If you are like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when you decide to work on your relationship is something that you can do for your partner. You start to think about getting him tickets to a playoff game, or cooking her your famous lasagna. Let’s be clear, those things are great too. However, the real key to improving your relationship is to start with numero uno. That’s you, by the way.
You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself.” Well, it’s true. So, here are five ways to love yourself, and, in turn, improve your union.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Grow
I get it. You finally found someone who you love spending time with, and you don’t want to risk changing, because what if that ruins the relationship? The thing is, one of the biggest markers of a solid relationship is the ability of both partners to reach their highest potential, while together. If one or both partners feels like they are being held back, the relationship will likely fail.
Allow yourself the space to develop to your fullest potential. Live fully and take chances. If the relationship is meant to be, it will grow right along with you.
2. Establish Who You Are Outside Of The Relationship
Relationships that bring together 2 whole people are much healthier than relationships made of two half people trying to be who the other wants them to be. Do you like swimming or skiing? Are you interested in drawing, painting, or poetry? Whatever your interests are, make time to indulge in them outside of the relationship. Not only will this brighten your step, but, it will also give you something new to talk about when you see your partner again.
3. Realize That You Did Not Marry Your Mother/Father
I can’t tell you how often people, unconsciously, make this mistake. If you find yourself acting like a child around your partner, it may be that you have some unfinished business with one of your parents. Therapy can help with this, but, sometimes, all you need is a reminder that you are an adult and your spouse is not your parent (even if he/she may act like it sometimes).
4. Keep A Gratitude Journal
Numerous studies have shown the far-reaching positive effects of gratitude. Everything from your stress-level to your overall happiness is affected by being grateful. Not surprisingly, your relationship can benefit from this practice too.
By keeping a gratitude journal, you are reminding yourself of all of the reasons that you have to be happy, and this happiness will naturally leak out onto your relationship. Try to write 3 things per day that you are grateful for and make at least 1 of them about your partner or relationship.
5. Follow Your Dreams
Happy couples support each other’s hopes and dreams. If you’ve always wanted to learn French, do it! Or, maybe your goal is to race a triathlon. Whatever it is that you’ve been dreaming of, now is the time to make it happen. Either your relationship will become stronger for it, or you’ll realize he or she wasn’t the one for you. Either way, you win.
If you could use a little help in the self-love and happiness department, contact me to setup a free 30 minute consultation. I work with individuals as well as couples and I’ve seen many people transform their relationships and lives through working on themselves.