Not loving yourself in a relationship can be a very big challenge especially when all you needed was to love yourself and be happy in the relationship with your partner.
However, outstanding love doesn’t come from two half-fulfilled people coming together to make one whole complete life, outstanding love comes from two whole people coming to enhance and share their already full and beautiful lives. -Pia Scade
I have heard about this a quite number of times but I did not understand it until after my 3rd relationship. I have a good no of friends who were all in a butterfly tummy-filled relationship. I envied them and wished heaven could smile at me and give me a partner that I would love. In a bit to feel what my friends were feeling, to witness an unending shower of affection, I rushed into a relationship without learning my friend’s basics.
My partner was perfection in all shades in my little head and I grow to love him more than mother earth. I truly care about him and I lost touch with myself. It got to a point where everything I do and say revolved around him. I lost my sense of self and I became absorbed in the relationship. I depended on my partner for satisfaction, happiness, validation, and self-worth. The positive energy in the space between us got drained and before I knew it, I was already out of it because it was more toxic than expected.
However, the best part of my relationship is that the breakup taught me and formed me into what I am today. Although a relationship just like a marriage doesn’t have a clear road or format for it, I realized some fundamentals should be the foundation that I missed out on. After a lot of personal growth, development, and self-actualization, I discovered that you can’t give what you don’t have. Why do I say so? To love one another, you must first love yourself and to love yourself is to sustain a healthy relationship.
What Does It Mean To Love Oneself?
Loving oneself is a state of appreciation that grows actions that support one’s physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual growth. Loving oneself doesn’t take away one’s individuality, it is not being proud, it is that desire that enhances one to take care of your own needs just the way you will do to your loved ones.
Loving Oneself While In A Relationship
This may seem impossible as most times you get so engrossed with your partner and forget about yourself. You often want to prove to them how much you love them and what you can do for them and in the long run, forget about yourself.
One thing you should bear in mind is that it is difficult to be in a healthy relationship if you don’t love yourself and show yourself that love. It is one thing saying you love yourself and a bigger thing showing that love to yourself. The best way to a healthy relationship is by loving yourself before getting into that relationship.
Does it mean you should slip out from one just in case you haven’t loved yourself? That would be advisable if the relationship is already very toxic, if not, you can still learn the deal of loving yourself while in a relationship.
If you have a healthy relationship and a healthy amount of love for yourself, you can also learn more to improve and grow yourself and your partner.
Here are the best 12 ways to love yourself in a relationship
Now let’s dive into it
1. Be A Controller Of Yourself
You must have control over your emotional, psychological and general welfare. You are In control of your happiness, you are your masterpiece. One thing you must bear in mind is that your partner can’t make you happy. Happiness can only come from within, although they have a role to play in your happiness, the only thing they can do is enhance the happiness you have nurtured. It’s something you must develop over time. It starts with adopting a mindset that you are in control of your happiness and as such you get to make your own choice of either being happy or not.
2. Create A Degree Of Space And Independence
It is unhealthy to allow your relationship to absorb your identity and to lose yourself as a person. Don’t lean on your partner for every aspect of your life. Don’t bank on him as the only source of your happiness, laughter, and entertainment. Explore and know yourself more. Focus more on your independent self and have a healthy relationship with yourself. As much as I loved my partner and spending time with him, I thought I would never get tired of him but unfortunately, I did since I never did have a space for myself. Co-dependency is very important in a relationship, but it needs to be balanced.
3. See In Yourself What Your Partner Sees In You
If you struggle with insecurities then you need to discover what your partner genuinely loves in you. Try to see the perfect aspects he sees of you and start banking on them. Most times, you might want to dismiss the positive things your partner says because the insecurity is already playing with your head, but you have to learn how to regularly see from their perspective once it banks on your positivity. Slowly, you will take it into your head and start to internalize it.
4. Set Your Boundaries
Learn everything you can earn about boundaries. Recognize when you need them, set them with clarity, and enforce them with discipline because it will protect both parties from feeling disappointed, resentful, or taking advantage of each other.
5. Keep Up With Things That Make You Happy
This is who you are and one of the things your partner loved about you before dating you, stopping to do them will be detrimental to you and your relationship.
6. Pay Attention To How You Treat Yourself
Treat yourself how you want to be treated. How do you treat yourself, how do you talk to yourself? Do you exhibit self-compassion? Know that how you treat yourself will determine how your partner will treat you. You have got to value yourself before you will be valued.
7. Be Honest
Loving yourself means being able to correctly express yourself and your fears. Speak to your partner about everything; your struggle, past, and challenges. Do not be so tight to yourself to allow only your good moments to be seen and felt.
8. Love Is An Action Not A Feeling
One thing is to feel that you love yourself, and another thing is to act as if you love yourself. Acting comes before feeling. So once you start acting as if you love yourself, the feeling will come. The best way to do this is by creating a “me timetable” where you should come first over every other people and thing.
9. Maintain Current Friendship
Steadily forgetting our friends once we get into a relationship is one thing people constantly do. Try not to be that person who forgets friends once you go into a relationship. Send texts, set up friends’ dates, and make phone calls. Just do anything to keep the connection.
10. You Are Not Without A Flaw
Don’t be disheartened when you see your flaws. You are not meant to be perfect. A healthy relationship will hold up to your flaws. Don’t kill yourself over them. Some things can be something you might want to work on, others can be ignored. Either way, don’t let it get you done or get in your way of self-love
11. Compromise And Compassion
While thinking of yourself love and self-growth, you must be compassionate and compromise when need be because that is part of self-growth.
12. Keep Learning New Things And Growing
This will ensure that you don’t get stagnant on self-growth or you will be sucked into an old version of yourself.
Loving yourself is as important as loving your partner. The only man that can love and make you happy is the one looking back at you in the mirror, others will enhance what this man has done. You are already enough, when you start to see this, you will start to be enough, and you will enjoy your relationship.
I hope I leave you with a directional correction away from the flaws you see because they aren’t flaws, they are protected against all doubts you have of yourself. Start today, take a good long mirror and see what your partner sees in you and love yourself just the way you would love yourself if you are another person.