We often hear that it’s important to love ourselves. Yet what does it mean to love ourselves? Is loving ourselves just the same as having feelings of love for another person?
When it comes to having feelings of love for someone else, like a romantic partner, we tend to focus on their positive attributes and overlook their flaws. We may see them through rose-colored glasses as magnified versions of our ideal selves. However, this type of love is based more on self-delusion than reality and can be detrimental to both parties in a relationship.
Instead, it’s important to not confuse loving what a woman makes you feel about yourself for actually loving her. This kind of distorted thinking can lead to a dangerous cycle of trying to fill an emotional void with someone else, instead of filling it by recognizing and addressing your own needs. For example, when you put too much pressure on a romantic partner to make you feel worthwhile, she needs to constantly prove her worth because she’s not meeting an internal need; rather, she’s filling an external one.
The truth is, no matter who we are with, if we don’t love and value ourselves, those feelings won’t be there, regardless of how the other person makes us feel. When someone truly loves themselves they don’t rely solely on others to fill an inner void, but rather accept and appreciate themselves for all that they are.
In addition, when someone loves themselves they also treat their romantic partners with respect and appreciation. By extolling the virtues of someone else’s unique qualities, as opposed to focusing exclusively on their own interests, they are able to foster a strong, healthy relationship. This involves actively listening and considering their partner’s feelings and views, as well as taking responsibility for how their actions affect the other person. It involves having honest and clear communication, self-responsibility, and mutual support.
Moreover, it is beneficial to focus on finding a companion that you genuinely value for their individual character traits, not for whatever they may make you feel about yourself. When you cultivate your own inner peace, you are less likely to be influenced by outside pressures and demands, which can cloud your judgement and prevent you from seeing the deeper truth regarding your relationship.
Loving oneself means more than knowing how to distinguish between a healthy connection and one rooted in unhealthy expectations—it is an ongoing journey that requires hard work and dedication. Whether it’s engaging in activities that bring you joy and satisfaction, engaged in meaningful conversations with friends, or taking time to quiet the mind and listen to the heart, self-love should be viewed as an opportunity to nourish our souls.
Understanding the difference between loving what a woman makes you feel about yourself and actually loving her is paramount in cultivating self-awareness and developing stronger, healthier relationships. Love yourself first and then let that love shine out to others.
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