Today is an extra special blog post by Self Love Guru Loren Burton. She shares her insights on loving yourself even when you are partnered up...
It’s a relationship! So why would I need to love myself? That’s what he’s for right?
So often we look for a relationship to “complete us” or make us feel happy, validated or loved.
And I’m not saying that being loved and validated isn’t important - it absolutely is.
The problem arises when we don’t know how to love and validate ourselves and NEED someone else to do it for us.
That creates MASSIVE problems when get into relationships and have these huge expectations on the other person to “make us feel” a certain way.
Think about it for a second. What we do when we get into relationships puts a massive amount of pressure on another human being. We’re like, “oh, so you like me and you want to be with me? Great!” And then we hand them this giant, heavy suitcase of requirements they need to meet in order for us to feel loved and be happy.
And don’t get me wrong - I’m talking about myself here too! Before I discovered how to love myself and fill my own cup I had a loooooong list of (ever changing) requirements I needed met in order for me to feel loved by my husband and happy in our relationship. Buy me flowers once a week, give me x amount of kisses and cuddles everyday (oh yes! I had an actual number! A kiss & cuddle quota, if you will!), don’t use certain words when we’re having a serious discussion so it doesn’t trigger me and it turns into a fight... the list went on. And on. And on. And it was very specific stuff.
And in hindsight, the hilarious (/really sad and destructive) thing about it was that even he would meet every single requirement on my list I STILL DIDNT FEEL LOVED OR HAPPY! Wow. If that’s not emotional abuse I don’t know what is.
I was literally telling him to meet all these requirements and then when he did (God bless him!) I still wasn’t happy!!!!
Needless to say this cycle of him meeting my constantly changing needs and me being less than satisfied left us in a pretty disconnected and unloving space.
So, the question is then why? And how do I get out of this! How could my bottomless pit of desire to be loved leave me feeling so unloved?
The answer was too simple.
Love yourself, girl!
Wait, what? Love myself? What’s he here for then? Why am I in a relationship if I have to love myself? That’s his job! All of these thoughts swirled around in my brain for months before I finally saw the logic in loving myself within the relationship. Nothing else was working, so why not give it a shot.
What does self love look like in a relationship? For me it meant taking responsibility for my own beliefs and emotions. I really had to look at the REASONS behind why I wanted him to do certain things a certain way. Why I needed him to fill my cup.
And it’s partially because that’s what were taught by society and as a culture, that your partner is supposed to complete you, and in movies the man fulfils all her needs.
You rarely see movies or examples of two individuals making themselves happy, loving themselves and enjoying their individual emotional intelligence.
We never get taught how to graduate to emotional adulthood.
As children we learn emotional regulation from our parents. And instead of coming into adulthood and learning to take responsibility for our own emotions we transfer that emotional responsibility to our partners.
It’s totally normal, but it’s not the best way to have a relationship. And the only reason I know that if because I’ve been the before and after.
I’ve seen the toll it took on my relationship to put so much pressure on him emotionally. It’s enough work trying to manage your own emotions, let alone someone else’s! That will drive you insane and actually cause a disconnect in any relationship.
The facts are: our thoughts are what create our emotions. So if we want to feel happiness, love, or any other emotion, we need to learn what thoughts cause those emotions. The truth is YOU are the only one who can think your thoughts for you. YOU control your thoughts therefore YOU control your emotions. Not your parents, not your partner, not your best friend, not you boss. You and you alone control how you feel.
Welcome to emotional adulthood my friends! This is where self love starts.
It’s a party!
Come join me at www.instagram.com/SELFLOVEWITHLOREN
Words by Loren Burton