It can often be hard sometimes for people to learn to love themselves despite what is going on in their social lives, and sometimes this can be even more of a problem when it comes to being in a relationship. Sometimes we are so focused on loving the other person, that we do not take time to love ourselves. This is unhealthy, as it may cause us pain down the road if the relationship doesn’t work out. If you never learn to love yourself before the other person, it may be hard to accept the loss and move on from them.
Another reason why it is important to love yourself while in a relationship is that loving yourself improves self-esteem. This could affect a lot of behaviors, which will affect the way that others connect with you. Being more negative, if you have a low self- esteem, could actually damage your relationship.
Here are some ways to learn to love yourself, whether or not you are in a relationship:
1. Affirm yourself
Don’t seek affirmation or comforting words from others, but rather learn to
tell yourself those things that you like about yourself. Not only will this teach
you to appreciate yourself, but also it will prevent annoying others by
constantly seeking compliments.
2. Serve others
Share your love with other people. Studies have shown that acts of kindness
toward others often benefits the giver more than the receiver, as you will feel
an emotional gain and feel better about yourself.
Keep eye contact and keep your posture
Slouching and having poor eye contact is translating that you are being
submissive to others, and also some people view lack of eye contact as being
rude. You want to learn to be more assertive, instead of submissive, to show
that you have confidence in yourself. Showing submissive behavior right off
the bat will tell someone that they will get way with walking all over you,
causing a lack of respect. Eye contact will also avoid the problem of people
thinking that you are too rude to pay attention to them or to bother putting
yourself together to talk with them.
- Exercise and eat healthy
Being fit makes you feel physically and emotionally better, which will improve your mood. It will give you energy as well as relieve stress.
5. Create something
Whether it’s a song, a painting, or some other form of art or creation, this is a good way to get your feelings out of your body and into something tangible, and when it is done, it will be a creation from you and a form of self-love. It will cause you to feel accomplished and proud of yourself for doing something you enjoy doing, and possibly even that you did it better than other people can. It can also further help your relationship, as this skill gives you something to offer that others may not have, which may make you someone who attracts other people.
6. Become more aware of yourself
Identify not only your strengths, but also your weaknesses. You may be
ignoring the things you say or do that will make others less likely to want to
be around you, or you may be vaguely aware of these things but feel unable to
do anything about them. However, making yourself more aware of these
things may help you prevent doing them as often. Figure out what makes you
“you,” because those are the things that make your friends, family and
significant other like you as opposed to someone who isn’t you. Embrace the
things that make you different.
- Spend time with yourself or your friends, instead of your partner Not only will this help you separate yourself from your “other half,” but your friends will appreciate seeing you sometimes without your boyfriend or girlfriend tagging along. People will act differently when they are alone with friends than when they have their significant other with them.
- Find hobbies or interests that you don’t have in common with your partner Don’t try to convince your partner to become interested in your hobbies, and don’t force yourself to become interested in theirs. Embrace that there are things that you do without each other, and keep doing them. This will provide an easy opportunity to detach yourself from your partner, which will allow you to remain your own independent person.
- Speak up for yourself
Although a little compromise is important in a relationship, don’t change yourself or ignore your feelings because it’s what the other person wants and
you are afraid of losing them. If you don’t voice what you want or need, your
partner won’t know.
10. Make plans for a future without your partner
This isn’t to say ignore the possibility that you will share your future.
However, accept the fact that it may not happen, and don’t let your partner
shape the future you have in mind for yourself. This will help you set goals for
yourself without the help of your partner, so that you know what you want out
of life to be fulfilled.
11. Realize that someone else loving you doesn’t equal loving yourself
It is important to work on loving yourself, or working on making yourself someone that you do love, whether or not someone else already loves you. We often let our significant other “complete” us, and if they are happy with us, nothing else matters. However, it is important to remind yourself that someone else’s love is not a reason to stop seeking out your own happiness with yourself.