At a time when statistics for both the UK and the US show a record high of over 50% of the population being single, why are so many strugging in the pursuit of lasting love?
This pursuit of love is often seen as the primary route to happiness as the two become unconsciously entwined.
Although some are quite happy to wait until love finds them many others prefer taking action in the search for love, including online dating profiles and dating agencies.
For most the desired outcome of love is an external connection with someone else, the elusive search for the other half of the jigsaw puzzle, the missing part of them, the one to complete them .
Many believe that if they could just find the right partner to love them then they would at last find happiness.
This in turn can lead to the belief that it is their partner’s job to keep them feeling loved.
So it’s no wonder that love can make someone feel like they are out of control and going crazy. With the thought processes that happiness and love are dependant on a partner this is ideal ground to loose control of one’s own life, feelings and happiness and is a potential recipe for heartache and disappointment.
Placing your love and happiness in someone else’s hands often results in shattered dreams, broken promises and failed expectations that ultimately lead to bitterness, anger, resentment, disillusion, loss of hope and feelings of betrayal.
The simple truth is, love is actually an inside job, you cannot expect someone to give you what you will not give yourself. When you have only relied on love from another for your happiness you have fallen out of love with yourself.
Self-love is the fundamental building block that needs to be in place to build and sustain a healthy relationship with another. It is your job to love you and a potential partner’s choice to join you as you reflect and share from that place.
Self-love is different to high self-esteem. High self-esteem means that you feel confident and capable of showing up and doing your thing in the world and is an easy state to achieve when all is going right.
Self-love means that you show up in the world with all your faults, mistakes and issues and remain confident that you are loveable, through both good and bad times.
In the article Don’t Expect Someone To Love You If You Don’tI discuss in further detail what self-love is and explain 5 key self-care tips to help rebuild self-love.
So let’s now look at how not showing up with self-love, affects your ability to both find and give love.
When you are single you are seeking love in a potential partner however without self-love you could easily still be seeking that love years into this new relationship!
Your seeking is for validation and attention from your partner, you seek reassurance that you are good enough or that they will not hurt you. Your insecurities become heightened and you increase demands for love to be demonstrated in physical affection, quality time, verbal affirmations, gift giving or acts of love.
When you act from a place that lacks self-love you may put yourself down, highlight your own weaknesses, and become clingy or jealous. You may demand the other’s company, punish them with silence if they do not live up to your expectations or accuse them of not loving you enough. You may even look outside of your relationship to keep searching for that love you seek. Fundamentally wihtout self-love you will kill any relationship and find yourself arriving back into the love cycle again beginning with dating.
The irony is that without self-love you may also become self-sacrificing and do all of the things you believe you should to secure the love of your partner. And yet your are still not rewarded with the love and validation you seek.
The truth is lack of self-love is a turn off!
Without self-love your agenda subconsciously becomes a need to feel loved rather than just to give love. With this lack of authenticity your loving nature may come over as suffocating, your caring consideration may feel to others as controlling and the acts of love may begin to feel manipulative.
Self-love is a key component of self-confidence. Both men and women find self-confidence sexy. People look up to those who are comfortable in their own skin.
Most men would opt for a curvier woman who felt good about herself than a slim woman who is paranoid about her weight. Many men are initially turned on by what they see, but they also see what they want to see. If you constantly put down the parts of your body you don’t like to a partner, they will start to agree with you eventually. A quote from a magazine article read, ‘My wife told me 99 times that she was fat. I didn’t get it, but, come the 100th time, I could see what she meant.’
Before anyone else can recognise how loving, caring and wonderful you are you must first believe it. The way you love yourself will give others permission to love you back. If you truly want to find and share a loving caring relationship with another, remember you first need to have it with yourself.
To learn more on how to recognise, understand and attract the love you truly desire check out the love changing coaching programme from the UK’s Premier Love Coach now available in book format.
Articles that TJ writes for The Love Coach cover all steps in the cycle of love and include tips and advice for many dating or relationship issues. Her experience as a Love Therapist, Love Coach and Life Coach bring a real-life approach to everyday situations.
Remember life is for loving – that includes yourself!