We are all very clear about what we expect from our partners. We know how we would like them to look, speak, dress, behave and perhaps even sleep. When you’re in a relationship to get love as opposed to share love, you may be feeling unfulfilled or even frustrated.
If you’re already in a relationship, ask yourself what you already have going in your life that you can share with your partner.
When you are happy with who you are, which includes how you look, speak, dress, behave and even sleep, then you have this happy person to share with your partner.
If you are happy with your work, family and friends, you are not desperate for your partner’s love and attention. You can add value to the relationship.
If you are single and looking for your ideal partner, ask yourself: “What would happen if I get this new relationship I desire?”
If your answer is that it would make you happy and secure or that you will feel loved and adored, stop right there!
To get the relationship you desire, you have to first be happy and secure within yourself. You have to love and adore yourself first.
If you need someone else to make you happy or to feel love, you are handing over the responsibility for your love and happiness to the other person. That is a lot of responsibility to hand over to someone else.
When you are self-fulfilled, feeling great love for yourself and your life, you overflow this love onto the people around you.
They feel drawn to you because you are adding to their energy and not drawing from it. Self-love is not selfish; it’s being responsible for yourself.
Two people who are self-loving can share love with each other, growing together, creating a life together, sharing mutual love, supporting each other’s dreams and appreciating each other. It’s a dynamic relationship that can evolve while still maintaining the mutual love, respect and aliveness.
To get to the point of completely loving ourselves, we sometimes need to do the difficult work of feeling our painful emotions.
Fear, anger, sadness, guilt and anxiety show that you have been abandoning yourself. Each of the negative emotions has a message. You have to be willing to sit with the emotion for a while and be open to learning.
Perhaps you’re angry with your last partner for hurting you. The anger is telling you that life with this person was not what you wanted it to be.
Holding on to this anger will keep you stuck in an unhealthy place. However, when we know what we don’t want, we become very clear about what we do want.
Let’s say your partner cheated and this hurt you deeply. Because of your hurt and anger, you get clear that you want a relationship where both people are honest and loyal.
Once you can see the message in the negative emotion, take loving action. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
We are not taught to feel our emotions. Examine why we are feeling them, get the message and then return to a place of loving ourselves before creating something new from a more self-loving space.
Most people get hurt and then live their lives being afraid of getting hurt again. We don’t trust easily. We become sceptical.
We live smaller than we are meant to because we are afraid. When we understand the message in the negative emotion, it is easier to forgive and let go of the past knowing that you can create a better future for yourself.
You take responsibility for yourself instead of having expectations that the other person should love you, respect you and make you happy.
Make no mistake, I am not saying you must give up all expectations in a relationship. What I am saying is that when you are happy and in love with yourself and your life, your partner will reflect that back to you. When you love yourself, you are easier to love.
When you respect yourself, you are easier to respect. The world is your mirror and serves to show you what thoughts, emotions and beliefs you hold within you. We show people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves.
When we want to change what we are experiencing on the outside, we must reach within and make the shift and the outer reflection must change.
We have been conditioned to put everyone else first but if you constantly put yourself last, you end up depleted and then you need love and respect and appreciation from the people around you and they move away because they feel drained in your presence.
Most of us do whatever it takes to ensure we take care of ourselves financially and even physically by eating healthy and exercising.
Let’s take it a step further and begin to take care of ourselves emotionally.
Kas Naidoo is a relationship coach and matchmaker. For more information, visit www.nextlevelup.co.za