Before you begin to wonder what things to do on a first date and who you may want to go out with, I want you to understand one thing truly. This one thing is what I want you to think about often. The reason is that the one relationship you will always have is the one you have with no one other than yourself.

Think about this for a moment... You have to always think about what is best for yourself, and that may or may not be ideal to what society has in store for you. Self-love is highly undervalued in our society today because of this attitude. We do what is expected of us regardless of whether or not we want to. We then feel hate towards the things we have to do and therefore towards ourselves because we are unable to follow what it is we truly want and need to make ourselves feel loved.

I feel strongly about ways to love yourself, so be prepared to venture a little bit deeper in this article about self-love. My reason for this is because many people will tell you to take a bath with some bath salts, to go for a walk, to watch something funny, or to talk to friends.

I will tell you to do those things only AFTER you have done the 5 steps below. To love yourself is not just to take good care of your body and to go out now and then to talk to others. To love yourself is to be in the full presence of yourself and to gradually uncover that which is at the core of your suffering. The 5 steps are listed below, and they may surprise you.

Do what YOU want to do

This means that you should follow your passions, your interests, your likes, and whatever gets you wanting to start your day. Develop skills in these areas to use to serve others. Not only will you help yourself along the way, but you will be helping so many other people along the way too.

They will see how bright your smile is and feel the warmth from it, which may inspire them to want to be as happy as you are now or to ask you what has changed about you to become the way you are. Self-love will be your answer, and that comes from doing what you love to do and not pleasing anyone but yourself.

Know YOU are worth it!

So many people think that even if they have the skill set required for a job or if they are told they are beautiful, they deep down believe that they are not worth the effort. I cannot tell you how many people I know who think this way, and it is sad to think that those closest to me, even myself, feel this way. To not know your worth is what is holding you back from doing what it is you want to do.

Even if you did manage to gather up your strength and reach for what you want, you might not even think you deserve it when you do obtain what it is you want. So believe it when people say you have particular skills or are beautiful because you came to this earth with nothing to give back and you certainly did not come to this earth ugly. You came to this earth as a beautiful person with skills to develop and to share with the world.

Establish boundaries (for yourself and for others)

The moment you forgo your limits for the sake of connection with someone else is the moment you abandon yourself, which is an act of anything but self-love. To surrender yourself is not to acknowledge what it is you want and need because you are too busy trying to connect with someone else's wants and needs instead.

To counteract this is to form boundaries with yourself and with others so that you accept the part of you that needs attending to and that needs love. To have healthy limits is to go in the direction of what is right for you and to put yourself first and foremost, because like I said earlier, the only relationship you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself.

Quit sabotaging yourself!

You know the people who say they are going to do something but never seem to get around to it? Maybe they are justified workaholics, addicted to shopping, watching TV, going for walks, taking vacations, you name it, these people are sabotaging their plans because they are addicted to getting what they know they can get.

This is called instant gratification, and working on any long-term plans may or may not reap any benefits for these people, who will mainly work or hide themselves to the ground to escape needing to do anything other than to work and to shop, etc. These people may know what they want to do, but not only do they lack self-worth, but they also lack boundaries. What needs to happen here is for these people to recognize their unhealthy patterns and to relinquish control over them so that they are forced to go in the direction of what it is that they know they want.

This will help the person see the problems and realize that their dreams are worth the pain to get there, which is less painful than staying where they were. This will allow the person to go in the direction of joy instead.

ACCEPT responsibility for your shortcomings

Mistakes in life are guaranteed, but what you do about it is up to you. You can either give up on yourself and allow other people to try to get you back on your feet again, or you can love yourself enough to try again and again until you are back on track. Self-love is a practice that you must do every day. Practice all five steps every day starting now for the duration of your life. Practice doing what you love, knowing you are worth it, establish boundaries, and don’t self-sabotage.

Every day you may begin to feel more and more in control of your life and the direction it takes you, and so, you will minimize your pain along the way towards your joy. Practice these five steps every morning, afternoon, and night, and by writing them down in the form of goals to accomplish. Place these goals somewhere you will see every day. This plan of yours is part of your life’s work towards self-love and, more importantly, self-acceptance. If you need further guidance in your life, reading your horoscope can certainly help as well as seeking guidance from tarot readings. Sometimes we got lost and it's ok to seek help.

For those who are ready to date, enjoy things to do on a first date knowing what you know now about self-love because chances are your date may be as clueless about self-love as you were before you read this guide.

Image credit: [pexels]