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  1. #1
    Junior Member elfsprin's Avatar
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    Default you must love yourself before anyone else can love you.

    this is one of those "old adages" that i can't remember the exact phrasing for, it's something along the lines of the thread title, though.

    personally, i've heard this adage frequently over the years. it would be incorrect to say that i found it silly, or wrong, or objectionable. however, it was always, for me, something that i found vaguely disquieting; it was something i never really understood, or could evaluate with regards to its truth- this made me highly suspect of the adage, and the people who would parrot it, without really knowing why i felt that way.

    just lately, while thinking about love and relationships, i came to an unhappy conclusion and immediately thereafter thought of this adage: it was my 'aha, now i get it' moment.

    however, i think my understanding of what this adage means is not really what's generally intended. it strikes me, in fact, that this adage might indeed be true for all people, but for different reasons depending on MBTI type.

    the conclusion i came to that lead me to lend credulity to this adage was this: i don't love myself, and because i don't, i would be ashamed to present "who i am" to someone that i was in love with. i would be afraid of that rejection. hence, until i am happy with who i am and love myself, no one else whom i am really interested in will be able to love me- i won't give them the chance. on the other hand, anyone who thinks that they love me (romantically) probably has a misconception about who i really am, and therefore loves the idea they have of me, but not me.

    it strikes me that this is a very INTP sort of thing to say, and that other types might not identify with it at all, but that they still might find that the adage holds true- for a different reason.

    i wanted to ask you all: what do you think about this adage? have you experienced its truth in your life? is it for a reason similar to mine, or something completely different?

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Isn't it "you must love yourself before you can love another"?

  3. #3
    sophiloist Kaizer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elfsprin View Post
    just lately, while thinking about love and relationships, i came to an unhappy conclusion and immediately thereafter thought of this adage: it was my 'aha, now i get it' moment.

    it strikes me that this is a very INTP sort of thing to say, and that other types might not identify with it at all, but that they still might find that the adage holds true- for a different reason.
    'moment of dawning' moments are very INTPish moments, & the must be a construct courtesy Ne, reaching full, complete & wholesome form and hence make meaningfully resonating sense etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by elfsprin View Post
    i wanted to ask you all: what do you think about this adage? have you experienced its truth in your life? is it for a reason similar to mine, or something completely different?
    being self critical is more of an INTP hallmark than any other. so I wouldn't phrase it this way, just that maturity isn't a science its an art and it isnt formulaic its organic.
    The answer must be in the attempt
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Kollin's Avatar
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    I'm somewhat ambivilant about the statement. I have not really found any reason to believe it is necessarily true. People usually say this to people who are whining that they can't find anybody to love...which to me doesn't seem like a very compassionate response...
    though the only earthly reason I can think of for it being true is that when you take care of yourself well can you take care of another...

    on the other hand I think it has become a pat answer for those who have become frustrated in the dating game but that's different ball of wax there...

    great topic btw!!
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  5. #5
    Junior Member elfsprin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    Isn't it "you must love yourself before you can love another"?
    that's possible, but i'm pretty sure i've heard it this way as well. or i could be hallucinating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizer

    being self critical is more of an INTP hallmark than any other. so I wouldn't phrase it this way, just that maturity isn't a science its an art and it isn't formulaic its organic.
    interesting. but i'm not sure that i would say that loving yourself is a function of maturity in general; i could see INTPs going both ways (having to age up a bit before they were at peace with who they were) or to the contrary, being completely ego-maniacal and really loving themselves whilst also being annoyingly immature. i also think that other types who are more emotionally mature/adept may love themselves a lot, say at age 12, and therefore (because of their age) have a very immature and flimsy concept of their identity- and it does seem to me that this adage does require that you have a firm concept of identity, or at least a strong goal in mind for where you want to go, and who you want to become, in your life. i mean, if it didn't take this into account, then two 12 year olds who love themselves could fall in love with each other, and then as they grow up and find that different (and mutually exclusive) life paths appeal to them, they would then cease to love each other. but then, that 12 year old love, can it really be real, true Love? hmm.

