Why You Don’t Have to Love Yourself to Love Someone Else

For years, I’ve been an avid fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a show about drag queens who compete against one another to win material prizes along with the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.

Though the contestants are often the most polarizing characters, creator and host RuPaul has said some pretty contentious things throughout the show’s history. One of his most bothersome sayings is, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” He would ask everyone this at the end of each episode and every single queen would parrot back to him words of agreement.

To me, this statement seems to suggest that you have to be fully happy with yourself and your life to even start looking for a significant other. This kind of idea sounds good in theory, suggesting that you should really perfect yourself and make yourself a good, desirable person before looking for a partner, though in reality, it’s very misguided.

Dating, relationships, and people in general cannot be objectively evaluated and then given an arbitrary level of worth.

Sentiments like this make people think that they have to be as good or even better than their potential partners to even make a move. Just because you’re a jobless student, doesn’t mean that you can’t date someone who’s more established and making good money. On the flip side, this also doesn’t mean that you can’t date someone whose economic status is lower than your own. Similarly, if you think you’re academically smarter than someone else, consider that this other person may be smarter than you are in other ways.

We live with ourselves every single day and I do agree with RuPaul when he says that you should be constantly trying to improve as a person every single day, whether it be your personality, your position in life, your education, etc. However, when people misconstrue this idea and think that they need to be at a certain education level, economic level, or social level to be able to have a relationship, I begin to get worried.

Relationships are a partnership and no one person is perfect.

If you have depression and may not love yourself as much as a potential partner, don’t let that discourage you from trying to look for love. If someone wants to be with you and you want them too, then by all means, let them in and pursue that person. Because a relationship is a partnership, it’s okay to not be perfect; I’m sure your potential partner has downfalls and things they don’t like about themselves.

What does matter is that within this relationship, you work with one another to fix these flaws. As we’ve been taught since preschool and kindergarten, working together makes accomplishing tasks so much easier.

Although I can see the merits in being an amazing, powerful person with high self-love and self-esteem, it isn’t a requirement for loving someone else. Allow yourself to be perfectly imperfect and work with your partner to change the things that you may not love so much about yourself. It’s so much easier to face the big wide world with someone you can trust by your side.

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