Self Love: The Missing Ingredient?

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A common challenge couples face is that a relationship can act like a magnifying glass for whatever issues each partner faces, in that a relationship exacerbates and aggravates such issues - often resulting in a state of conflict.

At this point, relationships can require services such as bluesky counseling for couples to help them work through their challenges, yet, often there’s a simple way to start making progress in this area, which is to increase the amount of self love, self acceptance and self care each respective partner gives themselves.

See, in a relationship we often tend to our partner by showering them with love; thinking that they will then tend back to us, and meet our needs, by showering us with a reciprocal amount of love - yet this often isn’t the case, and when it’s not, love can feel somewhat transactional where resentment builds.

Tony Robbins explains that love is not a place to “get”, it’s a place to “give” but the first person we should be giving to is ourselves. Think of being on an airplane. The first thing they say is to tend to your own oxygen mask first before helping anyone else. This is the true of love. If you are struggling to breathe, because you haven’t secured your own air supply your attempts to help anyone else will be futile.

Also, in relationships, we often spend a lot of time focused on the problem rather than the solution. When we focus on the problem, our attention is trapped in this area, and we don’t have the headspace or emotional energy that is required to focus on finding a solution.

There’s an idea that energy flows where attention goes; meaning if you’re putting all your focus into the problem, it’s just going to create more of the problem. This is why it’s so important to shift your focus toward self-acceptance, self-love and building your own self-worth rather than trying to fix the relationship through ‘changing’ your partner.

In today’s society, we use a lot of energy looking to external solutions in order to fix internal challenges - as an example, we could demand that our partner is more tactile and affectionate, or we could indulge in some retail therapy to compensate for the uncomfortable feelings we have.

We often look to another person to fulfil us in the sense of an intimate relationship, yet, as John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus states; we first need love ourselves and fill ourselves up with self love, rather than clambering onto another person like a thirsty person in the desert desperately trying to squeeze juice out of something in order to quench the insatiable thirst.

See, when we lack self-love, we often end up chasing people that don’t value us and we engage in behaviour that isn’t always in our best interest; whether that’s being sexually promiscuous, jealous, or needy.

Indeed, a chronic state of neediness that is often so common today, comes from a place of low self-worth and low self-esteem. We are essentially depending on others to make us feel better about ourselves, and when they fail, which inevitably they will, we get angry and upset - blaming them for making us feel a certain way, rather than taking responsibility for our own emotions and doing something about them.

The fundamental truth is that nobody can love another until they first love themselves.

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