Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying that you should quit your job and do nothing all day. What I am saying is that you can improve the quality of your relationships if you devote more time to your own self-care. After all, how can you possibly have positive interactions with the person you’re dating (or with anyone else for that matter) if you’re always feeling exhausted, burned out, and emotionally drained?
Just to be clear, I’m not talking those occasional days when we feel nervous, stressed out, and frazzled; we all experience this from time to time and it’s perfectly normal! What I am talking about here is when you chronically feel overwhelmed and overburdened by the demands of everyday life.
If you feel like your life is out of control and you’re at your wit’s end from all the stress that you’re under, then you’re bound to show up in ways that are not very attractive to your partner. No matter how hard you try to hide your negative emotions, they will still be manifested in your demeanor, body language, and tone of voice. When you’re stressed to the max, you’re more likely to be irritable, impatient, and argumentative with your partner or whomever else you’re interacting with. This is a HUGE turnoff! Let’s face it…nobody enjoys spending time with someone who’s difficult and unpleasant to be around!
How to love yourself first
So how do you love yourself first?
1. Pay attention to the signals that your body, mind, and soul are giving you.
For example, if you feel exhausted, try going to bed a half hour earlier that night and see how much more well-rested you feel the next morning.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and your mind is racing, give yourself permission to take a 5-10 minute break. Sometimes a few minutes is all it takes to clear out the incessant chatter from your mind, allowing you to refocus and think more clearly.
Or if you’re feeling hungry, eat something healthy instead of the usual junk food that will rob your body of energy and vitality. You’ll feel the difference afterwards!
2. Ask yourself: what is it that you truly love to do?
Is it spending time in nature? Hanging out with family and friends? Leisure reading? Cooking/baking your favorite food? Whatever it is, carve out some time to do it! You’ll be amazed at how recharged and rejuvenated you feel afterwards.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no to non-essential requests and favors that others might ask of you.
Instead of doing those non-essential things, spend your time engaging in activities that will benefit your overall health and well-being.
4. Avoid contact with people who treat you poorly and emotionally drain you.
While it may not be possible to avoid these people entirely, especially if they’re family members or people you work with, you CAN control how you respond to them. This might mean setting stronger boundaries around how you wish to be treated, or not allowing them to push your buttons as much. Whenever possible, try to spend time with people who raise you up, not bring you down!
So if you happen to be dating someone who treats you like garbage, runs hot and cold, or doesn’t make you a priority in his life, I have one piece of advice for you: PRACTICE SOME SELF-LOVE BY SAYING “SYONARA!” TO HIM AND MOVE ON! After all, you’ll never experience the joy of a healthy, lasting relationship if you keep dating Mr. Wrong!
Self-love vs. being selfish
Now you might be wondering, is it selfish to love yourself first? Absolutely not! Being selfish means focusing exclusively on your own interests and welfare WITH NO REGARD FOR OTHERS, whereas self-love is about prioritizing your own mental and physical well-being so YOU CAN BE YOUR BEST SELF IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS.
Think of it this way: You know how flight attendants always say, “Put on your own oxygen mask first so you can help others with theirs?” That’s a perfect analogy for self-love. Whereas a selfish person will put on his or her own oxygen mask, and say “to hell with everyone else!”
Even a few small changes can go a long way
So from now on, make a vow to start treating yourself right! You deserve it! No need to totally re-vamp your life all at once; taking small baby steps are key. After awhile, all these small steps will add up. You’ll see that life becomes easier and more manageable. On top of that, your dating prospects will notice your improved mindset, energy level, and vitality. When you’re out on dates, you’ll radiate confidence, happiness, and inner peace. You’ll quickly realize how a little self-love goes a long way in your love life!
Remember, YOU CANNOT EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO LOVE YOU IF YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF FIRST. So start giving yourself some much-needed TLC today and every day. Not only will you feel better and happier, but your partner and other people in your life will thank you for it as well!