious one who will not want sex before marriage. There will be the skilled one – whose family you will only find out about a year later. This is what they stand for. What do you stand for?

Frog kissing will require you to sometimes put aside your feelings and find out who these people really are. It’s an audition that goes both ways, and what you’re looking for are the people whose values are most compatible with yours. Love alone will not be enough. Love is what you feel for someone, compatibility is how you will live together. The two don’t always coexist.

As the dust settles on what will seem like a battlefield to you, only the two of you will remain standing. You and this person who lines up so well with your values, this person who gives you butterflies the size of elephants. This person who shows up for you when you need them the most. They really do exist.

You’re here now. You finally found love, but I won’t let you forget who you are. You are still whole. That doesn’t change because you found someone, if anything; you need it now more than ever. There is a time for ‘I’ and a time for ‘We’. Make it very clear to your partner that they are not the same. ‘I’ is the first person you fell in love with, the one who came to understand the things that truly give purpose to your life. Don’t let go of that first love. It is not selfish to put ‘I’ in front of ‘We’, it is essential. It is giving. It is giving others the best version of you. Your partner will need to understand that your life remains your life, your body remains your body, and your choices remain your choices.

I’m happy for you. Not because you found love, but because you found yourself. Love is the reward you get for putting ‘I’ first.


Do you ever forget who you are sometimes when you’re in a relationship? 


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LoveMatters Africa

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