How I made my relationship work, even when I didn’t love myself
A relationship wont work, if you are not over flowing with love for yourself first.
Something we hear ALL the time right? And yes, this is completely true. Until you are bursting with love for yourself, how can you a). give love to another, and b). be open to receiving love in return
Here is the thing though. Whilst you need to be coming from this place for a relationship to work, I also wanted to share one of my biggest triumphs in life, and still is to this day.
Four years ago, when my incredible man Chet and I starting dating, we were both at complete rock bottom in our own lives. I was totally full to the brim with insecurities, and I had absolutely NO love for myself. He was exactly the same, and we had both not long come out of messy relationships. A complete recipe for disaster right!? How on earth were we going to make US work individually, let alone as partners? Aren’t we just rebounds for each other? Filling a void and probably our own insecurities even more?
Yep, pretty much that is exactly what we were. We started off as friends, and would talk to each other about our own ‘crap’ Nothing wrong with having a listening ear and someone to talk to. After a while though, we both realised we were starting to develop stronger feelings for each other (your probably thinking well duh!, I saw that coming)
Let me tell you sista, the first 1-2 years of our relationship was probably one of the hardest journeys mentally, emotionally and physically I have EVER been on, because it challenged me to grow. And I know he felt exactly the same. In fact, there was even a point in our relationship where our own insecurities became too much for both of us, and we broke up with no intention to get back together.
After about a month of being a part, we both realised that we weren’t happy. We didn’t want to not be together. So we decided to pick up where we left off. I do believe, that in the month we were a part something shifted within both of us as individuals. It’s like we both had an awakening and a nice kick up the butt from the universe to tell us, you both need to make changes in order for this to work.
So with NO idea how we were going to grow as individuals to better the relationship, let alone better ourselves as a couple, we literally took each day as it came, and every single day was a learning curve. But let me tell you, I am so freakin’ grateful we didn’t give up. I am so grateful that even though I would hear around me all the time, ‘you can’t make a relationship work if you aren’t bursting with love for yourself’, there was something in me that was more determined then ever to keep trying.
Side by side, we grew. We brought out the best (and the worst) in each other, we challenged each other more then anyone else had ever challenged us before, but most importantly, we grew side by side. And I always say, if you are with someone that naturally makes you want to rise, and be a better person, then you have a winner in my eyes 😉
So HOW did we make it work?
Communication – I know you have heard this a billion times before. But with out communication in a relationship, we are asking for resentment, fear, anger, insecurity, a feeling of not being able to express yourself freely, and a lack of trust. We had to get to a point, where we felt like we could talk about ANYTHING with each other, and I mean ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. If something was upsetting either of us, we would communicate it. When I look at why relationships end up not working, almost 80% of the time, it is because there is almost no communication. Both sides are just too scared to communicate how they feel or what they want. I can proudly say, that my man and I have definitely mastered the art of communication, and I truly believe 4 years on, this is a major reason as to why we are still together.
Being committed to our own growth as individuals – Remaining committed to your own growth when you are in a relationship, is just as important, if not more important that working on the growth of the relationship. And this is why so many relationships fall a part. When you don’t continue to work on you, fill up your own cup, and do the things that make you feel alive as an individual, the relationship will start to struggle. Over the past 4 years, my partner and I have been SO incredibly committed to our own growth, that naturally we have been able to strengthen the relationship. That’s not to say there hasn’t still been hard times, but because we have continued to work on ourselves, we have been able to work through the ‘harder’ times a lot more effortlessly.
Support – Supporting each others wants and desires in a relationship is one of the best gifts you can offer your partner. Chet gives me the most undying love and support in everything I do, and I do the same for him. Give your opinion, but being in a relationship means supporting everything your partner desires, and yes sometimes that means even the things you don’t necessarily believe in. I always say, it isn’t about believing in what ever it is they want to do as such, but more so just believing and supporting your partner as a person.
Gratitude – Feeling and expressing gratitude for your partner on a daily basis is so important, and it really puts the ‘crap’ in to perspective. We would constantly reflect, either to each other, or on our own, why we were so grateful to have each other, rather than what ‘annoys’ us about each other. To this day, we still make a point of feeling gratitude for each other. Reminding yourself constantly of WHY you love your partner, re-wires the chemistry in the brain, and helps you to operate from a place of love, rather than fear
So there you have it my love. YES, I believe it is SO possible to still make a relationship work, even if you are still healing yourself. But you definitely need to set a few strong foundations to be able to move forward together, and make it work.
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