magnifier menu chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up comment chevron-up chat_bubble_outline2 share thumbs-up thumbs-down chevron-down

On Loving Yourself Before Anything or Anyone Else [Dear DBN]


Ah, love.  It’s in the air for a select portion of the population.  But what’s a girl to do when she’s lost and horny?  This week, why you should love yourself before you love anything else.

I’ve always subconsciously clung to guys in order to define myself. I have no clue who I am, but when I’m with someone, I strive to be who they want and it gives me a sort of base I don’t have otherwise. This of course never leads anywhere promising. But when I’m alone, I just kind of float along, really confused about myself, and make all kinds of really poor decisions. I don’t know which is better.

It doesn’t matter which one is better because you need to change both.  And you’ve already knocked out the hardest part – acknowledging that you’re in a bad place.  Girl, what are you doing?  For the next few months, go without men.  You’re using them as a temporary fix to a greater problem: getting in touch with yourself. Let me refer to my favorite therapy for a fitting analogy, which is to say, retail therapy.  You are wearing a frumpy t-shirt that holds no value to you.  It doesn’t fit, you don’t remember where you got it.  And then a man comes in your life and you drape yourself in his sweatshirts and flannels until you find yourself alone again in your t-shirt.  Stop borrowing clothes; you won’t find your joy in someone else’s closet. Take your self, your t-shirt, your sadness and go to the store of life with purpose: to find something that fits.  This isn’t Cher’s dream closet; this is going take effort and pain and embarrassment and disappointment.  And it’s going to be worth it.

For actionable advice, read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.  It’s not the best written piece of literature, but the ideas behind it are sound.  You need action.  Put your soul on a fitness plan and get rid of that t-shirt.

Okay, so I’ve spent a little time today pondering slut shaming, female sex culture, and just sexuality in general, basically. I have one specific idea that I’ve been mulling over, and I’m asking your opinion. We’re taught from a very early age that sex is better/means more/feels more fulfilling when you’re in love. Is that a true statement? Is it love that makes your sex life better or is it a level of trust, comfort, and security in your partner and yourself? I’m out of characters now!

My best friend once described our differences saying she wanted bonfires and I wanted fireworks.  I mention it because her sex life is great because she’s happily committed to a great guy whom she trusts.  My sex life is great because it’s exciting and erotic and wild.  Our common ground is that she and I are both confident and secure, sexually and otherwise.  What makes any sex life great is a great relationship with your own body and a deep comprehension of what will make you happy.  I’ve had the kind of sex you can only have when you’re passionately in love.  I’ve also had hate sex, I’m-on-vacation! sex’, and fuck-it-why-not sex.  Every kind has been amazing in it’s own way not because I’ve been in love with that person, but because I love myself and my body and umm… sex.

The thing is, most things feel better when you’re in love because you’re coked out on endorphins.  Eating a slice of pizza together can feel like a miracle if you’re in love.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t thoroughly enjoy pizza with a stranger.  Or several strangers.

CollegeCandy is excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with one of our favorite Tumblrs, DateByNumbers, to bring you some of her very best advice. Each week she’ll tackle your questions. Life, love, sex, the real world…nothing will be off limits. To submit a question of your own, visit her “Ask” page and keep an eye on CollegeCandy every Thursday afternoon!

I've written for Teen Vogue, Thought Catalog, Leveled Magazine, College Candy, How About We, and have been featured on several HuffPost Live segments. Creator and leader of Bold Moves October featured on xoJane and Neil Gaiman's blog. Both Neil and Jane appreciate boldness. I specialize in pep talks, very long bike rides, and matching my lipstick to my heels.