How to Build a Healthy Relationship with Yourself
Have you ever been in a relationship that you knew was bad for you, but you stayed in it anyway?
Maybe you didn't know it was that bad because you felt pretty happy, but your friends told you that it wasn't healthy or it wasn't going to work. How do you know when butterflies and stomach flips come from love and when they come from fear? How do you know when you are in a healthy relationship? Did you feel alive and excited and you felt your stomach flip at the thought of their name and maybe it felt a little bit...dangerous.
Why are we drawn to danger?
I think it's because danger can be confused with passion. Doesn't passion sort of make you feel the same way?
You can't stop smiling
A little bit Uncomfortable
Why does passion make us feel uncomfortable though?
Probably because what we find we are passionate about goes against everything society teaches us to want or to be. We are scared to stand out, be rejected, or be judged. That can make it feel dangerous too.
I'm going to break it down into 2 types of fear:
The fear that is healthy - the one that keeps you from reaching for something hot on the stove because you don’t want to burn your hand. Then there is the fear that holds you back from becoming the person you are meant to be, the person who is happy with the skin you are in and feels successful because you are doing something you love and feel a sense of purpose.
Our mind gets confused because we have generalized all fear to be the same - dangerous. So why do we think it is okay to play with the fear that makes our stomach flip in a bad relationship and not the one that gives us butterflies over a new opportunity for ourselves?
I got a message from a friend last week asking for a favor. Her sister is going through a terrible break-up. She has been with her significant other for the last 12 years and she found out he is cheating on her. Now she doesn't know what to do...
I was talking to a different girlfriend last weekend as we walked through Trader Joe's in Manhattan and she mentioned, "I think 9 out of 10 of my single girlfriends has been cheated on."
Two weeks ago I met a new friend who was telling me about this guy she had been dating off and on for the past 6 months or so and the second things got tough, or her self doubt creeped in and made her fearful of losing him, he ghosted.
I have been in all of these situations and I did the same things that these women are doing. I made excuses:
“But I love him…”
“You don’t understand our relationship…”
“He loves me. I will never meet another man who loves me like he does…”
“If I am broken then nobody will want me…”
“I haven’t dated in so long I wouldn’t even know what to do…”
Why do we try so hard to justify being in the wrong relationship and yet when we want to do something for ourselves, something we are passionate about, we think of all of the reasons why we can’t do it?
The answer is...unconditional love, for yourself.
We don’t love ourselves unconditionally and yet we expect our partners to love us unconditionally. This does not work. If you do not know how to hold yourself to a higher standard, then how are you supposed to know how to hold someone else to that higher standard.
It’s time to raise the bar, darling!
It is easy to love yourself when things are going well and you are happy! You got that promotion at work, you started your own business, you met a nice guy, you went out to your favorite restaurant, someone bought you flowers, you planned your dream vacation… Similarly, it is easy for your significant other to love you when the relationship is going great!
But, what happens when things don’t go well in your life...do you give up, do you quit, do you tell yourself you are not good enough, do you start comparing your life to everyone else’s and feel worse about yourself. Guess what happens in your relationship if that is the example you are setting for yourself in your personal life? He ghosts the second things get difficult, he cheats on you with someone “better”, he complains about you to his friends…
Now, I am not saying it is your fault that you got cheated on.
We don’t know any better the first time it happens. Nobody teaches us how to choose a loyal partner, how to be in a relationship, how to live happily ever after. It’s going to be okay though. You are strong. You are lovable. You deserve better!!
The key is to start loving yourself unconditionally. The tough love.
The type of love where you:
play with fire and get burned and you are still there for yourself with open arms and no judgment.
forgive yourself for not knowing the difference between dangerous fear and passionate fear.
thank yourself for learning the hard lessons.
are grateful for the things that you have struggled with in your life.
ignore the messy hair, morning breath, smeared mascara, and saggy sweatpants so you can still say, “Good Morning Beautiful” when you look in the mirror.
ask for help when you need it and have no shame in admitting you don’t have all of the answers.
allow yourself to grieve when something really sad happens.
allow yourself to be happy when you do something really amazing.
accept a compliment without putting up a fight.
Now, repeat after me: I am extraordinary! I am worthy of unconditional love! I can give all of that to myself!
Raise your standards, darling! You deserve it!