Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor, Symmetry Counseling

Intimate relationships can bring so much light and happiness into our lives, but when they are unhealthy or come to an end, you may feel alone and empty. A quick fix that comes to mind when the relationship causes you to feel this way may be to invest a new love interest. Although going from one relationship to the next may bring you temporary love, excitement, and happiness, is it actually the best thing for you? Have you taken the time to love yourself independent of another? Taking time to learn about and love yourself sets you up for success in your future relationships. The truth is, without self-love, a healthy relationship cannot exist. When you don’t take time to explore yourself, reflect on what makes you happy, or accept the person you are, the next relationship will inevitably suffer.

The road to self-love includes exploring yourself, trusting yourself, respecting yourself, and accepting yourself.

1. Explore Yourself

Engaging in time for yourself to learn what you value, enjoy, and cherish. Do you take time to reflect on what makes you who you are, or are you more focused on what others think of you? Do you know what makes you happy? When taking the time to get to know yourself better, you learn what you want out of a relationship and what you want out of life helps you find purpose and direction.

2. Trust Yourself

Trusting yourself includes owning your own thoughts and refusing to be swayed by others. Are your opinions and values aligned with what you truly believe or are they a reflection of others beliefs around you? Be true to what you believe and want for yourself and trust it is best for you.

3. Respect Yourself

Respecting yourself includes setting boundaries and being kind to yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is important to set boundaries by saying no to things you do not want to do and instead choosing to spend time with people who support, encourage, and motivate you. Being kind to yourself includes challenging negative self-talk, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and being easier on yourself for things you cannot control. How you treat yourself shows others how you want to be treated; therefore, be kind to yourself.

4. Accept Yourself

Forgive yourself for the things you aren’t proud of and accept that you aren’t perfect—nobody is. When you accept yourself for who you are, you begin to know your worth. Relying on others to show you your worth puts a lot of pressure on the other person. Knowing your own worth takes pressure off the relationship and promotes respect for both you and your partners in the future.

By exploring, trusting, respecting, and accepting yourself, you begin to adore yourself and live your life in a way that makes you happy. Once self-love exists, going into a new relationship becomes natural and you will finally know yourself enough to make decisions that are best for you in your life and in relationships. Fall in love with yourself first and you will see a brighter, healthier, and more successful future.

If you are struggling with self-love and would like support and skills to develop it, it may be useful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!