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To some, love is an elusive goal that is tirelessly and desperately pursued simply to fill a void of loneliness and/or gain a sense of validation. The general problem with those who have this mindset is that they aren’t truly ready to endure the various trials and tribulations that a relationship will put them through, thus adding to their problems.

You can end up being just as unhappy in life, or even more so, while in a relationship if you haven’t learned the art of self love. How so you ask? Let me give you a scenario: Sherri is dating the man that she feels to be the love of her life after only a few dates (this due to her being desperate to be with anyone she felt the slightest connection with). The two of them agree to be exclusive and start dating seriously, but then Sherri finds out that her mate is cheating on her with other women. While this is happening, he’s telling her that it doesn’t mean anything because he loves her and that the past infidelities were just mistakes and moments of weakness. Due to Sherri’s refusal to take time to herself and learn her worth as a person, she decides to stay with him, and the cheating continues. Sherri’s nights now consist of being alone and crying into her pillow, while her boyfriend claims to be working late (although she knows what’s really going on).

The above scenario is just one example of why I stress the importance of growing as a person and learning more about yourself at every opportunity. While some may feel like they need another person to be whole, I feel like people should see themselves as complete and instead, be on the lookout for someone who contributes even more positivity and fulfillment to their life.

(Photo: Anh Nguyen)

According to the American Psychological Association, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. While there are various reasons why people get divorced, incompatibility is high on the list. This could be due to people jumping into a relationship/marriage without fully knowing themselves or their spouse, and/or the parties involved growing as people in certain stages of life and unfortunately realizing they aren’t compatible.

In saying that, there’s no fool proof formula to go about finding the person you’re meant to be with, but being desperate definitely doesn’t help. Being fixated on finding love when you don’t even fully care about yourself takes away from the potential experiences that you could be having while living the single life and building up a sense of self love. As the old saying goes: “You can’t truly love someone if you don’t love yourself.”

All in all, it’s important to not desperately seek out love and to instead, enjoy the single life and spend some time with yourself. Take the necessary steps to get to know and love yourself, find out exactly what it is that you want, and date with a purpose. These are just some of the things that could help steer you in the right direction when it comes to deciding on a significant other that will compliment all of the unique and outstanding qualities that you already possess.