Know Yourself, Then Find Love

The original text of the ancient greek aphorism was written, “Gnothi Seauton”, which translates to “Know Thyself”. Its an idea in literature and philosophy that has been discussed by greats such as Plato, all the way to Ralph Waldo Emerson. It's a concept on being self-reliant, which many of us need to champion in our lives. Nowadays the concept of what it means to “be with someone” is constantly being shaken up. For instance, snacking and hanging while watching Netflix, versus dinner dates ending in movie theaters. Reported as a generation that has the least sexual partners on average, we seem to be quite picky in our noble pursuit of love, which is a great thing, we should and need to be picky. It has never been more important to find a sustainable and reliable lover. If you’re a Millennial like me, then I don’t have to tell you how put upon we are, noted as being some sort of self-involved “me” generation, when in reality we’re just a bunch of stress balls, elbow-deep in debt and in need of real committed love.

History Lesson

What does this mean to first know yourself and then find love? It’s not a concept that's easy to implement, but it is extremely important. We were literally spawned from another generation which reported a 50-50 chance whether a marriage could survive, which means 1 in 2 baby-boomer couples couldn’t make their marriages work. The high-school sweetheart mantra, and the quick shotgun marriages took a serious toll on whether people stayed together (or didn’t). The divorce culture of old left our generation dealing with the fallout of step-parent situations and custody battles. Our model for marriage was skewed from the start, so it’s no surprise we’re changing and redefining things. In earlier decades, women were 20 years old when they exchanged nuptials, and now that number is closer to 30. What are we doing with this extra decade to ensure a successful marital bond? We’re getting to know ourselves.  

Self-Identity

Hopefully over time you’ve found a greater sense of who you are, but in the grand scheme of things, you’re just getting started. For example, in high school I wanted to be a street punk and live my life in perpetual squalor and counter-culture. I wanted to be a music recording technician and a show promoter. I then went to college and realized that complaining and living a deviant lifestyle doesn’t change anything, a real punk rock thing to do is get a job that actually makes a difference. I decides to become an English Teacher. It's crazy to think about how much I hated writing in high school, and now it’s a huge part of my life.

Emotions

You need to get to know yourself emotionally as well. What are you dealing with? What have you dealt with? What do you need to deal with? I don’t have a guidebook detailing strategies to finding your emotional center, but I can tell you what's worked for me. I make a regular occurrence to spend a night with myself. I listen to new and old records and  think about everything I’ve done, everything I’m doing and everything I want to do. I always try to recognize when I’m trying my best and when I’m not. Sometimes I cry about my failures or sad memories. Self-reflection and catharsis is a natural and healthy process. Sometimes the only person you need to trust is yourself. Figure out yourself emotionally. You’ll not only feel happier and more confident, but you’ll also be more apt to find the right partner.

Worth The Wait

Does this mean you should be single for 10 years out of high school? Absolutely not! Date people! Find relationships and determine what you like about them. The key is to take time for yourself. If your entire twenties were spent in someone's arms, then you’ve never spent any time in your own. Many people jump from relationship to relationship and never get a good sense of who they are. Even if you're with someone and you don’t plan on marrying them, it’s a good situation to learn from.

It can get tiresome watching people share their love and enjoy each other's company while you're not experiencing the same emotional connection. It’s not easy, not by a long shot. I’m a romantic and a lonely heart myself. Just like the initial stages of exercise, you need to realize the pain stings now, but the reward comes later. You’ll thank me when you find the one, and realize that all that hard work you did on yourself paid off in finding a soulmate.

Words Of Wisdom

My mom always used to say, “take your time, find a friend, who could one day be a lover.” I’ve always kept that wisdom and now I extend it to you. If someone spends a long time learning the inner workings of themselves, then you can only assume that person will attract a likeminded individual. If you work on yourself, and value yourself, you’ll find someone of the same mind-set, which will be extremely valuable as both a lover and a friend. Don’t love because you're scared, don’t love because it’s convenient, don’t love because it seems like the right thing to do. Love passionately, love intelligently, find someone that knows themselves as much as you know you. Know yourself,then find love.

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