Learning to Love Yourself is Crucial to Success in Relationships

“Adjust your oxygen mask before assisting others”.  You’ve undoubtedly heard this pre-flight safety instruction if you’ve ever set foot on a commercial airliner.  It’s lifesaving protocol to follow in the event of an air emergency, and it can also save your relationship with your partner.

Your capacity to constructively express love to another begins with your ability to express love to yourself.  Love is like oxygen.  You need to secure your own supply before you can provide it to another person.  This is by no means a license to be arrogant or conceited; however, it’s healthy to invest your time and energy into nurturing love from within.  

Often, learning to love yourself begins with taking responsibility for your own situations and actions.  We frequently blame others when the events or circumstances in our lives are less than desirable.  

This type of behaviour conditions us to always have our guard up while focusing on the external “who?” and “why?” of our unhappiness.  If you experience discontent in a relationship, and your first instinct is to blame your partner as the cause, it becomes very difficult to objectively and collaboratively solve the problem for the betterment of your relationship.

Many scholars and philosophers throughout time have noted that we have the power to attract what we believe.  If you are consistently negative, spiteful, or chronically unhappy, it follows that those woes will manifest in your life with the power to adversely impact your relationship.  On the contrary, loving and respecting yourself for who you are — and the unique gifts you present to the world — attracts love and respect from other people.

A lack of self-love is oftentimes connected to low self-confidence.  We must feel worthy of love to give love to ourselves and others, and that means having confidence in our abilities and the value we offer.  Confidence is a skill, and like any skill, it can be learned or strengthened over time by repetition.  You can take a lesson from the movie The Sting by playing confidence games to improve your self-assuredness.          

Relationships are prone to breakdown in times of tension or argumentative fighting.  Sometimes we just need to step back and gain perspective on things to see the error of our ways.  It’s easy to lose yourself in a clash of wills.  Humans love to assert themselves and be right.  

While such actions might feed the ego and feel good for a brief time, they carry a destructive potential.   Recognize when you’re being stubborn or unreasonable simply for the sake of ego inflation and self-importance.  Learn to compromise with your partner and yield when appropriate.  Developing this kind of finesse and tact will foster trust and unity in your relationship.

Finally, never make your happiness the responsibility of others.  Disappointment will be a familiar companion if you’re programmed to only feel joy or vitality when another person meets your expectations.  Everyone has their own personality, dreams, desires, and agendas.  Sometimes theirs doesn’t align with yours, and that’s perfectly fine.  Don’t be person or outcome-dependent when it comes to feeling or communicating love.  

Practice the art of cultivating happiness from within by identifying and engaging the pursuits, places, and passions that bring satisfaction to your life as much as possible.  Love of self grows organically when you’re surrounded by a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  You naturally grow into an improved version of yourself, which in turn, better serves your relationships.

A surprisingly few number of people work consciously to expand their self-love by sharpening the skills that make us stronger in our relationships and happier personally.  Take this opportunity to evaluate, as objectively as possible, where you stand in your love for yourself.  Determine how it might be impacting your partner and the health of your relationship.  

You are in control when it comes to learning to love yourself. And you already have the necessary tools to develop a stronger sense of love in you.  Go ahead and put your oxygen mask on.


(Image source for Learning to Love Yourself:   Pixels.com)