When we look solely to the other person to fill our needs in a romantic relationship, things can quickly fall apart.
I was guilty of doing this myself in previous relationships. And now, people often come to me about divorce after many years of pent up resentment from unfulfilled needs in the marriage.
Because, as I have found, depending on our significant other for satisfaction, happiness, validation, and self-worth often leads to conflict and can ultimately lead to breakup and divorce. Rather, it’s far healthier for the relationship to enhance us as individuals and make us happy.
You might have heard the common piece of advice that you have to love yourself before you can be in a relationship. But I think that, at least to some extent, we all have challenges with self-love. And I’ve personally found that self-love is an ongoing process.
With that said, however, the more self-love at any given time, the better the relationship at that point. Such that when relationship conflict inevitably occurs, you can confidently manage it toward a stronger more connected relationship.
Here are 2 important ways to fill up your self-love tank and strengthen your relationship:
1. Claim your own happiness.
The truth is that only you can make yourself happy. Not your partner. Not anyone. It just isn’t their responsibility. I used to rely on my previous relationships to make me happy. What a disaster.
What your significant other can do is enhance the happiness you bring to the relationship. Trust me, this is tough stuff. But well worth it once you commit, which I continue to do each day.
2. Be open to seeing the big picture.
We all have shortcomings, things about ourselves that we’re not so proud of. Perhaps we have learned to live with them, but they really irritate our partner. For example, I was only just recently able to see that I can be bossy and impatient.
Denying our own shortcomings can really hurt the relationship. But seeing is half the battle. Now, when I notice my shortcomings, I can change course. By the same token, see in yourself what your partner sees in you.
I believe self-love is important for reaping the rewards of a healthy relationship. Because you’re then equipped to positively contribute to the relationship and confidently steer conflicts towards greater understanding and connection.
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