*This post was originally published on iEatGrass.com.
Are you tired of everyone talking about the new year yet? For many, the new year symbolizes some sort of mystical life reset button, like everything will be better when the clock strikes midnight. All your issues will become pumpkins and something about a glass slipper.
I’m talking about resolutions; the catalyst behind the surge in January gym memberships and the lines at Whole Foods which are suddenly comparable to a new iPhone release. People set dietary resolutions, fitness resolutions, career resolutions, and love resolutions. Everybody wants to see self-improvement, and that’s great. For anyone hoping to find love in the new year, step away from Tinder and think about this: the best way to get someone else to love and respect you, is to love and respect yourself.
A solid sense of self directly contributes to the success of your relationships. Why? Your relationships are a reflection of yourself. So what does that reflection look like?
In college, whenever a roommate was bumming (I had 12 of them…) I would force them to do self-love activities with me. No, you perv, not that kind of self-love. I would ask them to tell me why they liked themselves. Specifically, I would start by asking them to list their top 5 favorite internal attributes. Then I would ask them to list off some of their favorite physical traits. I would ask them to tell me things they were good at, and so on.
This is hard to do, you guys! While the number of selfies littering our social media feeds makes vanity seem like a sport, it’s still startling how many of us (me too!) have confidence issues. When you’re unhappy with yourself, you’re likely to depend on your relationships for the happiness that should be coming from within. But when you are content and confident with who you are, your happiness is not dependent on anyone but you, and this takes some pressure off your relationship. Ah, much better.
Of course, this transcends far beyond your romantic relationships, but this is a dating column you know… Your creative ability, your comfort with your sexuality, your professional success, your eating and exercising habits are all anchored by the way you feel about yourself. Confidence is killer. Use that as an excuse to be selfish this year. Search for the things that make you happy. Create your best self. Happy new year.