The Importance Of Being Happy With Yourself Before Dating

Updated June 17, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

How often have you heard it said that it is impossible to make someone else happy if you aren't happy with yourself, or that you must love yourself before you can truly love someone else or let them love you fully? Before you can be in a happy romantic relationship with someone else, you have to be happy with who you are. If you don’t know how to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship with yourself, this can bleed into romantic relationships.  This article will explain why being happy with yourself, especially before dating, is so important. It will also give some tips on how to prepare prior to dating and how to be happy single

People who base their happiness on their relationship status or their romantic partner may often find themselves in failed relationship after failed relationship. Their relationships can fall apart due to the placing of too much pressure on their partner to mend something within them that should have been mended before starting the relationship. This is why it is so important to be happy with yourself before dating. You have to learn to live with yourself and build your self-esteem and self-love before you can learn to love others.

Why you should be happy with yourself before dating

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Being happy with yourself can be challenging sometimes

Understanding the importance of being happy with yourself before dating is a critical step in building a healthy relationship with another person. You can function with less psychological and emotional luggage when you not only love yourself but have a solid understanding of who you are. Additionally, you can have more logical expectations of your partner; a partner is not meant to “fix” us, as only we can do that for ourselves. There are several benefits of working on yourself. Each one improves who you are as an individual, directly impacting the person you are or may in the future be in a relationship with.

You know your self-worth

One of the main and most important benefits of focusing on being happy with yourself before dating is that you can get to know your self-worth. Entering into relationships without first knowing and honoring your self-worth can result in insecurity and potential toxicity in relationships. Not taking the time to figure out who you are and acknowledge your inherent worth as an individual can cause us to seek validation from others, particularly in romantic relationships. This is not healthy, nor is it fair to either yourself or your partner(s).

Knowing your self-worth allows you to realize that you are complete whether you’re single or in a relationship. Additionally, recognizing your self-worth can bolster self-confidence, which can have positive effects on other aspects of your life. When you know who you are and are happy with yourself, it becomes easier to recognize and set boundaries, engage in healthy communication, and genuinely listen to yourself and others.

Being confident in yourself can help prevent feeling taken advantage of and help your partner understand what hurts your feelings. When you value yourself, others will value you as well. You set the standard of how you are viewed and treated by how you view and treat yourself. So, before you start dating, make sure you know your worth and what you can bring to the table in a relationship.

You know what your preferences are

Everyone has preferences; whether it concerns food, musical tastes, or relationships, people know what they like and what they don't. Another benefit of being happy with yourself before dating is that you know what your preferences and needs are. You are more conscious of anything that poses a threat to your sense of personal happiness or that is somehow disrespectful to you.

When you know what you need and prefer, you may be better equipped to make healthier life and relationship choices. You can avoid situations that you know would be likely to stunt your personal growth and overall well-being. Furthermore, knowing what your preferences are will help put an end to superficial relationships. You won't waste time investing in relationships with people you are uninterested in and with whom you do not enjoy spending time.

You will be able to have a healthier relationship

Getty / D3sign

Happy people often attract happy people. As opposed to your relationship being viewed as a sole source of happiness, it can instead enhance the happiness that you've already created within yourself. This can allow for a healthier relationship; one that isn't built on the unrealistic expectations of your partner being solely responsible for your personal happiness.

Loving yourself

In addition to being happy before dating, you should know how to love yourself. Genuinely loving yourself is one of the greatest gifts that you could ever give to yourself, and it can positively impact all aspects of your life. Knowing how to love yourself can also help you love others. Here are a few things that can happen when you know how to love yourself:

  1. You are happier.
  2. You take better care of yourself, mentally and physically.
  3. You no longer feel the need to compare yourself to other people.
  4. Higher self-esteem and a positive self-image.

Self-love is perhaps the greatest love that you will ever experience. So, how do you build a love for yourself?

