The relationship you have with yourself establishes the standard for the other relationships in your life. If you struggle to maintain healthy and happy relationships, you probably aren’t healthy or happy yourself.
Self-love is not intuitive. You must consciously learn it and practice it. If you don’t love yourself, your relationships will suffer from disconnect. This is especially true of romantic relationships. When both partners love themselves, they can establish authentic connections and build unbreakable bonds.
Here are five ways your romantic relationship will suffer you don’t love yourself:
- Your partner must work harder.
If you don’t love yourself, your partner has to pick up the slack. If you don’t love yourself, your partner has to work especially hard to make sure you feel loved. Sometimes even their best efforts to validate you and give you support, love, and positivity, won’t be sufficient for you. Think about how discouraging that would feel. They may even choose to end the relationship.
- You tolerate poor treatment.
If you enter a relationship before you love yourself, you’re more likely to tolerate inappropriate, neglectful, or abusive treatment. A lack of self-love makes you believe that you don’t deserve better. It’s best to avoid dating and romantic relationships until you love yourself because it’s the only way to connect with a partner who will treat you right.
People who don’t love themselves and accept poor treatment often lack self-confidence and live in fear of abandonment. Without a strong sense of self-confidence, they feel unworthy and undeserving. They consider their partners to be more important than they are, so they accept constant criticism, selfishness, and neglect. They may also be reluctant to express their expectations and advocate for what they want because they think their partner will react negatively or withdraw.
There’s only one way to avoid this pitfall: become your own best friend. You must truly want the best for yourself, and do whatever it takes to serve and protect yourself. You are worthy whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not. If your partner isn’t treating you the way you deserve, you don’t need the relationship.
- Your perception of the relationship is overly negative.
People who lack self-love tend to think that the relationship is worse than it actually is. This is a common issue among people who lack self-love. They mistakenly believe that circumstances and intentions are not as good as they are. This is a projection of your insecurities and self-hate, which wouldn’t occur if you loved yourself. Believing your negative perception attracts negative outcomes and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- You constantly compare your relationship to everyone else’s.
If you don’t love yourself, you’ll be more likely to compare your partner’s treatment of you to the way other people’s partners treat them. If you loved yourself, you’d be secure enough to avoid doing this. Your choice to compare your relationship and be insulted by your partner’s behavior is another way you project your insecurities. The best way to avoid this is to start treating yourself how you’d like to be treated.
Treating yourself the way you want to be treated sets important precedents: you put yourself first, and you make sure that you’re cared for. So, buying yourself gifts instead of waiting for your partner to give you things can serve as compelling evidence of self-love. When you treat yourself to a nice outfit, lavish jewelry, a gym membership, or fancy shoes, you express self-confidence and self-worth. You’re showing that you matter to yourself! Expressing these feelings toward yourself is a crucial step toward letting other people know that you take care of yourself, and you expect other people to treat you at least as well as you treat yourself.
- You constantly need your partner’s validation.
A significant advantage that comes along with loving yourself is self-validation. When you don’t demand approval from others, your confidence draws them in. There’s something intriguing and sexy about someone who doesn’t base their happiness on their partner’s validation. Self-love makes you independent and strong. You won’t require constant validation or feel compelled to broadcast their relationship all over every social media outlet. You’ll sufficiently trust each other, you won’t become obsessed with what other people think of you, you’ll be secure in yourself, and comfortable with the relationship’s direction.
That security and self-confidence come from self-love. It doesn’t rely on the validation of others. It originates within. It grows from having stories, plans, interests, and passions. It comes from truly knowing yourself. It’s your fundamental capacity to be confident on your own, with no external, confidence-boosting catalysts. People who can validate themselves do so because they genuinely love themselves. They’ve done the work required to develop a strong identity and better themselves.
Everyone has things to work on. Some of us need to find a career we love and are good at. Others need to stop expecting to find self-love where it doesn’t need to be. Still others need to achieve a healthy weight or develop healthier habits. Singleness allows you enough time to confront these issues, give them your undivided attention, and overcome them. Only after you accomplish this will you be in the position to consider dating. People who love themselves reach that position because they working on themselves as long as needed. They’re happy on their own and are thus able to offer their best selves to their partners.