Over the years I’ve been in my fair share of relationships. I’ve also been what felt like the third party in many of my friends’ relationships as I used my years of wisdom to help them through every step of their relationships. There is one key ingredient that will determine the success, or failure, of a relationship. When I look back at the times when I’ve struggled and felt tortured trying to figure out why guys act the way they do, and when I see my friends in similar predicaments, one major and fundamental issue is invariably at the heart of the matter.
Eric and I dish out a lot of relationship advice on this site. We help you understand why that guy who seemed so into you at first is suddenly acting shady or why the guy that acts like you’re boyfriend won’t just call you his girlfriend. While we’re happy to supply you with these explanations, we’d be remiss if we didn’t cover one fundamental truth about relationships: you will never find love with another until you find it within yourself.
I know, it’s one of those facts that makes you roll your eyes but in truth, it makes all the difference in the world. When you love yourself, you don’t care why he’s being shady and blowing you off or why he won’t just put a label on it because you know your worth and your value. You won’t even need to call up your loyal girlfriends and listen to them tell you that you can do so much better than him because it’s a freakin’ given!
When you love yourself, the whole world reacts to you differently. You’ll notice strangers looking at you with a curious smile, people will be kind and friendly to you for seemingly no good reason at all. Friends will always seek you out and want to be in your company, and members of the opposite sex will go into a tizzy trying to prove they’re worthy. Why? Because people who love themselves have that inner light that draws others in. They have that magnetic force of positivity that people orient towards and want to be near.
How do I know this? Well I’ve let my pendulum swing wildly from self-love to self-loathing and back again far too many times through the years and the changes I see, both in myself and the way others respond towards me, are staggering each time.
Over the past few months I’ve been on a bit of a spiritual journey some might say. I’ve been reading and talking to experts (I even saw a few psychics, no judgment!). I was lost and I wanted to find that pure, unwavering self love and hold onto it. I’ve spent a lot of time learning from others and reflecting upon my own life and have uncovered some wonderful ways to help you attain that ever-elusive but endlessly rewarding love for yourself.
We could all really learn something from our former Tween selves by resurrecting the act of consistent journaling. It’s kind of funny how the act of writing in a journal gets left behind in our teen years. Journaling helped me get through a lot of trying times during my teen years and is doing the same for me in adulthood. It’s hard to really describe but you develop a really strong sense of self and self awareness through journaling. Personally speaking, I’ve discovered a lot about what I want out of life and what my values are deep down. I’ve also learned to recognize bad thought patterns and am now better able to adjust them on the spot.
Down the road, your journals will serve as almost a history book chronicling the trials and tribulations that defined your life. I am amazed when I read through my old entries, through thoughts and emotions that are no longer with me but definitely made an indelible impression and shaped who I am.
Meditating gives you the chance to spend some valuable time with the most important person in your life, YOU. Between work, school, groceries, appointments, and happy hours, we can easily loose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of every day lives. It’s also very easy to lose a sense of who you are and what you really want in life while you’re struggling to just get it all done.
At first, the concept of meditation sounded ridiculous to me, not to mention, boring and a huge waste of time. It’s hard to describe what happens within you when you turn off the TV and laptop and phone and just sit with your thoughts but it can be magical and extremely enlightening. In any relationship you need to make time to spend with the other person, the same applies to your relationship with yourself. So try to set aside a minimum of 10 minutes a day to just sit with yourself and listen to nothing but your thoughts. Meditating can also do wonders when it comes to decreasing your level of stress and that inner calm will do wodners for your overall well-being and self-satisfaction.
See the Good in Others
This may sound easy, but trust me, it’s a lot more challenging than it sounds! When I say see the good in others, I mean ALL others. I mean the ex who cheated on you, the friend who bails whenever it matters, the coffee guy who screwed up your order, yet again, the co-worker who didn’t pull his/her weight leaving you to pick up the slack, and so on.
When you start seeing the good in others, you will first and foremost be a much happier more zen person. And with practice, you will automatically be trained to see the good in everything, including yourself. When something goes wrong, you won’t bee yourself up over it, instead, you’ll be able to extract those hard-to-see pieces of good and use those to move forward. It’s a much better alternative to letting yourself be buried underneath the bad, don’t you think?
Accept It or Change It
Everyone has things they like and dislike about themselves, both physical and internal. Rather than dwelling on the things you don’t like, make a concerted effort to either work on said traits, or embrace them as being part of who you are. When you’re in a relationship, that person is dating all of you, not just the bits and pieces you want them to see. In order to be in a truly successful relationship, one in which you don’t need to rely on the way the other person sees you, then you first need to learn to accept and love all the pieces that make you who you are. I mean when you think about it, if even you can’t learn to love certain aspects of yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?