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With the holidays coming up, I thought I would write about something that I feel very strongly about. I haven’t written about relationship advice in a long time, and today’s post comes straight from of the heart.

Before I met my fiancé, I dated a few guys in college who just weren’t right for me. There were highs and lows, and during the low times, I could never understand why things weren’t working out. Looking back, there were a lot of things about myself back then that I am not proud of. Sometimes it seems that I am a completely different person from the person I was five years ago. The person whom I am now is very independent, knows what she wants, and has grown up… A LOT.

Not to say that I was a horrible person when I was 20 years old, but I just think back to how immature I was and how I just didn’t really have myself figured out. Which is totally fine! Who DOES have their stuff figured out when they are 20 years old? The problem is, I had a habit of basing my worth off of what guys thought. I remember my mood literally depending on if my dating life was going well or not. And this doesn’t go for just men. I let how others treat me make or break my day. I attributed my happiness to OTHER people. I never took a second to step back and take control of my thoughts.

I wish I would have loved myself back then to the extent that I do now. Because with that self-love comes tolerance, respect, and honor.

I truly believe that you cannot fully love someone else until you love yourself.

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I think at some point, a lot of us go through a hard breakup that teaches us a lot about ourselves. If you are currently going through a nasty breakup, I want to personally reach out to remind you that it will all be okay. I know it hurts like hell now, but that hurt will eventually heal, and you will learn so much about yourself through that process. You will learn that you are so much stronger than you ever gave yourself credit for. I know it’s so hard to currently see that, but stay with me here.

I think that what I personally learned from my past is that you can’t expect to fully love someone else until you find peace within yourself. The relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have, so cultivate it and treat it right. I remember when things didn’t work out with the guys I was seeing, I would overanalyze everything, wondering what I did wrong and why things weren’t working out. Sometimes, I could see the worst version of myself coming out in how I was treating these guys because I was insecure and they were the center of my happiness. My happiness didn’t come from within. It didn’t come from my talents, passions, and the relationship I had with myself. My happiness came from what my signifiant other thought of me.

I do believe that one of the reasons why my relationship works so well with my fiancé and I is because we both know ourselves. As much as I am a hopeless romantic, he doesn’t “complete me.” I love him more than life itself, but I complete myself. I love myself. I don’t need to spend every second with him, and although his view of me is highly important, it does not dictate how I think about myself. He is my rock and he most certainly is a great source of my happiness, but I know that when it comes down to it, I need to be my own rock.

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Maybe this wisdom comes with age, or maybe these realizations come from experience. I’m not saying I have everything totally figured out because believe me, there are days when I am insecure and unsure of the direction of my life. But the important keynote is that even in these dark moments, I believe in myself. I know that it will all be okay. I love the person who I’ve become, and even though I’m a work in progress, I trust the process. 

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If you are currently in a relationship, I would like for you to hear this message.

You are enough just the way you are. You deserve all of the love, respect, and honor in the world. Never sell yourself short, loves.

Remember that relationships take effort from both ends, and that you have a duty in your relationship as well. You need to love yourself and take care of yourself. You cannot fully love someone else and cherish them until you cherish yourself. If someone is intimidated by your confidence and your self-love, I’m not quite sure if it is a healthy relationship.

You deserve the world. Believe this in your heart. 

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I do want to take a second and dedicate this post to my fiancé, because he has always believed in me and has fostered my independence. He loves me for who I am, and has actually helped me love myself more in the process of our relationship. On the days when I struggle to love myself, he gently reminds me that I am enough just the way I am. Thank you for being my rock, baby.

Love you babes! Thank you for letting me be vulnerable with you. So tell me, what have you learned through your past relationships about yourself?

Photos by Capture Life Moments Photography. Colleen, thank you so much for capturing my happiness and my spirit in these photos. It feels very “me.” They are the perfect edition to the post. I’m so thankful for you, friend!

Xoxo,

  • So so soooo agree that happiness comes from within. I’m a huge believer that if you’re not happy with yourself how and you expect to be fully happy with someone else?! This post is such a great reminder, Chels!

    • Yay! Thanks for the love and support, babe!! So grateful to have you in my corner.

  • I feel the same way, Chelsea. The people I dated then compared to my now husband are so different and that’s because I didn’t love myself enough. Such an awesome post!

    • So happy to hear that you are happy now! <3

  • Marvina Musser

    I feel the same way as you do. I don’t think you can love anyone else until you have fully fallen in love with yourself. I mean when you think about it, you are the only one who is going to comfort you, if you are alone, you have to learn to occupy your time, and more. The most important relation anyone can ever have is with themselves. Great and amazing post.

    https://itiswellwithmysoul741.wordpress.com/blog/

    • Exactly. You must be able to be content with yourself. That is such an important concept. Thank you for stopping by. <3

  • I completely agree! I was pretty insecure when I was younger and I can see how differently I showed loved then compared to now. Great post!

    • We all learn as well go!! No worries (:

  • I totally agree! I aways think about myself before others because caring about yourself is so important!

    • Good for you, Bella. That makes me so happy to hear!

  • Totally agree. But I didn’t get it until my 40’s. That’s when I decided to let go of poisonous friends and acquaintances. I found my voice again.

