My self-acceptance is not quite what I would call self-love, but I really appreciate the term self-care. And by caring for myself I am showing love for parts of myself I have always tried to hide.
But I am also a learning individual. I can adapt and make changes in my plans and trajectories. So while I was thinking I had lost orbit and was shooting away for some new destination. I may have been only slowing to the gravitational pull of this amazing lady, and learning what her fears and passions were as well.
Men get a lot of stereotypical flack for not knowing how to be vulnerable and talk about their feelings. And I'd have to say, in our culture, that being a man with feelings can be hard. I'm one of those sensitive guys, and in many situations I've had to learn to toughen up, be hard, unaffected by rage, bullshit, or attacks.
Recalibrating our taste in a mate is difficult with all of these examples showing us what we should desire. Women have unrealistic expectations, that is draining all the life out of many of them as they try to perfect something in themselves. Abs, for example, may not be that important to their actual happiness. And men, well, expectations cut in our direction as well. The images of desirable men are everywhere as well. But they are not as rigid.
I look forward to having another opportunity to learn about myself "in a relationship" at some point. I'm happy and patient right where I am. But I believe by having my priorities clear and articulated I can do a better job of finding and sorting through the process of finding that NEXT RELATIONSHIP. I wait enthusiastically.