Dating and loving oneself are two different things. To do either one is a personal choice and requires introspection and being self aware in order to adjust accordingly, for growth and development as an individual or as a person involved in dating other individuals.
Begin with identifying an acceptable level of comfort that you can feel at ease in your acceptance of loving yourself enough, with or without dating. This begins with one's idea of self love. Identifying self love as a thought, a feeling, or a concept is based on perceptions of one's own standards, or society's standards. Therefore, know your own standards, recognizing your self awareness in relation to your idea of self love.
Decide if self love is the opposite of your idea of self hate in order to move away from negative thoughts and feelings about oneself to conflict with the concept of self love. Any amount of self love, is positive in comparison to self hate. Therefore, is just having any amount of self love for one self, enough to satisfy a person enough to begin the dating process? Wouldn't this be a personal choice? This is why standards and levels of comfort can be helpful in deciding modes of measurements for oneself to envision readiness for dating. One can begin by trying to understand self love can be learned, shaped, and developed. It can be a choice, and not something that happens to people.
Self love is about appreciation and having positive regard for oneself, despite other's opinions or perceptions. It is also about having respect and care for oneself, to be accepting of one's strengths and weaknesses. It is being comfortable in one's own skin, enough to love, even the worst part of oneself.
When a person can still choose to have an affinity for loving themself, without dwelling upon their human flaws like their shortcomings, weaknesses and failings, and recognize that sometimes the imperfections that lie within, are that which makes one interesting and sets one apart. Honing into the authentic self with the appreciation of oneself, to the point of being accepting, and thankful, while feeling content with oneself, without self judgment, is also part of self love. This can also project positive confidence as positive energy, outwards, helpful in attracting other positive energy. This can be a magnetic force in the dynamics of dating.
To gauge the extent of self love from within, in perceiving dating readiness; using a rating scale measurement tool in the form of measurable responses based on reported percentage ratings, may help, to gauge growth in self love in relation to dating readiness if one is trying to evolve in self love and in the dating process. A rating scale may help as a measurable form for identifying growth by beginning with an initial baseline, and measuring growth in one's perceived self love over time until an acceptable level of comfort is reached based on predetermined parameters, set by an individual. For example, one could utilize a scaling method to denote the levels of growth in assessing self love and assessing one's readiness for beginning to date. The scale tool for utilization could be from 1 percent to 100 percent (1 percent=lowest rating for personal self love of oneself, to 100 percent=highest rating for personal self love of oneself. If someone first rated themself as only thinking or feeling their level of self love is at 20 percent readiness, then, they could work on identifying positive ways to increase their self love, like striving to identify positive traits, skills and strengths, within themself, to build their appreciation and gratitude for themself. By doing this, an individual may also build up their self confidence and self esteem, attributes that are related to self love. Upon the percentages increasing closer to a person's acceptable level of comfort for beginning to date, an individual may then, begin to feel more comfortable to begin to date. For example, if within a few weeks, the rating scale method, increases from 20 percent to 75 percent, measuring the level of self love an individual has for themself, that 55 percent increase in growth may be the right amount of acceptable level of comfort of self love for an individual to begin dating. Therefore, as long as the individual has reached their personal acceptable level of comfort of self love, before starting to date; the, that individual may be ready to trust the dating process enough to take a risk.
Self love is a process, and a personal journey; that, only a person can decide for themself, if they do love themself enough to allow them to try to open up parts of themself, with others, as in dating.
Dating is society's ritual to meet others, and explore together, in hopes of getting to know one another, for taking the relationship to another level, or towards commitment. Dating, as is self love is also a process and journey. A difference is that in self love, only one person is involved. In dating, more than one person is involved.
It may help for a person to know more about their own wants and needs, and what is their acceptable level of comfort for dating to ensure, before beginning the dating process. This is a part of respecting oneself enough to value self worth. It is part of the self love component to give oneself permission to value their own wants and needs as a priority, as an individual, and taken these things into consideration during the dating process to see if these one's wants and needs align or conflict with others, for assessing the value of remaining single or enjoining with others, that complement one another, rather than serve to complete each other.-TC, LPC