The journey of love: Why finding love starts with you

self-love written on the wall

It’s easier said than done, but it’s true: The journey of love starts with you. That’s because finding true love starts with cultivating self-love and self-acceptance.

It’s time to break free from seeking validation from others—whether it comes in the form of romantic relationships, friendships, or something else entirely. To tap into that self-love and find the courage for growth, you will have to understand what lies at its root: compassion for yourself.

What does it mean to love yourself?

Loving yourself first involves recognizing that you are valuable and worthy of respect.

It means having high self-esteem and constantly striving to improve yourself and your outlook. It means that you know what you need and want out of life, even if those things are difficult to achieve. It means embracing who you are and taking the necessary steps to become the person you want to be.

Ultimately, learning how to love yourself first helps foster a greater sense of self-confidence, worthiness, and positivity. With a stronger foundation, you can feel at peace with yourself—and that feeling radiates outward into your relationships with others.

Learning to set boundaries in relationships
a couple chilling by the beach with a bonfire

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Learning to set boundaries in a relationship is not only key to establishing a healthy connection but also a crucial step in learning how to love yourself. It’s not always easy to know when you’re giving too much, or when it’s time to take some space for yourself.

But clear boundaries form the foundation of healthy relationships by allowing you to have a better understanding of yourself; who you are and what you need. When you understand what your limits are, you can help ensure that your emotional needs are being met in the relationship.

It is also important to remember that putting yourself first in a relationship is essential for both your physical health and mental well-being. Take the time for yourself and practice saying “no” every once in a while. Remember that making self-care a priority helps establish healthy boundaries and gives the relationship room to grow.

How to stop seeking validation from others

Learning to love yourself first before searching for validation from your partner starts with understanding why you have been seeking external validation in the first place.

To understand this, consider the relationship you had with your parents or caregivers when you were a child. How did they respond to your needs or show their affection? In what ways did they express their love towards you? Have they ever rejected your emotional needs, leaving you feeling invalidated and unworthy of love?

When you find yourself getting caught up in obsessing over what your significant other thinks of you, remember to take a step back and check in with yourself. Take some time for self-reflection, and ask yourself what is it that you’re looking for and why? Doing this will help build trust within yourself and make decisions based on how to best care for your own heart and soul.

Drown out the negativity with acts of self-love: practice self-care, do things that make you feel good about yourself, start healing old patterns of behavior, be gentle on yourself; focus on the goodness from the inside out. By doing so, the external validation becomes unnecessary because now instead of seeking approval from a partner, you are validating everything that lies within—you become the source of validation.

Moving forward with a healthy sense of self-worth
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When you take the time to reflect and look inside yourself, it becomes clear that to find true love, you must first learn to love yourself.

  • Self-love and self-compassion

As a recap, self-love is concerned with understanding and appreciating yourself as you are and developing inner strength. You must be brave enough to accept what makes you unique, good and bad, and build on these insights. Self-compassion involves being kinder to yourself when things don’t go quite as planned or when things that are beyond your control don’t go your way.

  • Understanding people pleasing is a losing battle

Rather than focusing your energy on seeking external validation by pleasing other people, recognize what it means to love yourself, and value who you are as a person despite any perceived shortcomings or failures. That’s when you will authentically attract real love into your life. You will realize that people-pleasing was just a losing battle all along, but now you have the power of true self-love instead!

Ultimately, the journey of love starts with you. Whether we realize it or not, our expectations for relationships are largely set by our capacity for self-love. If we’re looking externally for validation, acceptance, and love, likely, we haven’t found true love within ourselves. True love starts with you. When the love and acceptance within you are stronger than its external counterpart, the journey of love will be nothing short of extraordinary. Learning how to love yourself is a process, but by taking the steps necessary to prioritize self-love, you can find yourself experiencing a happier, more balanced, and more meaningful journey of love.


Priceless Things That Money Cannot Buy

The world may revolve around money but, it cannot buy everything. There are some things in one’s life that are more important than money itself. The most valuable things found on this capitalist world do not come with a price tag. Many people lose sight of that!

