When you’re in a relationship, you have someone telling you how beautiful you are every day, telling you to never change because you’re perfect just the way you are and do you know what? It’s too easy to get comfortable because you know they’ll love you no matter what you look like. You could be sat on the sofa with your belly hanging out over your joggers, scoffing a donut and dribbling jam down your chin, and they’d still find you stunning or you could be dressed to the nines and they’d give you every compliment under the sun.
As a girl in her 20’s who is incredibly self conscious even on my “good make-up days”, to suddenly not have that person in my life anymore hasn’t done my self-esteem any favours.
Sure, when you’re single, your friends step it up and flood your Instagram selfies with fire emojis to make sure you feel confident before a night out and thankfully, my friends have been incredible at making me feel like an absolute 10 out of 10. But when push comes to shove, it’s easier said than done to feel beautiful when you’ve been going through a break-up. Like I previously mentioned, it’s easy to feel unwanted and like you’ll never find someone again when someone breaks your heart. I’m conscious that this post is making me sound like I just want everyone to compliment me but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Honestly, I’ve never been a confident person when it comes to my appearance and I suppose having a boyfriend is similar to having a safety blanket when you suffer from low self-esteem.
Obviously, I’m not going to rush out and join every single existing dating website to hunt down a boyfriend just so I have compliments on tap. That’s not the point of this post. I just wanted to clarify that at first, I found it difficult to see myself as a beautiful person when I no longer had a boy to confirm it to me and when I initially realised this, I got so angry at myself. I don’t need a man to validate how I see myself. I’m worth so much more than that.
“You can’t love someone until you love yourself.”
Sorry, I’m rambling.
Anyway, to cut a long story short… I found myself feeling self conscious and “ugly” because I didn’t have a boyfriend to tell me how lovely I looked and I decided I was NOT ok with this. If any of my friends told me they thought they weren’t beautiful because they didn’t have a boyfriend to tell them so… I would kick off. So why was it ok for me to feel that way? My friends tell me how pretty I look and so do other people, so why can’t I see it? I constantly compare myself to other people. I look back at old photos and wish I still looked like that. I fear that I’ve “let myself go.” Weight gain comes hand-in-hand with a relationship, the constant eating out and being fully comfortable with each other, it happens to the best of us! But it isn’t until you find yourself alone that you realise how different you look.
I think I speak for everyone when I say you feel like you need to impress people when you’re single. Although I hate feeling that way because I’m a strong believer in “people should love you for who you are”, it doesn’t matter how many times you say that to yourself… You’re always going to feel like you need to look the best you possibly can. That’s why so many girls go out and change their hair after a break-up or why the boys start hitting the gym every day. It’s totally normal to want to “sort yourself out” when you become single. We all do it.
So over the past couple of months, I’ve been trying my best to love and accept myself. I just want to be happy with the way I look so I don’t have to rely on someone reassuring me that I don’t resemble a potato. Here are a few things I’ve found incredibly helpful:
- Repeat positive affirmations in the mirror when you wake up and before you sleep.
- Take a mental note when someone says you look nice.
- Start with a personal trainer/join the gym.
- Buy new clothes.
- Spend time with people who put a giant smile on your face.
- Smile and laugh as much as you can.
- Ooze creativity – this is an attractive quality.
- Let your guard down a little when boys try and speak to you.
- Listen to happy music & songs about love.
- Pamper yourself.
- Go on a night out (or 2) and dance your socks off
“Single is not a status. It is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others.” – Abigail Rajkumar
When you lack confidence, being in a relationship is an absolute blessing and there truly is no better feeling than being in love and comfortable with someone but recently, I’ve realised that being single and learning to love yourself is bloody EMPOWERING. And I know now that if I truly learn how to love myself and feel confident in my own skin, I will be able to give everything I have and more to the next person I fall in love with and hopefully that will contribute to a happy and healthy relationship!