The reason why so many relationships go in a bad direction is that we forget to fall in love with ourselves first. We forget about the importance of self-love in our romantic relationships. We forget it completely. We devalue it even though that’s the key component for a successful relationship.
The thing that most of us do when we are in love is that we put the other person on a pedestal. We put their needs in front of our own. We strive so hard to fit into their life that we completely disregard our own. We get this subconscious need that we should impress and awe them and in all of that, we forget who we are.
We forget that our partner should be our equal and not some divine creature we should submit to. So, we give our hearts, bodies and souls into a relationship without expecting anything back. All that we are giving, most often than not, is taken for granted. So, we end up emotionally drained.
By loving ourselves, we give examples to other people in our life on how to love us and how to treat us. If we are low on self-love, if we are unable to set a good example, we are more prone to end up as victims of mind games, all sorts of manipulations and physically or emotionally abusive relationships.
That’s why we have to start setting a good example of the love we deserve. Here are some guidelines on how to achieve that.
Discovering who you are and being comfortable with it
Sometimes, we lose ourselves in the process of loving somebody else and sometimes, we never bothered to find out who we really are. We have to get to know ourselves so we can appreciate and love ourselves more. We have to embrace who we are.
We might be hot messes, gypsy souls, amazing introverts, empaths, old souls, etc. Whatever we are, we have to respect our uniqueness and feel comfortable in our skin. That will give us the confidence we need in our lives, and our relationships with ourselves and with other people.
Being happy regardless of your relationship status
Your relationship status shouldn’t be a measure of your happiness. Of course, we need other people and want to be in a happy and successful relationship. But we should be happy in a relationship we have with ourselves before we even start a romantic one.
Discovering your own smile, which you alone are responsible for, is something priceless. Another person should add to your happiness and not be the sole cause of it. If you depend on your partner to dictate your feelings, that’s a lot of pressure to put on an individual—the kind of pressure that makes them pull away.
One key to a successful relationship is knowing when to keep the doors to your heart open and when to close them. That’s why it’s important to set boundaries—to know all the things you should never tolerate, no matter what.
You should state your boundaries clearly. If you don’t appreciate your partner canceling plans on you at the last minute without a valid reason, you should say so. If he is too busy to call or text for a few days, you should call him on that. You shouldn’t let someone who lacks affection and attention stay in your life. On any other sign of mistreatment or even abuse, you should love and respect yourself enough to go. If you don’t set boundaries, people are going to walk all over you.
Having standards means demanding reciprocity. It means wanting respect you are giving to be given back. It’s nothing out of this world. It’s normal. But somehow it gets overlooked and sacrificed in the name of love. And standards should never be sacrificed.
We should get back everything that we are giving. Besides the already mentioned respect, we deserve the same amount of loyalty, love, acceptance, honesty, commitment, efforts and love and nothing less.
Not settling for less than you deserve
This is directly related to the previous lines. We shouldn’t settle for a loveless, one-sided relationship in which we are the only ones giving and exhausting every atom of our beings for another person. Love is about togetherness.
Self-love teaches you to avoid being in something completely wrong just so you are not alone. It teaches you to wait for something better while you are happy on your own so that one day, you will have your forever person. You will have somebody perfectly imperfect. Someone who shares your views. Someone who may not be writing love paragraphs but someone who ‘writes’ with actions.
Self-love is the key to a successful relationship because it guarantees that one day, somebody will love you the way you already love yourself.