#1: TIME

We race against time. No matter how rich you are, you cannot get back lost time. It is given free for everyone and we only have 24 hours to maximize one day. Each passing second can never be replayed again. Despite all the medical advances and scientific efforts, there is no surefire way to extend one’s life significantly. Our time will pass. Hence, we must be grateful for everything that we are experiencing.


Your life’s purpose in life is beyond the pages written by Psychologists, Philosophers, and Scholars. You may perceive that “having all the money in the world” is the ultimate goal in life. However, money is just a tool to help you achieve your purpose. You can never get all the money in the world. If that drives you, your life may be meaningless once you get rich. Greediness can brew as you strive to make more money.

#3: LOVE

You can buy sex and intimacy. Some people have hired workers for the “boyfriend or girlfriend” experience. No matter how much you pay for intimacy, you can never buy true love. In many cases, money makes finding genuine love more difficult. It may bring suitors that are only after the depth of your pockets. The same goes for finding true friends. Having a hefty amount of money can bring out the worst in people.


Health is one of the crucial things in life that money cannot buy. We all know that by now.

As Dalai Lama once said: ”What surprises me most is “man” sacrifices his/her health to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.” Maintaining good health throughout your life is ideal. You should not become powerful at the expense of your health. Paying medical bills and expenses are things money can buy, but it can never bring back your vibrant health.


Manners are deeply ingrained in one’s character. Manners and class cannot be bought by money alone. You may seek the aide of professionals to help you shape your behaviors, but your attitude will remain the same if you are not willing to put the effort in.

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Being on top of the world may make you feel that you do not gave to answer to anyone. Notice how some people act after winning the lottery. It is a great feeling to be respected by someone, and money cannot buy it.

Sources: 1, 2, & 3


10 Ideal Dates Based On Your Love Language

When you find the person that truly makes you happy and fulfilled, you will take the extra effort to build a long-lasting relationship. Strengthen the foundation that you built by having date nights or weekend getaways. Make your partner feel loved and appreciated by speaking their love language.

Dr. Gary Chapman is the renowned author of the “5 Love Languages”. It highlights that there are 5 ways that we can communicate love namely through: words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, or physical touch. Here are customized and inexpensive romantic ideas suited to your love languages:


For people who are fond of receiving gifts, dedicating the day to arts or shopping can be enjoyable. Schedule a painting night where you paint each other’s canvases. Exchange these trinkets of affection as the day ends. It is not only a fun activity, but also a memorable evening shared with your partner.

Another great idea is a shopping date. Add some spice by shopping for each other. Plan a shopping trip to your partner’s favorite malls. Create some guidelines such as your budget limits and your shopping categories. From an interesting book to a unique article of clothing, choose meaningful gifts for your partner. It is synonymous to playing a game with the added benefit of making your partner feel absolutely adored.


People who speak acts of service primarily feel appreciated when their partner does important things for them such as easing the list of responsibilities they have for the day. Cooking a delicious dinner at home is perfect. It eliminates a task on their to-do list and saves them from spending money. Moreover, you are showing your partner how much you care about him or her.

Another inexpensive date idea is having an art day at home. Gather all your art materials and complete a DIY project together. Make sure you pick a project that will add value to your lives.


It is self-explanatory – people who have quality time as their love language want a fruitful date with their loved ones. You can either have a quiet dinner out or a refreshing hike. Spend uninterrupted time with your partner and chat about your day. Make sure to make a “no phones” policy to soak in each other’s company.

Alternatively, you may hike together. A nice view at the end of your walk will be an extra bonus. The most important thing is that you gave each other an opportunity to spend more time together. Take photos!


For some people, they indulge in kisses and hugs. It does not have to be a total PDA. Simply make your partner feel safe by sharing a quick peck on the cheek or holding each other’s hands. You cannot go wrong with a couples massage. Either hire a professional or give each other massages.

You may also go ice skating or rollerblading. Hold your partner to avoid stumbling across the ice. Your muscles might be sore afterward, but your partner will be glad.


What are words when you do not mean them when you say them? Express these loving words and show them through making a scavenger hunt or exchanging love letters. Start by creating a scavenger hunt with clues that are meaningful to your relationship (e.g., where your first date was). Add compliments in the process.

