At a time when statistics for both the UK and the US show a record high of over 50% of the population being single, the pursuit of love is still a journey many are travelling. The search for love is something that some do actively and others passively. Some are quite happy to wait until love finds them whilst others are about taking action to bring love into their life.
This pursuit of love is often seen as the primary route to happiness as the two needs become unconsciously entwined.
For many this search for love happens outside of themselves and is perceived as an external connection with someone else. That search for the other half of the jigsaw puzzle, the missing part of them, the one to complete them – is for some a lifetime journey.
Many believe that if they could just find the right partner to love them then life would become much happier. Some people believe that it is their partner’s job to make them feel loved. No wonder love can make you feel like you are out of control and going crazy, with these thought processes you are setting up yourself to be out of control of your life and feelings, a sure recipe for pain 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 an inside job and you can’t give what you don’t have. When you have fallen out of love with your own self you no longer have real love to share.
Self-love is the fundamental building block that needs to be in place to build and sustain a healthy relationship with another. You cannot expect someone else to give you something that you will not give yourself. 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 my article Don’t Expect Someone To Love You If You Don’t I 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, without self-love you can easily still be seeking that love years into a 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 (ie putting out the garbage/putting the toilet seat down).
The irony is that you may also do all of these things to secure the love of your partner and yet not be rewarded with the love and validation you seek.
When you act from a place that lacks self-love ie you put yourself down, highlight your own weaknesses layering your insecurities over your true value, you will cover up the very parts of you that you are seeking to get validated.
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.
As a result your loving acts may then get met with negative responses which in turn affect your confidence that you are loveable, and the seeking goes on and on.
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 give you the love you seek you must first believe you are worthy of 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 Get Ready For Love from the UK’s Premier Love Coach.
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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!