Relationship Lessons

A conversation between coworkers yesterday morning got me thinking about relationships.

They were talking about the idea that you can’t be in a good relationship and love another person until you love yourself first.

One coworker stated that she only believed that concept to a certain point, and I tend to agree with her. While I think a certain amount of self-love and confidence is required to be in a healthy relationship with someone, I also believe that relationships can teach us how to better love ourselves. I don’t believe that the only way you can be in a great relationship is to love yourself completely. There’s a certain benefit to being able to see yourself through someone else’s eyes – others often see us in ways that we wouldn’t normally see ourselves. I know that CBG loves and appreciates things about me that I don’t always think about, and vice versa. He has certainly helped me gain new appreciation of myself in ways that I hadn’t previously considered.

It’s like with everything – there’s a certain balance to be had there. I think that being in a relationship with someone else can actually teach us how to better love ourselves, but only if there’s a certain “base” amount of self-love there first. Too little confidence and you’re almost constantly looking to your partner to build you up and be absolutely everything for you. You end up clinging, needy and unable to stand on your own two feet.

On the other hand, too much confidence leads to arrogance and the mistaken belief that you have nothing to learn from this other person and what they can bring to the table. You don’t take the time to consider the parts of you that this person loves and appreciates about you…you think you know it all, and don’t slow down for anything or anyone.

I guess with everything in life, it’s about balance. Loving yourself enough to be healthy, but being open enough to learn from your partner. ‘Cuz that’s what life is all about – living, learning and loving.

9 Responses

  1. Good point and I tend to agree with you!You have to love yourself enough to believe and learn that what your partner is telling you is true. I sometimes have a hard time believing compliments. I am learning though.

  2. I think you have to be likable and sometimes when you’re really in a self-hating mode you aren’t likable…at least I’m not. I tend to let things go, working out, dressing nicely, smiling, etc. When I’m more “on” in the ways of liking myself then I come across as approachable and happy and someone that people could want to be around. I think you have to work out some of the issues you have with yourself before you’ll find the good relationship…you don’t have to love yourself completely…I know I still have things I don’t care for about myself, but I think you’re right…it’s a balance.

  3. AMEN to your last line. Couldn’t agree more.

  4. I totally agree with you here… Great Post =)

  5. I hate the phrase “you complete me” because I don’t believe that pressure should ever be on someone else… you need to be complete and whole on your own.

    And I agree – while I may not have been all confidence and self-love when I entered my relationship, I was committed to getting myself there so I could be better for my partner. No expectation that he is there to do that for me.

    Oh but a little external validation is good for the ego too now and then.

  6. The sad part is that TRUE self-love has nothing to do with confidence or arrogance at all. True self-love is really an accepting of where you are at the time. Which means that there really isn’t a “goal” of loving yourself completely. You either do, in this moment, or you don’t. And then you change. Can you love yourself again, in that moment? What about now?

    The person you’re in a relationship with will hopefully offer the same acceptance. And then you feel it in that moment: TRUE LOVE.

    (Or “twu wub” for all you Princess Bride fans. 🙂

  7. great post …

  8. I think this is true. You have to like the person you are before you can be happy in a relationship with someone else. At least it’s true for me.

    The worst part about my former marriage what that I didn’t like the person I was when we were together.

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