With the chaos over the past year, everyone is searching for love. We aspire to love and be loved; we want happiness.

It is common for people to make New Year’s resolutions centered around love: wanting to find “the one,” not wanting to be single any longer, hoping for a healthy relationship, ready for the next chapter in life, and the list continues.

While being in a loving, happy relationship is amazing, it is important to find those same qualities in yourself.

Valentine’s Day can be a depressing day for people who are struggling with love. I think it is important to take the time to truly love yourself, especially on this day.

One way to do this is by understanding your love language.

If you are unfamiliar, love languages are the way you experience and express love. There are five different types: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.

A quick Internet search will allow you to determine your love language. Whatever it is, it is important to love yourself this way.

For example, if your love language is words of affirmation, then you can write yourself positive notes daily or keep a journal of your favorite things about yourself.

If you love language is receiving gifts, then treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. It can be as simple as buying yourself flowers or as fancy as taking yourself on a date.

Regardless, determine how you can best love yourself and practice this every single day. You will be amazed at the positive changes you see in yourself.

Aside from your understanding your love language, it is important to be kind with yourself. We are experiencing extremely difficult times, so be gentle to yourself.

If you did not accomplish everything on your to-do list, it is okay. If all you did today was scroll through social media, that is okay. We all need breaks, so never deprive yourself of them.

You do not have to be everything at once. It is completely okay to simply exist and not give anything to the world.

I think many people base their self-worth off of having a significant other. At times, it seems like some people cannot be single.

I think this is also why people make New Year’s resolutions centered around love; nobody wants to experience life alone.

But I believe this is why people should spend time alone. It allows us to grow in ways that may not have happened if we were in a relationship.

But there is beauty in being alone.

We truly get to understand everything about ourselves—hopes, dreams, fears, what we want in love, what we hope to find in a significant other, and more. We must understand our boundaries we expect in a potential relationship so when the right person does come along, we are prepared.

Not to mention, experiencing life alone can blissful. You get to decide where you want to travel next and which food to eat for dinner. There are no ties when you accept a new job offer or move across the country to chase your dreams.

You are literally free to be yourself without concern for another person.

Life is short. I think it is important to take advantage of our younger years and to devote them to ourselves. We have our entire lives to find and experience love, so take your time; there really is no rush.

When the right person does come along, you will be prepared because you will already understand yourself and your expectations for a relationship. You will know what you want and will develop a greater appreciation for your relationship.

It is critical we learn to love ourselves before we begin loving someone else. After all, if you cannot love yourself, how can you love someone else?