You don’t need to love yourself before someone can love you, that is something that I hate hearing, mainly because it’s not true, but also because it doesn’t inspire one to love themselves, it just tells them that they are worthless now. The intent behind it is something to talk about though, and that is that you need to take care of yourself sometimes before you get in a romantic relationship. That is true, even if the saying people have made out of it is false and cruel.
You can have successful relationships when struggling with your mental health, there is no question in that, but there needs to be some serious reflection on how your mental health is affecting your actions and also affecting your thoughts.
Mental illness can make us more stand off-ish or more clingy. It can make you hide the truth or deliver it in hurtful ways. Mental illness effects us all over, which is one of the reasons society needs to take it more seriously, but it is also a reason why you need to evaluate yours before you dive into a romantic relationship. What behaviors are your mental illness affecting and how will they effect a loved one? Everyone has a few behaviors that aren’t ideal, everyone has things they need to work on, but if we currently have more than normal, we need to address them before we make a significant other address them.
Romantic relationships have higher stakes than friendships and very different stakes than family. It’s a partnership and it’s important to look at it that way. You won’t always put in 50%, sometimes you might only be able to give 20%, but that means that when your partner can only give 20% you have to give 80%. It’s a game of give and take, and you need to make sure you’re not the only one taking. Sometimes we aren’t at a position mentally were we have the energy to give because we’re having to give our all to survive and cope, if that’s the case, maybe you should put off that first date till you’re healthier. There’s no shame in needing some time for yourself, in fact, it’s the responsible and admirable thing to do.
If you’re fairly stable and making good strides towards health and functioning at a higher volume, there is no shame in adding in love before you are a hundred percent healthy. You don’t need to be there to have someone love you, you just have to make sure you are able to balance everything.
It’s important to take care of you, but it’s also important to be considerate of others, that doesn’t mean you’re unlovable and that doesn’t mean your a bad person. It sometimes just means that you need a little bit longer to heal.