Placing pressure on someone else to fulfill the inner love that you do not have for yourself, can be a lot for a partner to handle. This pressure often results in the implosion of the relationship.
The journey to true self-love is a long one, a journey that is often tested with multiple detours and lessons along the way.
So how do you know if you have self-love to begin with? Let’s start with how you would answer the following questions in one of these two self-love exercises:
- Do you feel like you lose yourself in your relationships?
- Do you make the relationship all about the other person first and foremost?
- When faced with a break-up do you feel like a piece of you is missing?
- Do you always think your partner is going to leave you for someone better?
- Do you feel devastated and paralyzed when you hear about someone not liking you?
- Do believe yourself to be beautiful/handsome (by your own standards)?
- Do you generally feel happy with your life?
- Do you make time to take care of your mind and body (unique to each individual – i.e. yoga, gym, meditation etc.)?
- Is it hard for you to believe when someone compliments you?
- Do you believe in yourself?
- Do you believe you’re loveable?
Take the time to really reflect on your answers to these questions. Remember, the journey to self-love is ever evolving, be gentle with yourself.
Next, try the following self-love exercise.
- First, write down all the characteristics you would want in your ultimate partner. These characteristics can be a combination of physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual – whatever you feel most drawn to.
- Next, write down all the characteristics YOU bring to a partnership.
I have found these self-love exercises to be extremely telling. You may find it harder to make the list of characteristics you bring to a partnership if you’re struggling with self-love. If you’re truly struggling, ask a friend to help you start populating the list. Sometimes outsiders can bring a fresh perspective to our over critical selves.
Self-care is an essential piece in maintaining self-love. When I talk about self-care, I am not just talking about hitting the gym, I’m talking about taking time out to recharge and relax. We spend so much time racing around in our lives, trying to please other people and meet the next big milestone, we don’t take the time out needed for ourselves. Even if it’s just a nice warm bath every night before you go to bed, take the time you need to love your mind and body.
It’s so important to know first and foremost you’re already good enough and no partner determines if you’re loveable or not.
All you can do is strive to be the best possible version of you every day.
When we love ourselves first, we more easily identify what is good or bad for our highest good.
When we immerse ourselves in self-love and self-care, the stresses and relationships that used to bring us to our knees, no longer seem as life critical.