Self-Love: The Basis of A Successful Relationship
Go steady with yourself before you decide to go the distance with someone else
Too often we link having romantic relationships with achieving success and personal happiness. While there’s much proof behind the latter being a result of the former (or vice versa), we also too often lose sight of the fact that these concepts are mutually exclusive.
I, along with many people I know, have dated with the idea that our significant other can define us — that only with this person, we know how to live with ease and comfort, and without them, accomplishing a life like this is anything but possible. I’m also one to comfortably admit that falling in love indirectly takes a huge blow to my self-esteem. While depending on a lover for a sense of security or reassurance is perfectly normal, it was during the times I didn’t receive it from my partner that I realized I was unable to do it alone. That, for me, was a problem.
How do we define self-love? How do we execute self-love?
Self-love is defined as regard for one’s own well-being and happiness, not to be confused with vanity or narcissism. It’s important to determine the things that make you worthy of the happiness you seek, and to establish a foundation as an individual before seeking romantic partnership with anyone else. In my opinion, two people who know who they are and what they bring to the table are sure to build a stronger foundation together. Does it always happen this way? No. However, if you have ever called yourself a “hopeless romantic”, this is something you should take heed of.
Make a list. Quantify to the best of your ability everything you admire about you — all of the things your significant other should know. Affirming your favorite attributes on a regular basis contribute to healthy self-esteem.
Health & wellness undoubtedly play a major role. Taking care of your body reinforces its importance, and there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve worked hard to look and feel good. Meditation, yoga, and diet & exercise are popular go-to activities that require tons of commitment, but ultimately help a great deal physically and mentally.
The idea is less about being pessimistic and more about making sure you’re always in a healthy headspace. It’s easier said than done, sure, and love sometimes triggers things within us that are beyond our understanding, but standing firmly on your own two feet regardless of who is in your life matters most.
How do we recognize self-love? How do we know if we’ve connected with others who exemplify self-love?
Self-love should always inspire. Self-love should always breed self-love. It should never inflict harm unto others, nor should it oust another’s flame. A person who practices should always encourage the people they love to do so as well.
Building with someone who has established a strong sense of self can be challenging at times. It can feel as if you’re not needed. But that could be due to a number of things, mainly involving insecurities and priorities. Pay attention.
Observe and assess before you react. Balancing the maintenance of one person’s happiness with your own isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be a task when in a relationship. As important as it is to pursue our own hopes and dreams, it’s equally important to be with someone who has goals of their own they aim to accomplish. We should always want to be the best version of ourselves, and not be threatened when in the company of a lover who wants the same.
So be encouraging. You and your partner should want the best for one another, and pushing them to pursue what affirms their own self-love is a grand gesture.
Bottom-line: love on yourself better and more than anyone else possibly could. Make room to accept your flaws and work hard on them. Invest in yourself and make use of your valuable time. Most importantly, if you come across a love that fits, welcome it. Just don’t let it cost you your dignity or self-worth.