As simple human beings we're all just looking for love. We want to love and be loved.
REAL LOVE begins at home. The best foundation of love for others is love for ourselves. There’s no way around it! Ideally, unconditional love. Developing unconditional love for yourself and self-esteem is the most radical way to change your life for the better.
Loving ourselves doesn’t mean that we should like and want to keep all of our actions and behaviour patterns. Instead, it asks us to acknowledge that there are good reasons for all our actions, and gently invites us to see those actions and behaviours we don't like as a call for love: a request for MORE love from ourselves. When we can do that our inner strength and resources grow and we are able to make deep changes, as well as approach others with more love (and less neediness).
As a bonus:
More love + less neediness makes us more attractive in all contexts! (Work, play, romance.)
It also helps us to change our behaviours in a deeper, more meaningful, longlasting way (a way that takes less effort).
Whether you’re in a relationship or not this Valentine’s Day, see if you can make this a time to nurture yourself and give yourself love. See if you can also make this a time to love others, to find compassion for their weaknesses and flaws, without asking anything in return. Real love is a gift, not a trade. You don't necessarily have to “do” anything for them. Just feel love for them and compassion for their current limitations. Maybe start small with someone you already care about dearly. Stay in your love of yourself as you do this.
When we have love for ourselves, our relationships with others become better and healthier. See if you can practice loving-kindness towards yourself for the rest of the day, and notice how it feels.