Often, when we enter into a new and long-desired relationship, we neglect our inner selves and disregard our core values.
Our attachment to the other person in the relationship becomes so strong that we start seeing our happiness painted in the smile of this person. We reduce the horizon of our world to the space between their arms. We start believing that our lives would be unimaginable without this person.
Consider all of the above to be mistakes and detrimental to our well-being.
Making mistakes is normal. However, repetition of those mistakes again and again can no longer be considered a mistake, and must be considered a pattern.
So, let’s take a look at the places where we’ve all gone wrong (and how we can make it right).
We forget what a relationship is.
Relationships don’t make us. We make them. We’re supposed to have a powerful grip over our own experiences and behaviors within them.
Remember that the relationship you’re in doesn’t complete you. A sense that your relationship determines your worth and a belief that your related one completes you might be a chronic pattern, but this is exactly the thought pattern that turns every relationship into an unhealthy one.
Once you release these self-limiting concepts from your mind, you’ll be able to take the first steps toward healthy attachment and emotional investment.
We treat our loved one’s needs as more urgent than our own.
When we are in any kind of relationship, we often yearn to give so much love to the other person that our inner world begins to shrink while simultaneously our problems begin to feel as if they’re expanding. Sometimes, at this point, we allow our friends’, family members’, or partner’s problems to become our own and tend to them first.
As a compassionate being, it is more than okay to be with those we love, listen to their problems, and suggest a way out. That’s a healthy, balanced friendship. But, the moment we begin considering their problems as our own, or keeping ourselves chained to their needs while refusing to fill our own, starving emotional bellies, we begin to gradually enter into an addictive or codependent relationship.
In this case, the best idea is to create boundaries for ourselves.
Boundaries serve to remind us of the extent to which we are able and willing to invest in the relationship. Most complications in relationships are created because one or both parties in the relationship failed to set boundaries.
But it’s not enough to just set boundaries. We need to enforce them.
Remember that your boundaries are not symbols of exaggerated dignity, but a measuring stick to your own self-esteem, self-worth, and self-care. When we allow boundaries to be crossed time and time again, it’s an indicator that our self-love is low and needs refueling.
I know what you’re thinking.
Why is this self-love so important? And, why should we give our blood and sweat to prioritize it?
We have such a lack of self-love in this world that I know at least some must be wondering as to what this self-love thing actually means.
Honey! Self-love is all about taking care of yourself, and placing your priorities first in line.
Because when you’re drenched in the rain of your despair and life offers no umbrella to rescue you, it is you who seeks a roof to save yourself from getting wetter.
When you’re drowning in a sea of defeat and there’s not a single hand on shore ready to help you, it is you who must swim hard and fast to shore.
This is where self-love comes in. It is the care you offer yourself to fuel you in times of weakness or overwhelm. It is also the act which will help you enforce boundaries and ensure that you don’t inadvertently allow someone to control you or your happiness.
Self-love is not just an antidote. It’s a vitamin—one that we should be taking daily, even when our relationships seem strong and healthy. Yet many resort to self-love as a curative capsule to take only after we’ve been hurt and broken.
The truth is, had we indulged in self-love as a daily dose, our shattered hearts could possibly have been saved.
Self-love doesn’t mean we should detach ourselves from our near and dear ones, or begin to care only for ourselves. Of course not. It simply means that we need to love ourselves while on the course to loving others.
Remember that the love you offer to this world—to another person—emanates from you. When you lose your sense of self-love, your love for the other person will remain void, no matter how much effort you put in.
We cannot truly love others until we love ourselves.