In my last post, we looked at some popular love cliches and why the thinking behind them is actually harmful to a relationship. The reason that each of those sayings was harmful was that they show that the person saying them is looking to their partner to provide them with self-worth and validation.
Many relationships fail or become destructive when someone is looking for these things from their partner. In fact, this has led people to say that you can't love someone else until you love yourself. While that cliche is not entirely true, the reality is that you can't have a strong relationship with someone else until you see your own value.
Here are some reasons why loving yourself is the best gift you can give your partner:
1. Your partner will see your value, once you realize that you have it.
It is nearly impossible for other people to treat us better than we treat ourselves. When you understand that value that you inherently have, you will expect to be treated as if you have it. You will be less likely to allow yourself to be taken advantage of, less likely to overgive, and more likely to establish boundaries.
While these changes may be met with some resistance at first, in the end your partner will begin to see you as having more value once you start treating yourself as if you do.
2. You will help your partner to grow, once you learn to love yourself.
When one person in the relationship is growing, the other can't help but follow suit. Your partner will observe changes in the way you are acting and regarding yourself, and that will most likely prompt them to look inwardly. And as you learn to love and value yourself, you will be less likely to personalize your partner's behavior. Depersonalizing will help you to want to understand your partner's real reasons for doing and saying that things that they do. As you try to understand them, you will also be guiding them toward a greater understanding of themself.
3. You will become less judgmental.
Judging comes from insecurity. When you think that you need your partner to act a certain way in order for you to feel valued, you become very critical when they do not act this way. When you are not confident in the choices you are making, you become critical of people who are making different choices.
When we judge, it is become we are feeling threatened. Once you learn to love and value yourself, it will not matter so much what other people do or how other people act. The focus will move from judging to understanding.
4. You will have fewer fights.
As you learn to love yourself, your mind will stop making your partner's actions about you. If your partner is grumpy, you will not immediately assume that he is mad at you. If your partner says something hurtful, you will understand that they are acting out of fear or misunderstanding.
As everything is no longer about you, you will begin to seek to understand your partner, rather than feeling threatened by their words and actions. You will establish boundaries, but you will also develop better communication skills and become less angered by their words.
5. You will allow your partner to be themself.
When we try to change someone, it is because we want them to be a certain way in order to meet our needs. Once you love and value yourself, your partner becomes free to be who they are. You will want to understand them, rather than wanting them to be a certain way.
This will allow your partner to develop their unique talents, follow their passions, and it will make your relationship much more interesting. Your partner will be able to bring their true strengths to the table.
6. You will be less stressed.
When you don't value yourself in a relationship, you often don't value yourself in any aspect of your life. This can lead to an inability to say "no," an overbooked schedule, and a great deal of drama and conflict at work. This stress will spill into your relationship, leading to more irritability, less time for each other, and more conflict.
As you become less stressed, you will probably notice some major improvements in your relationship. Learning to value yourself has very far-reaching rewards!
Would you like to learn to value yourself more and to improve your relationships? Then consider a low-cost and confidential e-mail, chat, or video session.