In order to make a romantic relationship work, most people think that they should give it their all. Some even believe that loving someone also means becoming a different person, a “better” and even a more “perfect” version of themselves. While the intentions are good and this can work for a while, the lasting effect can do more harm than good. Most of these individuals who thought that doing so was the only way to be a good partner lost themselves in the process. So how do you avoid this from happening to you? The answer is in loving yourself.
Here are the ways on how to love yourself in a relationship.
1. Value your worth.
Sometimes, people tend to neglect their needs and dismiss how situations made them feel because they think that it’s the best way to save a relationship. When this happens, some lose their sense of individuality and try to please their partners—even if it means ignoring their own needs. Understand that you matter, too. Your feelings are valid and you are worthy of love.
2. Recognize your own needs.
Aside from recognizing the other person’s needs, you should also make a list of what you need as a partner. Once you identified them, learn to express yourself and let them understand why they have to be met for you to feel loved and valued. This is important, especially that people have different love languages and how they express them. However, be careful about being too selfish and needy.
3. Understand that there are two people in a relationship.
It’s admirable when people give their best to make the relationship work. However, understand that you are not alone in the relationship and you don’t have to do all the work. Your partner is there to help you, to carry the load when it seems too heavy to bear alone. Give them the chance to show you that you are loved and that you are not alone.
4. Remember that sacrifices don’t always equate to love.
Love is “sacrifice.” At least that’s what most people believe. While it’s partly true, sacrifices don’t always equate to love, especially if it means sacrificing your own wellbeing to make someone feel loved. Find a balance between self-love and loving someone. Make sure that you are not neglecting your emotional and mental health just to be a good partner.
5. Be proud of what you can offer.
Don’t sell yourself too short. Don’t underestimate your own efforts. Be proud of what you can offer at the moment. If you think what you are offering is not enough, instead of feeling bad, you should work hard on becoming better. A good partner will understand that you are doing your best.
6. Acknowledge insecurities and correct them early on.
If you are aware of your insecurities, don’t wait until it ruins your relationship. Loving yourself also means helping yourself grow as a person and as a partner. Identify the triggers, understand why you feel the way you feel, and ask for help if you need it.
7. Be confident.
Loving yourself means being confident about yourself, as a person capable of loving someone and caring for someone. Amplifying these qualities and acknowledging your ability to be a good partner will help you understand your strengths. Understanding your strengths will make you see how wonderful of a person you are.
8. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in the past.
Loving yourself in a relationship means not being too hard on yourself. It also means forgiving your past self for what you did when you were still learning and growing. Bringing these regrets and personal hatred into your current relationship is not healthy.
9. Don’t invalidate how you feel.
It’s okay to feel sad or disappointed. Loving yourself means asserting your emotional needs. You should not dismiss these feelings just to avoid a confrontation or an argument.
10. Give yourself the space and time to breathe.
Your relationship is not perfect, no matter how much you love each other. There will always be fights, misunderstandings, and confrontations. You don’t always have to solve the problem right away. Anger, frustrations, and hurt are all emotional processes. Just like any process, each takes time. When this happens, give yourself and your partner the space and time to breathe. You both deserve a time to process your thoughts and calm down. It’s always best to talk and resolve issues with a calm and clear mind.
11. Set your priorities right.
Loving yourself means setting your priorities right, every day. Your relationship does not always have to be on top. For instance, it’s okay to cancel a date if you are needed somewhere else, especially if it’s a family emergency. Another example is your need to be away from them because of your job, which means enduring a year or two of a long-distance relationship. Sometimes, you have to focus on your career, your family, and even on your self-growth so you can live a more fulfilling life.
12. Stop trying so hard to be perfect but work on becoming better.
You are not perfect. Sometimes, you react to things and situations in a not-so-mature way. For instance, how did you react when your partner was an hour late for a date? Were you disappointed and got caught in the thought that maybe they don’t value your time? How about when your partner forgot about your anniversary? Did you feel neglected and maybe hurt? How are you during a fight? Do you often ask questions just to look for trouble? Learn to acknowledge these weaknesses and work on them. Stop blaming yourself especially when it’s something that you can’t control.
13. Learn to ask for help.
Your partner is there to help you navigate through life. They are also there to help you process your thoughts and your emotions. Sometimes, they can help you out and make your everyday life easier through thoughtful gestures or acts of service. Learn to ask for help, especially when you need it the most.
14. Allow yourself to feel and process emotions.
You don’t always have to be with your partner all the time. It’s okay if you don’t do things together. This is true especially if you’re talking about taking some time off, away from people, alone, to process your emotions. Solitude gives people the safe space to just be one with their own thoughts, with all openness and without judgment.
15. Be open; freely express yourself.
The last item talks about claiming the freedom to be yourself in a relationship. This means expressing what you want, what you need, and what you want out of it. It also means being open to the idea of growth and being confident that your relationship will help you understand your worth. Most importantly, a good relationship should help you become the best version of yourself.
Be happy and grow.
Loving yourself is easy if you only realize that you deserve the same love that you willingly give to other people. Relationships are supposed to make you happy and help you grow as a person, not the opposite. Self-love will also help you become a better partner. Hopefully, this article helped you understand why you are worthy of love and why your feelings matter, too.
Also read: 15 Beautiful Ways to Truly Love Yourself