Spend time being single and getting to know yourself

Allow yourself to be single for a while so that you have the time to get to know yourself. If you are already single and feel that you want to discover and develop yourself, enjoy this time by yourself. It is possible to grow and find yourself in a relationship, so don't feel the need to get out of a relationship that you enjoy being in and that is healthy. But, if you are single, don't feel pressured to jump into a relationship, as this could hinder your self-development. When entering into relationships without knowing who they truly are, people may forget to focus on themselves and their growth. This happens to people sometimes because they become so focused on their partner and day-to-day responsibilities that getting to know and care for ourselves is put on the back burner. Whether you’re coming out of a relationship or already being single, it is important to take your time to get reacquainted with who you are. If you’re in a relationship you’re happy with, you can still take some time on your own to engage in hobbies and activities to learn more about yourself, for yourself.

Each relationship you are in will change you somehow, whether you notice it or not. Before getting into a relationship, learn how you have changed and how you want to develop. What did you learn about yourself during your past relationship? How has the breakup affected you? Is the person you've become someone you are proud of? Ask yourself these questions and set out to completely understand who you are before getting into a relationship again.

Find acceptance for your insecurities

According to Ken Page, loving ourselves means we have to accept our insecurities. In the past, if our differences were ever met by discontent, anger, or teasing, we may become insecure about those parts of ourselves. Remember, insecurities are a part of life. Most everyone is insecure about something. 

The only way to overcome your insecurities is to accept them. Some insecurities and flaws can be changed, while others are going to remain. Be sure to accept your flaws so your insecurities do not affect your future relationships. Acknowledging and accepting your insecurities will help you have a better mindset about yourself and better your relationships, whether romantic or not. You can also work to challenge those insecurities.

Compliment yourself

A great habit to form is complimenting yourself. Sadly, many people find it easier to praise others than to praise themselves. Love yourself enough to take the time to elevate yourself. Do you like your hair today? Are you happy with your outfit? Did you make a great dinner for yourself? Learn to see the positives about yourself and recognize them. Complimenting yourself is such a great way to help boost your self-esteem and keep insecurities in check.

If you find it hard to compliment yourself in the beginning, try using positive affirmations. Write down a few compliments and affirmations. Please place them in locations throughout your home. The bathroom mirror and refrigerator door are ideal because you will see them several times a day. You can also compliment yourself out loud when looking in the mirror. Why wait for someone else to tell you how amazing you are when you can do it yourself?

Cut out anyone who intentionally feeds into your insecurities

It is senseless to act like everyone you come across will take the time to assure you of your value and point out that your insecurities are probably irrational. Some people will intentionally feed into your insecurities either for their own gain or because they share the same insecurity. These relationships can enable your negative behaviors and thought patterns. If you are currently in a relationship and your partner purposely makes you feel insecure, please consider attending relationship counseling to help get your relationship back on track to being more positive.

Make it a habit of being around people who uplift you, not people who are constantly pointing out your flaws and shortcomings. Healing is hard when people who reopen wounds (or create new ones) surround you. Be firm in your resolve. An explanation isn't necessary for the personal decision that you have made. However, if someone asks why you have distanced yourself from them, be honest. A person who genuinely cares about you will respect your choice or make changes to their behavior.

Find happiness with yourself

Being happy with yourself can be challenging sometimes

Learn to love yourself -- support is available

Dr. Russell Grieger explains seeking happiness in a great way. He says you cannot hope that the "Happiness Fairy" will come to you. You must take steps to find the key to happiness in your life and to find things that make you happy. With this in mind, love yourself. Treat yourself the way that you would want someone else to treat you. A happy, healthy, loving relationship with yourself is the most rewarding relationship you will ever have. After all, you have to live with yourself for your entire life; why not make sure that you know and love who you are?

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, online therapy can help you learn how to get to know and love yourself. Regain offers discreet, convenient, and affordable professional therapy that can be accessed anywhere you have a reliable internet connection. Additionally, many studies have found online therapy to be just as effective as in-person therapy. For example, the National Center for Health Research analyzed dozens of studies. They confirmed that online therapy is just as helpful and successful as traditional therapy for the treatment of a multitude of conditions and concerns, including anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, relationships, and more.

If you are experiencing trauma, support is available. Please see our Get Help Now page for more resources.

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