The other day I received an email from a reader and she asked me for love advice on how she could get this man she was presently dating (and liked) to fall in love with her.
The only problem with that was that he wasn’t really the greatest guy. He didn’t treat her well, rarely returned her calls, and only contacted her when it was suitable for him.
What really took me back was the fact that these somewhat dismissive actions of his were quite obvious. She knew he wasn’t kind to her, yet she still believed that her life and happiness would not be complete without him.
This happens to many women. When you desperately want to experience love from another, you may not stop and consider whether the love you’re receiving is authentic or not, or whether it’s love at all.
While having someone say they love you can satisfy a temporary desire to love and be loved, if the words are not backed by actions and more importantly, the profound love of self, you run the risk of having your heart broken time and time again.
Do You Need Love From Another Person?
Ask yourself these very questions…
Do you feel like you need love from a significant other to feel complete, or are you completely happy if you don’t have the love of another?
Will you hold out to find authentic love that is backed by actions, or will you settle for whatever “attention” someone is willing to throw your way?
When I think of this topic, I often find myself thinking about those wedding cake toppers where the bride is dragging the groom to the altar. While those toppers are all in the fun of marriage, this depiction is so very true for many women today…
You’d rather knock a guy over the head and make him love you, than love yourself and wait for someone who will love you back. A bit of love advice – this way of thinking will never end well.
Here are a few signs that you feel as if you NEED Love:
- You fall “in love” with a person without giving them a chance to show you who they are.
- You fall “in love” with every guy that you date with the hopes of making it long term.
- You get upset when he does not have the same feelings.
- You find out that a person is not all they’re cracked up to be, but you hang on for the ride anyway.
- You feel like your life would fall apart if you didn’t have this person in your life.
- You accept whatever treatment you receive from someone you’re in a relationship with.
- You quickly alter your standards just to be in a relationship with someone.
- You don’t like being alone (single) for very long before you hop into another relationship.
Do You Truly Love Yourself?
You’ve probably heard this time and time again, “You cannot truly love someone or be loved by someone if you don’t first love yourself.”
Love and self esteem go hand and hand. If you do not truly know how to love yourself, you cannot honestly know what it means to receive authentic love from another person.
Loving yourself goes beyond the exterior. Yes, it is important to love the skin that you’re in. However, to love yourself means to accept yourself as you are now. You must learn to love your positive attributes as well as your flaws. You also know what aspects of yourself you need to work on and develop.
When you love yourself you have healthy boundaries for yourself and your partner around kindness, communication and mindful behavior.
Self-love is knowing how to love yourself inside and out.
Think about it…
If you go into a relationship having no real value for who you are as a person, how do you expect to know when the person you’re in a relationship values you?
If you don’t know how to treat yourself well (and no I don’t mean by going on a shopping spree, I mean really treat yourself well; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually), then how can you expect for someone you’re in a relationship with to treat you well?
In other words, how can you actively GIVE and RECEIVE love if you have no real concept of what it is to begin with? How do you experience true love if you’ve never truly loved yourself?
If I were to give you any love advice, it would be to take a long hard and loving look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I love me?”
If the answer is honestly and truthfully, no, then you need to first work at learning how to love yourself.
Can’t I work on loving me while in a relationship?
Love and self esteem (high self esteem) are important factors in a relationship. When you’re confident in who you are, with or without someone special in your life, you tend to be a better partner when you do get into a relationship.
Sure, you can certainly try and work at loving you while you’re in a relationship, but in the meantime, you may continue to accept what may not be authentic love from your significant other.
Some relationships can offer the perfect platform to develop oneself, while other relationships will make it more difficult. It’s up to you to discern what’s possible and what’s not.
Consequences of Not Loving You First
Sometimes it is a good idea to look at the consequences of not fixing your problem to give you the motivation to move forward.
If you don’t love yourself you develop insecurities that are then passed on to your partner.
- When you don’t love yourself you could be limiting yourself or your relationship to the endless possibilities that true love brings.
- When you don’t love yourself you give way for others to treat you poorly.
- When you don’t love yourself you cannot truly give your love to someone else, which could hinder your relationship.
- When you have little sense of self-love, then you can be reactive and create issues out of non-issues. You can be easily triggered and bring past issues into your relationship.
- When you don’t love yourself, you tend to be a bit needy, which can inadvertently cause your partner to run in the other direction.
I understand that having someone love you is a joy that we all want to experience in our lives. However, what I am simply saying is that it should not be a necessity.
Essentially, the love you receive for someone else should be valued and appreciated, but it should not make or break you. It should not be the basis for making you whole or complete.
I’ll end with this small bit of love advice: learn to love yourself so that when true love comes along, you can appreciate it more.
Please share your personal story below the blog in the comments. I would love to hear from you.