    • Good for you. I’m so happy to hear that you found your voice!! xo

  • So true! I totally agree. Remember the golden rule?! Love your neighbor as yourself. So often we forget to love ourselves. Until we resolve that issue in our lives we really can’t fully love others.
    Fab look! Love that pop of color with your neutrals!

    • Thanks Jessica! You are so sweet! And what a great point, I completely forgot that the Golden Rule states that we must love ourselves!!! xoxo

  • In the recent months, I have stressed on loving myself too much.. And that’s why I just had to read this! Wonderful thoughts and i completely agree!!!
    PS: You look gorgeous! :)

    • Good for you, my dear!! That is so awesome. I am proud of you. And thank you, you really are the sweetest. <3

  • Lottie Moor

    I love that you have started this journey to loving yourself – it’s such an important journey to start. I’ve written a lot about body confidence as an ambassador for the Body Confidence Revolution – be careful of rhetoric around people being unable to love you until you love yourself though. Everyone is deserving of love, even if they haven’t made the choice to love themselves yet!

    Lottie xx
    http://lottielamour.co.uk

    • Oh my gosh- where can I learn more about Body Confidence Revolution? I’d love to join!!!

  • LOVE, LOVE this. Your posts always encourage me so much! Needed some of these reminders today – it can be so tough remembering to love ourselves. Thank you for this! Also, totally loving your skinnies! HEART eyes.

    • You deserve to love yourself, Summer!! I know I love ya 😉 And thank you!! :) They are my favorite. You will see them in several posts coming up. lol

  • This is so well said and so encouraging!

  • This is so true and everyone should read this. I’m so glad you found someone who supports you and encourages you <3.

    • Aw thank you, Tiffany. <3

  • I absolutely whole heartedly agree. I dated a lot in college and made a lot of mistakes before meeting my boyfriend of 4 years. I had to grow as an individual and make those mistakes to learn though. Now I’m in a much better place. We own our home together and planning on getting engaged soon. :)

    • Hi Meghan! That is so awesome to hear, congrats! Sounds like you met an amazing person. I’m so happy to hear that you are able to forgive yourself for those mistakes and move forward. Wishing you nothing but happiness and success, darling!

  • Love this. It’s an awesome reminder! So true. Looking inward, understanding and loving ourselves is the first step. Once we’ve mastered that and gained an inner freedom, our sense of self worth will help us look outward and love others.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, the struggle is hard sometimes, but we deserve to love and understand ourselves before we love anyone else.

  • This is such a beautiful, vulnerable post Chelsea, and I appreciate you sharing it with us. I’m so incredibly grateful that my Mom taught me early on that you can’t rely on others for your happiness. You MUST find that inner peace and love yourself first before you can ever love someone else. It really helped me find clarity throughout my teenage years when I was going through similar situations and relying on boys and friends to make me happy. Great post! :)

    • Sounds like your mom is an AMAZING woman, Cara!! XOXO

  • Self love is super important. I’ve always believed one must work on themselves first before bringing someone else into the equation. Congrats on your engagement :-)

    xoxo,
    BefittingStyle.com

    • Aw thank you so much! You are SO right, girlfriend.

  • Well said! I remember a time when I was so self-conscious about EVERYTHING. I was always so worried about what other people would think. Then, one day, it just clicked; I realized that the only person I needed to worry about pleasing was myself. Since then, life has been so much better!

    • That is so awesome. I’m happy it just “clicked” for you and made your life so much easier. You deserve that!

  • I could not love this or believe in this more. It’s SO true. I so distinctly remember it…it was literally the DAY before I met J when I said out loud to my mom, “Well, guess I’ll be single for the next 4 years!” I was on my way to college, had ended a fling shortly before, and found myself actually legitimately totally content with the idea of being single because I genuinely loved myself.

    THAT is the moment when more can come in!

    Coming Up Roses

    • YES!! I also met Trevor similarly to when I started to love myself. Thanks for sharing this with me!

  • You are not only beautiful but also very inspiring. Your post always give affirmations that many ladies need to be reminded of. Continue being awesome Chels! xx

    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com/easy-vancouver-hikes-for-beginners/

    • Aw thanks sweet Kandja! Your support means the world to me! xo

  • Addison Kraus

    So for some reason I just came across this gem of a website a few hours ago and I have binge read I’d hate to guess how many posts! Seriously how did I not find this earlier!?
    Any way, I have completely loved how real and applicable everything I have read has been. But this post takes the cake!!
    I have been completely in the same boat and have just recently gotten into a relationship that makes me feel ridiculously happy, completely honored and most importantly respected. This post made me reflect on the past relationship that were so damaging and really made me realize my personal growth in the progress.
    It takes a special kind of strength to vulnerable and I have oh-so-much respect for you for it girly! So looking forward to reading more, lol! <3

    • Aw omg! This was the sweetest comment to wake up to! Thank you so much, Addison!! This is one of my favorite posts as well. I’m so happy to hear that you are happy and have came to the point where you see your worth and put yourself before others. I appreciate you stopping by and hope you enjoy my future blog posts!! xoxo