If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?
It might be a quote from RuPaul but this pretty much sums up my attitude towards self love in relationships.
First of all, I’m not saying that to be in a good relationship you need to love yourself 100% and be completely satisfied. It’s more the idea that if you are willing to learn to love yourself and can acknowledge that self love is important, your relationship will blossom.
Have you ever been mean to someone because you were insecure about yourself? I’m certain that at some point or another, we all have. But have you ever done it in a relationship? Only for it to spiral, lead to an argument, and end with you feeling like you are flawed and unworthy of being in a relationship? It feels rubbish, doesn’t it?
Self love is vital in relationships, whether they are romantic relationships or otherwise. In this post, I’m just talking about romantic relationships because there’s way too much to get into with friendships!
Here are some of my self love commandments for people in relationships:
Thou Shalt Not Lose Thy Sense of Self
This one is so important. I know so many people who have been in long term relationships, only to break up with their partner and not know who they are or what they actually enjoy. Obviously, I’m not saying you need to have hobbies ‘just in case’ you break up, but it’s really important that you know who you are.
My boyfriend and I spend every waking moment that we can together but that doesn’t mean we always spend our time doing the same activity as each other. Sometimes it’s just enough to be in the same room together while we’re doing our own thing because we have different hobbies and like to spend our time differently.
Acknowledge what you enjoy. If you love going to the cinema and your partner hates it, you don’t have to give that up. Just find other ways around it.
Thou Shalt Not Depend on Thy Partner for Happiness
It is no one’s responsibility to make you happy other than yourself. The moment you relinquish your power over your happiness to someone else and allow them to solely make you happy, you are giving them the power to make you unhappy too.
Don’t let your partner be your only source of happiness. Chances are you were happy before you got into this relationship. What did you enjoy then? Who were your friends? Think about the things you can do to find happiness that doesn’t rely on your partner.
If you find this difficult, start small. Run a bath, read a book. Find little tidbits of happiness throughout your day and expand on them.
Thou Shalt Acknowledge Why Thou Art Loved
If you’re in a loved-up relationship, then think about why the person you’re with loves you. Take some paper and write all those reasons down. From the smallest ‘They love me because I make good coffee’ to “They love me because I’m kind.” Think long and hard about these reasons because it’s so easy to dismiss your good qualities when you struggle to love yourself.
When you’ve got your list, put it somewhere that you won’t forget about it, so that next time you feel like you aren’t worthy of love you can look at the list and realise what your partner sees in you.
Thou Shalt Forgive Thyself
If you find it difficult to love yourself, it’s really easy to assume you are always to blame when things go wrong in your relationship. If you argue, do you assume that it’s solely because of something you did? Because that’s unlikely to be the case.
The best way to combat this is to forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you have low self-confidence it can be hard to just shrug things off. If the issue is in the past, try not to dwell on it. There is nothing you can do to change things now.
Finally, talk about it. Talk to your partner about all the pent up feelings. The argument might have happened weeks ago and you’re still beating yourself up about it. Share your feelings and this will help you move on.
Do you think loving yourself in relationships is important? What do you do to practice self love in relationships? Let me know in the comments!