Love is a universal language and a way of showing affection to someone. However, when forming strong relationships, one thing is crucial – self-love.
As the saying goes, “You can’t love others until you learn to love yourself“. We’ve all heard of this saying numerous times, and even if it is a simple statement, it can be complicated and a hard pill to swallow for many people.
Self-love is the core of all relationships. Ultimately, the quality of our relationships with others reflects how we treat ourselves.
Because of this, it’s crucial to realize and fully comprehend how loving oneself impacts the love we give and receive from others. What follows is a primer on the importance of self-love in relationships.
What is Self-Love?
Self-love entails a commitment to the development of oneself, happiness and unconditional acceptance of one’s personhood.
When you love yourself, you prioritize your happiness over the approval of others. True self-love involves never settling for less than you are worthy of.
It’s important to note that self-love is not the same as having unshakeable confidence in oneself. Sometimes you may feel dissatisfied and furious with yourself, but that is a normal human emotion, and it does not imply you do not love yourself.
What is Healthy Self-Love?
Healthy self-love is the ability to regard oneself objectively and honestly. It is the recognition of one’s identity and capabilities, in addition to an awareness of the limitations one may possess in particular areas. You can never have too much self-love if it is genuine and based on reality.
Self-love is not expressed in the form of bragging about one’s accomplishments and thinking you’re better than everyone else. Such behaviors are more indicative of a lack of confidence and inferiority complex.
To put it another way, when you have a healthy love for yourself, you have a feeling of purpose and a sense of safety. You have the ability to build strong interpersonal relationships as well as a strong feeling of personal competency.
In addition to this, you have an insatiable appetite for learning new things and are open to constructive criticism, all of which have the potential to contribute to your growth.
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Some Great Self-Love Examples in A Relationship
If you need some examples, here you go. Try applying these strategies to develop more self-love even when in a relationship.
Love Your Appearance
There are a lot of us who dislike how we look. Many of us feel inadequate when compared to famous people, models, actresses or other people we hold in high regard. But this should not be the case. Focus on improving the aspects of your look that you enjoy and think others will find appealing.
Love Your Personality
There are those characteristics you love about yourself. You may find yourself to be muscular, mentally strong, humorous, courageous, kind or even interesting for people to be with. To cultivate more self-love, give these positive aspects of yourself more attention than your less admirable characteristics.
Love Your Skills
Yes, there is something that you excel at. It’s possible that you have a knack for the arts, athletics, crafts or even problem-solving. Appreciate your strengths, work to improve them and adore yourself for them.
Why is Self-Love So Important in A Relationship?
Here are some reasons why self-love is so crucial in any relationship:
1. You’re Treated as You Treat Yourself
Self-love sets the standard for how you’d like to be treated by others. By taking care of and treating yourself, others will feel compelled to do the same. Put another way, if you treat yourself with kindness and compassion, people will respond similarly.
2. Helps Identify When a Relationship is not Worth Holding On
Without self-love, finding oneself stuck in a toxic relationship is very easy. Despite being ugly, walking away from an abusive, disrespectful and manipulative partner is always healthy when you feel your self-worth is in the balance.
Self-love helps you recognise that you deserve better, and your health and emotional state should come first above anything else.
3. Benefits Your Relationships by Making You a Better Partner
It’s a paradox that loving oneself may improve one’s ability to love another, but it’s the reality. It’s natural for the love you have for yourself to spill over into your relationships with others.
In many cases, improving as a partner is as simple as loving oneself despite the shortcomings you may have. When you’ve mastered self-love, loving others is easy.
A lack of self-love can be the final nail in the coffin of even the most exquisite romance. It reflects poorly on you and, by extension, on your relationship if you can’t find a way to make yourself happy despite your flaws and failures.
4. Helps Promote Independence in Relationships
Despite being in a relationship, it is essential to have a life of your own; the secret to this is self-love. The ability to love oneself is a key to understanding the importance of independence and individuality.
This is not narcissism, unlike what many assume. A relationship should be a partnership and not a co-dependency situation where there is an unhealthy amount of psychological or emotional dependence on one another.
How Does Lack of Self-Love Affect a Relationship?
According to Krystyna Trushyna, International relationship expert at Doves-of-Love.com, lack of self-love is the single biggest relationship killer. Relationship problems such as fighting, insecurity and imbalance mostly stem from an individual’s inability to love themselves.
Putting Relationships to Test
Those with a low opinion of themselves generally have trouble believing they deserve love, even after finding it. Consequently, such individuals frequently suspect that their partner is concealing or exaggerating their genuine intentions of loving them.
Feelings like this motivate people to continuously put their partners to the test by probing their motivations and watching for their reactions, all to establish whether or not their love for them is genuine.
Insecurity and Jealousy
When one partner lacks love for themselves, it can lead to unhealthy levels of insecurity and jealousy. People who lack self-love worry that their spouses will leave them for someone else because they don’t believe they’re attractive, thoughtful or clever enough.
Difficult Being Oneself
Maintaining an atmosphere of trust and candor in a relationship can be difficult if you don’t love yourself very much.
You will often find yourself making concerted efforts to improve your likability or physical attractiveness. You will even go to the excruciating extent of trying hard to appear amusing or fascinating to other people to seek their approval.
Self-love deficient people are likelier to take criticism or even polite requests to heart. To them, simple requests and feedback seem like a poke into their weakness. Such people often result in emotional bursts and defensiveness that could lead to arguments and even withdrawal from the relationship.
How Do I Take Care of Myself in A Relationship?
There are various ways you can take care of yourself while in a relationship.
Create Time for Yourself
Even in a relationship, having some time for yourself is essential. It encourages reflection about your values and aspirations. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better you feel after some alone time.
Make Friends Outside Your Relationship
Being in a relationship does not mean cutting off your friends. Having a group of friends or family to rely on is essential since no one individual can satisfy all your wants and requirements.
When you’re in a committed relationship, it’s imperative to maintain the close friendships that have helped you through tough times.
Even when in romantic relationships, boundaries are essential. Setting appropriate boundaries with your better half helps create a healthy and honest relationship while ensuring you understand each other and your self-worth comes first before everything else.
Have Some Personal Goals
Even though having shared goals is a great thing for the relationship’s growth, it is crucial to have personal goals.
Often after getting into committed relationships, people abandon their individual objectives to focus on those of the relationship. However, it is incredibly beneficial for your sake to take a step back and think about the things you hoped to achieve.
Self-love is your secret weapon to living a fulfilling life.
To develop the habit of loving yourself, the first step is to treat yourself with the same degree of kindness, patience, gentleness and compassion that you would show to another person you care about.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.