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.
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.
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.
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.
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!