Everyone dreams of that fairy tale relationship. You know, the one where you meet coincidentally and then madly fall in love with each other. Then after you fall madly in love, it’s a quick trip down aisle and off to your happily ever after. But there’s only one problem. Life is not a fairy tale.
In real life, love is much more complicated. There’s usually a series of dates and strike outs. People you like don’t like you back and you don’t feel connected with people who feel connected to you. Then there’s the awkward stages of the relationship where you don’t know if it’s too soon to introduce them to your parents, etc. Whew! Falling in love is a lot of work. But while a lot of people focus on part of falling in love with someone else, there’s one even more critical stage of the relationship that you just can’t miss. The part of falling in love with yourself.
Why It’s Important to Fall in Love With Yourself
Falling in love with yourself is perhaps the most important part of a relationship. If you can’t love yourself,you really don’t have a functional concept of how to love someone else because you’re worried that there’s nothing for them to be in love with. After all, if you don’t love you how can someone else? And that damages your relationship in a lot of ways. It create distance in your relationship and keeps your spouse from feeling the love that they want to feel.
When you love yourself, though, you’re able to truly connect with someone else. And you’re not afraid to let someone try to connect with you. You still recognize your downfalls but you also recognize your lovable strengths. You can do an honest inventory of yourself and you’re not afraid of what you’ll discover. You know that you’re a good person who’s worthy of love, affection and companionship even though there are imperfect things about you. And because you love yourself, you don’t let these imperfections define you. You’re also not afraid if someone else sees them.
Because you truly love yourself, you know that you’re a good person despite your imperfections. And you’re not afraid to work on them. You see your imperfections as challenges that are able to be overcome instead of as fundamental parts of you that you will always be ashamed/embarrassed of. And because you’re not ashamed or embarrassed of them, you’re not afraid to talk about them with the right company. In fact, you look forward to it at times because it gives you more insight into yourself. And as you gain more insight into yourself, you get to know yourself more, which only helps you fall in love with yourself more.
How Loving Yourself Helps Your Relationship
When you love yourself, you’re not afraid to show your true self. You can be yourself in whatever situation
you’re in. And in a relationship, this helps in so many ways. For one, not being afraid to show your true self allows you to be present for your partner. Because you’re not trying to hide certain pieces of yourself, you’re more able to focus on your partner or the current situation that needs your attention.
Another way it helps your relationship is that instead of trying to hide your insecurities, you’re letting them out for your partner to see. This gives them the opportunity accept and love you for you, all of you…imperfections and all. This also helps them to be in love with the real you instead of a false perception of you that you’re trying to project for the sake of being accepted.
Lastly, being in love with yourself helps your relationship because as you allow your partner to know you for who you really are, and your spouse falls in love with you, warts and all, you feel a deeper love and appreciation for your spouse that you never knew was possible. You both have a connection of love and intimacy that withstands hard times and good times. Sickness and health. For richer or for poorer.
Make it a Point to Love Yourself Daily
There are lots of ways that people have difficulty falling in love with themselves. Insecurity, codependence and low self-esteem are all good signs that you’re having difficulty loving yourself. But instead of trying to hide it, embrace it. Recognize pieces of yourself you’re uncomfortable with and go to work doing daily things to fix it. In a great article by Darlene Lancer about how to mother yourself, she gives some great tips how:
1) identify your own emotional needs and work to meet them,.
2) have self-empathy
3) nurture yourself.
Practice these principles every day and before you know it, you’ll find yourself being a new you. You’ll be more confident, caring and loving. And before you know it, you’ll find yourself in a fantastic, electrifying relationship with someone who absolutely loves you – and you will too.