Learning to love on Spotify

Sometimes I like to listen to the Top Songs on Spotify to find my new jam. And one day, lo and behold, a smooth song came on and I began to sway a bit at my desk, getting excited. Could this be it? Then I looked down.

Oh no. Oh, please no. It’s Justin Bieber.

As I reached to change the song, on sheer principle, I stopped myself. I…. I, oh double no, really liked this song.

Beyond the fact that I enjoyed the stripped down feeling of the lyrics and vocals, the words themselves really arrested me. It’s called “Love Yourself,” and it’s a song about Justin leaving someone because she thought only about herself in their relationship. She tried to change him into another person, what she thought he should be, and eventually, seeing how everyone around him including himself were so unhappy with her, he ended it. But this song’s message spoke to me more than “get lost and good riddance, you only deserve to ‘love yourself.’ ” Instead, I think this song can teach us a real lesson about love.

Perhaps Justin wishes that this girl, who tried to change him, separate him from his friends, and use his fame, would be alone (maybe forever) and get to love only herself. But, maybe he realized something important from his time of pain: when we don’t love ourselves, it comes out in how we deal with other people. Someone as broken as this girl actually first needs to learn how love herself. She needs to learn that she can’t project her own insecurities on to others and demand that they fill that hole in her life, or that others are not just objects to make her feel better about herself, by changing them into what she thinks is best.

Having been involved with people like this, I know this to be true: I (and Justin) may have been ready for a relationship, but the other person wasn’t. If they can’t love themselves, then they can’t love you. Signs of not loving themselves can come in many ways: putting the other person down, trying to change them, constantly seeking the other person as their fulfillment, being very possessive, and the list goes on. It doesn’t mean they are incapable of love, but it means that fundamentally, they haven’t learned to love and find worth in the one person who needs it the most in their lives: themselves. And maybe your role in their life is to just be their friend, until they are ready to start a real relationship of giving and receiving. Either way, do not try and fill what is lacking in their life, because you can’t, only they can.

So, do yourself a favor, Biebs: let her love herself. If that is what she needs.


Kathryn Dionne is a recent college grad of Ave Maria University and is exploring the world of writing and films when she isn’t working for her alma mater. She is also a sports enthusiast, despite a soccer injury that cuts her physical exertion a little short. But that’s ok, because watching movies, her other passion, doesn’t involve running, so she still considers herself #blessed. She blogs at &

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