Stop believing that you have to sell your soul to be in a relationship. It doesn’t work at all.
Let’s be honest. Someone who expects you to give 1,000 percent of your attention to them in a relationship might not be the best fit.
Being in a relationship is wonderful, beautiful, loving, and always is a work in progress. The “honeymoon” period lasts for a bit, so either you roll up your sleeves and do the work needed to cultivate a healthy relationship or get out.
One big piece that gets lost in the shuffle of romance is that one person who gets ignored: YOU.
I’m serious. If you are ignoring your own mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health all in the glorious name of your relationship, then we need to talk.
What are you doing selling your soul out for another person when you aren’t even taking care of yourself? That backfires like a bad case of gas. Trust me, the issues of codependency and smothering parents or significant others are part of my life. I’m more aware of them now than I was for more than half of my life.
You have to learn to love yourself, at the deepest core level and let that emotional state act as an asset to the relationship.
Some people believe the self-love concept is just a bunch of woo-woo garbage. They see the self-help area of Amazon’s books and snicker loudly. They might even walk into a bookstore (they are still around, you know), see the “Love Is The Answer” titles and just roll their eyes. “Oh my God, what a bunch of crap they fill those shelves with all the time,” the person says. “Put up some science or logic books there. Heck, even the Stoics would work better than those books of blubber.”
Let’s stop right there and dissect what that person might be hearing within themselves. Do you believe this type of person loves themselves? No. Do you believe this person could actually use some self-love concepts in their life? Yes. (Don’t mind me, OK. I’m answering these questions as I would. You answer them for yourself.)
Allow me one toe-dipping moment into the words of Jesus of Nazareth, please. In the Gospel narratives, Jesus refers to loving your neighbor as yourself. My retort is this: How can I love my neighbor if I cannot love myself? It’s a double-edged sword with no way to go except through the situation.
Loving yourself is not narcissistic. It can lean toward that way when people are spending too much time looking in their mirrors and loving themselves at a surface level. Oh no, I am actually talking about loving yourself at a much deeper level. If you are simply going by your looks, then you really do need to get some support around loving yourself in a healthy way.
Your partner will pick up on that narcissist behavior and call your butt out. If he or she doesn’t, then choppy waters are definitely ahead…and I’m just waving a yellow flag of warning to you.
It definitely is possible to love yourself and someone else at the same time. Look at the type of person either you are dating or married to right now. Are they grounded enough in their own humanity that they love themselves? If you don’t know, then ask. Asking questions is definitely a good way of developing the rapport that makes relationships last over time.
There probably is a person telling you that you should not love yourself in a relationship. Sell your soul to your partner, do whatever he/she says, and make everything you do in life revolve around that person. Nope, nope, nope. Do not do this at all because you will end up losing your own identity. Therapists and counselors have a term for this type of emotional behavior: enmeshment. It’s where you become so connected to another person that there’s this visible or invisible bond formed. A virtual umbilical cord ties you both together.
Enmeshment is not going to help your relationship to last at all. In fact, it might even repel that person so much that they say “buh-bye” real quick.
Love yourself in a healthy way. Let that focus be equally shared between you and your partner. This is a recipe that can lead to a lasting relationship with someone special.