You may have heard the saying “you need to love yourself before you can be loved by someone else”, but is that a true statement or more of an impossible task? For anyone who has ever been in a relationship – and that includes family members and friends – we have learned that love has no rules. We cannot help how we feel when it comes to another individual. If we love someone for who they are, we love them for the good and the bad. We are only human and make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve love.
Setting such high standards for ourselves before we enter into a relationship may make it harder for that relationship to succeed. As humans, we are constantly questioning our thoughts, actions, and goals. As we continue to grow, we continue to learn more about ourselves. We also learn what we love about ourselves, and what can be improved in. Setting impossible standards for ourselves is unhealthy, but if we become more self-aware and learn more about ourselves, this may improve on our current or future relationships. In this blog we discuss self-awareness, the complexity of self-love and relationships.
What is self-love? It is the feeling we have towards ourselves. It is appreciating who we are. It is a way to support our physical, psychological and spiritual identity and growth. Self-love can be different for everyone. Perhaps you show self-love by spending more time on your self-care through meditation, journaling, or time at the gym. Maybe the way you show self-love is by creating healthier habits for yourself such as eating healthier or becoming more mindful of your decisions. Self love is learning to put yourself first when you face difficult decisions. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but the overall message is to love yourself – no matter your past or the struggles you may be facing.
How do I start a journey towards self-love? A great way to start is by thinking of yourself as a friend. We may love our family or best friend for who they are, despite their flaws, and we would do anything for them. Why wouldn’t we put ourselves in that same category? It is human nature to be self-deprecating and hard on ourselves when we make mistakes or choose the wrong path. We can’t be held up on those negative feelings or we won’t move forward in life. By practicing self-compassion, kindness, and patience, we can make giant steps towards our life goals and relationships with others.
SELF LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS
Improving your self-love can be beneficial to the existing and future relationships in your life. It is important to note that it is not healthy to deny the love of someone else because you do not feel that you deserve love. There is a difference between abstaining from starting new relationships so that you can work on your mental well-being, versus abstaining from starting new relationships because you don’t feel you are worth loving. You are always worthy of love! If you are having negative feelings about yourself, it is best to speak to a loved one, and to a professional about your mental health. A trained professional can assist you in creating the tools needed towards recognizing your self-worth and showing more self-love. No matter what experiences you have faced, no matter the “mistakes” you have made, you are worthy of love – from yourself, and from others.
You may find that you have to make some sacrifices with others in order to put yourself first. If you have always put others before you, changing your habits can be the biggest challenge of all. But you may find that those around you will understand why you are making those sacrifices, and support your journey.
Emotions are normal and it is good that we have moments where we question ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we need to set a standard of near perfection before entering into a relationship – that is an unrealistic goal. No matter who you are, everyone deserves to be loved and that can either be self-love or love from another individual. If you would like to discuss mental health and relationships with our team or talk to a professional for more information, please contact us HERE.