I Need To Love Myself First


The thought of falling in love feels thrilling to me. The thought of finding the one man I will love for the rest of my life is like magic, dream-like; a dream I’m dreaming. Hear me when I say that I’m trying. I’m on Ok Cupid (I know, I know), and I’m on Tinder (again, I know), and I go out on the weekends, I go dancing and drinking and I’m affably social, approachable, open. I’m always here, and I’m always open.

Yet it feels like there’s this barrier that I can’t pass through, a small opening that I can’t squeeze through, and then suddenly I see that I’m obsessed with “falling in love,” so much so that I’m looking for someone to love me enough so that I don’t have to love myself.

Do you remember that one scene in Sex and the City, where Samantha says, “I love you… but I love me more. I’ve been in a relationship with myself for 49 years, and that’s the one I need to work on,” to Richard? I’m not a religious Sex and the City follower, but I remember seeing that one scene, vividly. And I finally understand that all I want is that. All I want is to love myself enough. And all I need is me.

It’s funny, because all I see is the over-saturation of people’s romantic relationships all across social media – on Instagram and on Facebook and on Twitter, all I see and all I hear about is how people’s romantic relationships are up, up, up, and perfect. It’s all perfect, all butterflies and love letters and engagements and weddings and hashtags and #mcm and #wcw and bae and etc.

That’s all good and sweet, and I see it, I see that you’re all happy and that you’re all in love, but the over-saturation of your love highlight reels is telling me that I need to be there, that I need to be in love, but I finally understand that that’s not where I need to be – not yet. It’s like seeing someone with something that you don’t have, and suddenly you need to have it, you need to have that something that you think you need. And it’s elementary of me, because I know that I’m not well-equipped for a commitment like that – not today, not yet.

Before accepting the artless reality that I’m not ready for a commitment, I thought that maybe the reason why I was luckless in the dating scene was because I was projecting a repelling defect, a man-repelling defect that I didn’t know I possessed. I can understand why I’m not the preferred choice for most gay men looking to date – in my experience, there is this obsession with these physical and non-physical standards that I don’t meet: I’m not tall enough, I’m not masculine enough, I don’t frequent the gym enough, my voice isn’t deep enough, I’m not making a decent enough salary… and etc.

In this age of Ok Cupid and Tinder and social media and endless choice, there is this perpetual pursuit for the greenest grass, and the possibility of perfection (or near-perfection) in a potential date or a potential partner has most gay men, in my experience with the dating scene, disappointed and dissatisfied with the concept of what enough really is.

I’m not the prettiest boy in the room. I may not be enough of this, and I may not be enough of that, and I’m disappointed and dissatisfied with myself for feeling lessened by not meeting these standards, by not mirroring the impossible concept of enough perpetuated by the fallacy of greener and still greener grass. Because I may not be enough for them, but I am enough for me. And this is what matters to me the most – that I fall in love with myself first, that I love myself enough first. I’ve been in a relationship with myself for 24 years, and this is the one, this is the only one, that I need to work on.

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