***Before you can have a great relationship with anyone, you have to have a great relationship with yourself.***
It’s pretty simple really.
A relationship is made up of two people. They are the foundations for the whole thing.
If one of them is on shaky ground, the relationship can easily fall down like a house of cards. If you both feel solid and grounded and worthy of love and respect, you have a good base that you can build on.
An example where things could go wrong would be if you are insecure and resent any time your guy chooses to spend apart from you. You hate him to go out without you, so you try to make him feel guilty about having fun on a hobby he loves but you don’t. Any guy is going to hate that. You have to respect he has his own interests. You should have yours too, and not rely on one person for all your happiness.
If you have a great relationship with yourself, you’re happy for him to do whatever makes him happy as long as it doesn’t mean he has no time for you at all or affect your life in a negative way. (If it’s messing around with other women that makes him happy, that’s a different story of course!)
Another example would be if you don’t like the way he treats you in front of his friends. Perhaps his teasing gets a bit much but you are afraid to say anything. You don’t want to rock the boat, fearing he might think you have no sense of humor. But a great relationship doesn’t mean living in fear of saying how you feel. You have to respect your own feelings and make sure that they are taken into account.
Your feelings are as important as his.
A great relationship is all about compromise, but it means he compromises as much as you – it is all about give and take and should never be one person doing all the giving and the other one doing all the taking. If you have a good relationship with yourself, you would never let that happen.
If you bend over backwards for him, but you suspect he wouldn’t do the same for you, you don’t have a good relationship that includes mutual respect. You are respecting him but he is not respecting you and you are not respecting yourself.
You need a good relationship with yourself so you
- feel worthy of love and are ready to receive it as well as give it
- are happy to set boundaries about what is acceptable in your relationship
- can communicate your needs, and negotiate a fair compromise if your needs go against his
- feel on equal terms with your partner
If you don’t feel good about yourself
- you may be scared to be open and honest with him – intimacy suffers
- you may distrust him due to your insecurity and he may get upset by that
- he may get annoyed because you don’t believe him when he praises you
- you may start to feel he’s better than you
- you can lose your power in the relationship. He may make decisions without consulting you
- he may not take you seriously and treat you as a plaything rather than a partner
- he starts to criticize you and find fault at every turn
Eventually without respect, love starts to crumble for both sides. You don’t see yourself as worthy of him and he doesn’t value you because you don’t value yourself.
Respect for yourself is not just important in relationships. It’s important in all aspects of life. So whether you are in a relationship or not, build up your feelings of self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect, at every opportunity
- Stick up for yourself if anyone tries to keep you small.
- Don’t let anything mistake you for a doormat. Set boundaries and make sure others respect them.
- Learn to say a firm no to things you don’t want to do.
- Avoid negative self-talk and comparing yourself with others
- Work on your confidence in any way you can – confidence in your appearance, your skills, your work, your personality and so on will spill over into all areas of your life.
For more on building confidence to start on that firm foundation, see my series of books on confidence. There are three published so far. You can see them here, and you can currently get a free downloadable copy of “Rock Solid Confidence” with the purchase of either of the other books. Click on the book covers to see them on Amazon.com.
Over to you: How has your relationship with yourself affected your relationships with others in the past? Please share in the comments below.