    i wonder what other types have experienced here. for example, one concept thrown around a lot in american film is 'redeeming love.' now, if someone loves you and that love helps to inspire you, or to make yourself aware of a desire and a will to become a better person, it seems that someone else was actually able to love you before you were 'loving yourself.' you might reply to that "well, just because this person was bad in blah blah blah way before, perhaps they still loved themselves, and therefore they did love themselves before someone else loved them."

    however, the very concept that someone else's love for you would inspire you to change suggests that this person's love, in some way, took into account a future change in you. i mean, if that other person really loved you for this certain bad quality, why in the world would their love for you inspire you to change said quality? they may have loved you 'in spite of' the quality, but then the fact that you became unhappy with yourself as you used to be, and therefore sought change, should have had some effect on their love for you (reciprocity).

    it seems to me that there are other instances where someone else can love you in a romantic fashion, even when you really don't love yourself very much at all. but this is all conjecture on my part, which is why i would like other type's perspectives: when it comes to love, especially romantic love, i really have a lot of ineptitude, and a lot of 'i don't know' floating around. so i have this hunch that other types might experience love in different ways, but still find this adage to be true? for a completely different reason than i do?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elfsprin View Post
    the conclusion i came to that lead me to lend credulity to this adage was this: i don't love myself, and because i don't, i would be ashamed to present "who i am" to someone that i was in love with. i would be afraid of that rejection. hence, until i am happy with who i am and love myself, no one else whom i am really interested in will be able to love me- i won't give them the chance. on the other hand, anyone who thinks that they love me (romantically) probably has a misconception about who i really am, and therefore loves the idea they have of me, but not me.
    This is very smart adage, because it can be interpreted in various ways. I'll list a few (I don't remember if it was your version or disregard's):

    1) If I don't love myself, the one who I think I love is mostly projection, thus not real.
    2) If I don't love myself, I can't love anyone else unconditionally, so it isn't the "purest form" of love.
    3) If I don't love myself, I cannot be loved because I don't reveal myself.
    4) If I don't love myself how can I expect that anyone would?
    5) No matter how much you love someone, you should love yourself more.

    No matter how I interpret it, it always comes down to staying real.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by elfsprin View Post
    i wonder what other types have experienced here. for example, one concept thrown around a lot in american film is 'redeeming love.' now, if someone loves you and that love helps to inspire you, or to make yourself aware of a desire and a will to become a better person, it seems that someone else was actually able to love you before you were 'loving yourself.' you might reply to that "well, just because this person was bad in blah blah blah way before, perhaps they still loved themselves, and therefore they did love themselves before someone else loved them."
    Well... when you are miserable, depressed and suicidal, are you really you? I don't think you are. So, the redeemer didn't really love you. Most likely the redeemer is pretty messed up because it would be crazy to love a self-loathing guy. You ever seen Leaving Las Vegas?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    I always took it to mean that you cannot give to another entirely until you accept who you are and learn to live on your own, as a complete entity.

    If you are looking for someone else to fulfill missing gaps in yourself you will end up in unhealthy relationships, subconsciously trying to find what you are missing, rather than seeking that balance from within.

    Once you reach that point of being content with your own company, accept who you are and create a life of your OWN without leaning on someone else, you will attract the kind of partner that you truly want/need/deserve.

    Anything less only creates disaster in my opinion.
    Embrace the possibilities.

  9. #9
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    I agree with you Misty, but I just realized that this is a typical introvert interpretation. I wonder what the Es think about this.

  10. #10
    sophiloist Kaizer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elfsprin View Post
    however, the very concept that someone else's love for you would inspire you to change suggests that this person's love, in some way, took into account a future change in you. i mean, if that other person really loved you for this certain bad quality, why in the world would their love for you inspire you to change said quality? they may have loved you 'in spite of' the quality, but then the fact that you became unhappy with yourself as you used to be, and therefore sought change, should have had some effect on their love for you (reciprocity).
    yes, this is also something I think I was alluding to cause depth of perception can be Ne inspired led by Ti. If Si & the inferior Fe can be developed to make for a more wholesome personality (step 1 cause the shadow is another story), then this is likely to be one of the ways in which maturity manifests itself. This I think would manifest itself in all people albeit the propensity to get to this point and the point in time and life is likely to vary given natural propensities of innate qualities and abilities/shortcomings, and circumstances etc
    The answer must be in the attempt
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