Growing up, my parents and my brothers were my biggest fans. They wanted to make sure I not only did what I love, but that my primary knowledge of what love was came from them, so that I could in turn, love myself. I usually only talk about love through my poetry, but I think self-love is extremely important and should be mentioned any time either of us get the chance to. Why? Because self-love often determines how we love, what standards/expectations we set for ourselves, and the relationships we have. Cut to my personal life.

On a consistent basis, people ask me why I’m single/not dating anyone. It isn’t that I’m opposed. I’ve been in love before. I’ve been in relationships before. I’ve dated men that have changed my life for better or for worse. But when you get older, no matter how much you love a significant other or a friend you’ve known for years, when something isn’t for you anymore, you’ve got to let it go. I love with all of me, each and every time, no matter the role a person plays in my life. I don’t half-ass love; I’m an all or nothing type of woman. Point being, when you get to that place where you are immersed in self-love, instinctively, you won’t revolve around certain people and will find yourself in a better space because there’s no room to entertain what isn’t beneficial.

Because people have had bad experiences or don’t want to become vulnerable, they make love out to be a bad thing. It’s not. But a). loving YOURSELF and b). cultivating any type of relationship with people that RECIPROCATE your love are two conscious choices you have to make, or else you’ll always be running on empty.

So today, and any other day of the week, make a vow to love yourself a little more, even if you don’t know where to start. Get to know yourself. Grow to value yourself, no matter how difficult it may be and no matter how long it will take. We all need love… it just has to be the right kind.

Part Five of the #ReasonsWhyImSingle Series.

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