4 Signs You Love Yourself & Are Ready For A Relationship, According To A Therapist

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You've probably been told once or twice that you can only find love once you "love yourself." While this phrase can be overused and ignores the plight for those who live with mental illness, there can be some truth at the bottom of it. It's unrealistic to demand that you love every single aspect of yourself, but it might be realistic to demand what you deserve in a relationship, and not settle. If you love yourself and are ready for a relationship, that means you're already appreciate who you are.

Loving yourself isn't some unattainable goal where you literally think you're perfect. To get more of an idea what loving yourself realistically looks like, and how to know if you're already there in terms of finding a relationship, I spoke to Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and relationship coach.

According to Silva, your ability to be self-aware is directly linked to your readiness for love.

"Self-awareness is one of the keys to our relationship decision-making process," Silva tells Elite Daily. "When you’re self-aware, you’ll find what you accept for yourself and what helps you decide on who, when, and how to love."

She says that lacking self-awareness can lead to accepting a relationship or love that's less than you deserve. So think about what you want and what you're looking for in a relationship or from love. The following are ideas from Silva on how to love yourself.

You're honest about what you want.

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If you're clear about what you want in a relationship – with both yourself and people you date – you're that much closer to actually getting that. A way to understand this aspect of self-love is honoring your real desires. It's totally fine to want a committed and loving relationship, and if you know that, you're all the more ready to go seek it out. Pretending you're chill with casually dating may lead you to accept other people who want that too, which won't work out for anyone, and simply lead to hurt.

You take ownership of your faults.

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This doesn't necessarily mean you're able to get rid of your faults, but for example, walking into a relationship knowing you're stubborn as hell is good to know. That way, you can make an active effort to work on compromising with your partner, especially during arguments.

You make time for yourself.

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One issue people seem to have when dating someone is relinquishing their independence. Knowing you have activities you love to do and you're not willing to budge on those for someone else is important in maintaining who you are, even when in a partnership. If you already carve out time of your schedule to make time for yourself aside from work or school and friends, that could be a good indicator you're ready for a relationship. It shows that you can prioritize yourself while still giving time, love, and support to other areas of your life.

You accept your past.

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Most people who date have some sort of personal "baggage" they come with. It's nothing to be ashamed of – knowing you've gone through certain experiences to shape you isn't anything you can change. Accepting and knowing you have a history is a mark of maturity, and something that shows you're ready to move forward.

In the spirit of moving forward, if you seek a relationship and someone tells you you need to "love yourself" first – maybe tell 'em you already do, and they can take their advice elsewhere.

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