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Next, you may exchange love letters. Sit down and write to each other. Watch your partner’s heart melt with your sweet words. Tell your partner why she or he is the reason your life has changed.

Sources: 1 & 2



How To Not Waste Your Money On Valentine’s Day

How can Singaporeans express their love in the sexiest way on Valentine’s Day? Well, they can do the seemingly impossible feat of spending less and saving more.

Enjoy a fruitful experience without breaking the bank using the following tips.


For the first time, my significant other has offered to cook for me on Valentine’s Day. It is a sweet and intimate gesture that maintains his frugality as well. Much like him, you may offer to make a limited edition menu together. It is better than braving any crowded restaurants or bars nearby!

Excitement starts with planning your favorite indulgences as one. If you have no time to spare, you may have the food delivered to your doorsteps. However, please prepare the table setting and reconnect over that. What a great way to end a nice evening!


Who says Valentine’s Day can only be celebrated through expensive romantic excursions and gifts? There is no reason to settle for the traditional route. It is fancy and overly hyped. Instead, you may do something that is out of the ordinary.

Visit museums, parks, or zoos (e.g., Jurong Bird Park with tickets starting at S$30 each). These options are fun and less expensive. You may also go for a lunch date instead of a dinner. Lastly, skip the cinema by watching a movie at home. I am talking about Netflix and Chill, baby!


Taking a leaf from the traditional book is the giving of flowers. When choosing a stalk or a bouquet of flowers, you must look for the ones with tight buds.

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It is your job to look for flowers that do not “look good” at the moment. You see, they will blossom in a few hours and will stay that way for the days to come. In contrast, flowers whose buds are already opened will only last for a day or two.


When it comes to giving gifts on February 14, you must choose the best! Do not be afraid to take items back to the grocery store whenever necessary. You do not want to cook pasta with expired tomato sauce!

Moreover, you may ask to replace some of the flower buds that seem dull. If you have taken all these advice and they die early, you may want to request for a replacement.


Many people cannot tell a good booze from a bad one. So, why bother? Expert Dawn Sandomeno suggests, to “keep the cork on the Champagne and pop the Prosecco”.

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For those who are not familiar with its origins, Prosecco is a sparkling white wine from Italy. It know for being not too sickeningly sweet. Much like your love, I suppose. A glass of this starts at S$10 in our local bars.

Sources: 1 &2


How Do You Choose Between Love And Money?

As I was listening to Frank Sinatra’s song entitled “Love and Marriage”, I realized how different we perceive marriage today. The song highlights how marriage cannot exist without love. These two elements were believed to go together like a horse and a carriage. These days, marriage does not depend on the presence of love.

When Singaporeans are given a choice to weigh between the importance of love and marriage, answers will vary. Firstly, Singaporeans are heavily goal-oriented. They will ask you about the gains that they can reap when doing a specific task. Very few people will do something without asking what is in it for them. Perhaps this is due to the competitive education system or the exhausting high cost of living. There is simply no time left to mess around! Either way, the goal-driven mentality leaves little room for flexibility in a relationship. People constantly ask themselves what they can achieve within a potential relationship.

In addition to reaching their goals, Singaporeans are motivated to move out of their parents’ home. The primary obstacles blocking their paths are the housing laws governing the HDB properties. You see, only singles aged 35 and above can purchase HDB properties. Another alternative is to tackle the overwhelming prices of private properties and monthly rents. This is why many couples see marriage as a way out!

Say that you are waving the flag of commitment. Couples are given six months to tie the knot upon receiving keys to their new property. Otherwise, you can face a major monetary loss. Keep this in mind when deciding to propose.

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Personally, I see how money leans on love and vice versa. You have to make a living at some point. No matter how smitten you are about this person, one or both you need to do something to pay the monthly expenses. Money is important to make your marriage work. Yes! Money may not be able to buy your happiness, but you can use your free time to work on things that you are passionate about. Lastly, things you do solely for love can be transformed into profitable ventures (e.g., passion projects).

Ultimately, taking control of your life is a choice. You get to choose how you spend your money. You get to choose whom you will spend it with. You get to choose who and what you will love. Hence, your challenge is to create a lifestyle that gives you freedom.

Sources: 1 & 2