The romance between two people is often experienced as adoration of another that sweeps you off your feet and into the welcoming arms of someone you love in a wholesome and rewarding way. It’s one of life’s great mysteries, this phenomenon, and one of the things that we all seek in our time on this earth. It is also, however, a part of life that is sometimes afforded too much respect in lieu of your own self-love, causing detrimental effects over time. Here are some reasons why practicing self-love is key to romantic relationships
Loving Yourself is Attractive
A large part of getting any romantic relationship off the ground is attracting the right person. Attraction is often nowadays reduced to physical looks and cosmetic appearance and this in itself is a problem for those who are looking for an emotionally as well as a physically rewarding relationship. The distinction between self-love – admiring your personal characteristics – and self-pampering, which ultimately simply enhanced your beauty or external attractiveness, is important here. Self-love is about respect and comfort and is achieved through genuine kind introspection about yourself.
For instance, your personality is unique to you and should make you feel proud and invigorated as you meander through life. You should value your values and respect your impulses; celebrate your eccentricities and ‘own’ your individuality. Practicing self-love in this way is so attractive because it means you have fully come to terms with yourself, which means that in the eyes of a love interest, you are confident, positive, full of life and unrestrained in your conduct with others. It is seen as an incredibly attractive trait, especially in prospective long-term relationships.
Your Individuality will be Celebrated
Being true to yourself and loving the way in which you personally take on life’s ups and downs makes you an individual in the truest sense, and will mean that you are always willing to take yourself less seriously, to live in the moment, and to not follow trends and fashions that ultimately bring your personality closer to the herd, making you a sheep in a flock. Self-love establishes the confidence in yourself to be the individual you want to be, which will, in turn, be celebrated by others and especially by the person you end up in a relationship with.
The right person will be utterly dazzled by this fresh, honest and heart-on-sleeve side of you, and will wish to do nothing to stifle it or bring you into a more repressed and limited way of life. If you reciprocate these boundaries that do not guard or limit but preserve individuality, you will be well-placed to enjoy a mutually-nourishing relationship that allows you both to express your individuality within your happy union. On the flip side, you’ll know when part of your personality is being trespassed on, so you’ll know when demands are being made of you that you do not feel like meeting.
Let Feelings Guide You
Loving yourself puts you in constant contact and communion with your innermost feelings – the ones which, if repressed, dictate your behavior in a way which can be confusing, causing self-hatred and poor self-esteem. Having a respect and an ongoing conversation with your emotional side – often, unhelpfully, labelled the irrational side – will mean that you’re able to make the best decisions when it comes to relationships and romance, ensuring you’re on the right track and that you know when to call time on something that’s not for you.
In a sense, this is the sort of instinctive reasoning you can only perform if you understand fully your own needs and requirements for a happy relationship. It can be brave to sacrifice a ‘good’ relationship in favor of a future that will hopefully contain a marvelous head-over-heels romance, and taking a step towards this is a positive form of self-love that in the short-term might feel like an act of self-betrayal, except for the reasons and hopes that you are investing in the decision, through self-love.
You Retain Independence
As mentioned above, there is a conventional wisdom around romantic relationships, especially when they evolve into civil partnerships or marriage, that you give yourself fully to your partner at the expense of your autonomy. After all, marriage vows have for centuries detailed this gift, this act of bonding two together until death do them part. The issue is, often relationships can serve to stifle individuality, creativity, and independent pursuits instead of enhancing them. Being at least a little wary of this phenomenon is a good starting position from which to find your own space to conduct the passions and hobbies you’ve always held so dear to your personal development.
The best relationships involve two people who have a profound respect for the other’s life, meaning that you will never ask for total dominance over their actions and passions. After all, it’s okay for you to listen to different music, to watch different TV shows, or to hang out with different friends – actually, it can be very healthy. Self-love requires of you that you never compromise on your own ideals, your own values or the sense of what is right in your life; it’ll, therefore, prevent your relationship from subsuming your whole life into that of another.
You Enjoy Body Confidence
There are plenty of elements in life that contribute to a confident and healthy attitude towards one’s own body, but the practice of deep and genuine self-love will create the confidence in the body that you have grown into that needs not the validation of others or constant comparison with celebrities and pinup models. Liberated from this anxiety, you’ll also wear the clothes that you think look good on you or that express some fundamental and important characteristic in your constitution, contributing to what will beguile your other half.
In romantic relationships, having a partner who loves their body can be exciting and engaging when it comes to the physical side of love. It will bring alluring confidence and genuine bodily seduction into your enjoyment of one another’s physicality that represents one of the many pillars of love that become more and more important to maintain as your lives become linked through marriage and children and the domestic stresses of everyday life.
You Make the Big Decisions
For a while in romantic relationships, you are able to enjoy a whirlwind phase of physical passion and emotional leaps and bounds that bring you quickly closer to an intimate bonding with the person that you love. It is a wonderful experience, but once the ‘honeymoon period’ is over, relationships can involve tough decisions that you will need to make independently and with the strength of character that comes from having a good level of self-respect built into your make-up. This works in both ways: you can decide that this is a person you wish to spend your life with; you can also come to realize that it’s time to call an end to proceedings, for the greater good of the pair of you.
Where the latter is concerned, there can be no greater act of self-love in romance than to make the decision to bring an end to your long-term relationship if this is the right thing to do. Putting your own self-interest above that of your union can sometimes be the better step to take for both parties. If you’re married, making the decision to hire a Top Family Lawyer to help you engineer a successful divorce can have so much societal pressure and stigma against it that actually filing for divorce can only be done out of a sense of duty to the self that supersedes this external pressure. Self-love will instruct you to ignore prejudice and convention to do what’s right for you, guiding you to make the big decisions that others may not be capable of.
You Know When to be Alone
If you have just experienced a divorce or a breakup after a long period of unhappy romantic union, you will feel emotionally drained and fragile – it’s a natural repercussion of the end of something that will at one time have given you a lot of support and happiness. Having this rug pulled from under your feet can lead to feelings of despair and a reaction that attempts to bring a new person into the shoes of the old as quickly as possible.
Respect for your emotional fragility and the negative consequences of rushing into a new relationship are key elements to loving yourself. You will quickly discover elements of your loneliness – the sudden onrush of free time – that actually nourish you in ways that have perhaps not done so for a long time. You’ll know when to be alone and when to make yourself romantically available so that you are in the best position to recommence your love life in a new, happy and fulfilling relationship.
Self-love can seem like a spiritual buzzword without much weight but understanding the elements of self-love that can bring lasting confidence and happiness in a sustainable way will help you negotiate life’s romantic relationships, ensuring that you’re equipped to deal with breakups and divorce, as well as to enjoy the full fruits of a genuine and mutually-respecting adoration in your romantic life.