Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Whether you love it or hate it, today brings love into focus, and for today’s blog I want to talk a little about self-love and how it affects relationships.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you’, and you know what? It’s true.
Before I met my current partner Dan, I had been single for a year. My previous relationship came to an amicable end, but I felt lost without it.
When you’re in a serious relationship, it’s only natural to picture your future together. So, when the relationship ends, that picture goes up in flames. Suddenly you don’t know what the future holds.
I had lost a lot of confidence at this point and almost felt like I lost a little of my identity. Who was I without this other person? That’s when I realised I needed to do a little work on my relationship with myself before I even considered re-entering the world of dating.
And thus began a year of self-discovery. I did a little travelling, read some enlightening books and had a lot of time alone to figure out what my passions were, what I wanted out of life… and what I needed from a partner.
Costa Rica, November 2015
After about a year I felt happy, in so many ways, and I knew I was ready to share that with someone. So I did what every other ‘ready to date’ singleton does these days, I joined Tinder.
Knowing myself better and what I wanted from someone meant I was able to recognise when the first guy I briefly dated, who seemed perfect on paper, was actually all wrong. In the past I probably would have kept the relationship (fling?) going because I would have just been happy someone found me attractive.
No. Now I knew I deserved better.
When I met Dan, I knew there was something different about him. Something profoundly kind that I immediately warmed to. We’ve been together for a little over a year now, and that warmth has grown into the most incredible love.
We have shared values, shared priorities and a shared vision of the future. Like happy little puzzle pieces, things just fit in a way I didn’t think was possible. No one’s making compromises and no one’s stifling who they are to make it fit.
I would like to think that even if we had met earlier, we would still have found this love between us, but I honestly think the fact that I had taken time to work on myself made a huge difference.
I knew what my values were, what my priorities were and what I wanted for the future as an independent woman. What’s more, I knew I couldn’t compromise on them and that gives you a glow of confidence and peace (something I like to think Dan picked up on when we first met).
So yes, Valentine’s Day is a lovely day to show your love and appreciation for others, but maybe this year, show a little love and appreciation for yourself too. Check in with your values, your priorities, what you want for the future. If you’re in a relationship, check in with your partner’s.
Loving yourself sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s pretty simple really. Give yourself a little space to get to know yourself better and… just be a little kinder to yourself. I think we can all manage that.