When you enter into a romantic involvement, you have to be what you seek. From putting your profile on a dating website/app, to those initial communications, to how you interact with a love interest prior to knowing whether they reciprocate, to how you think about you in the context of your relationships — you have to come from a place of love, care, trust and respect.
When you treat yourself like the worthwhile and valuable person you are, this gives you confidence. How you feel about and treat you is your self-esteem. It allows you to enter into relationships with personal security. When you do, why would you give that up for a stranger? This is what so many people do: they become romantically involved with somebody and neglect their self-esteem and security to bet on the possibility of being ‘chosen’ and the relationship working out.
The thoughts that you feed you and the way that you treat you matters. When you treat yourself like a less-than person, it puts you on the back foot. Instead of being able to enjoy life and your relationships, your energies go into trying to ‘fix’ you via the people and situations you come to depend upon. Why burden you with with this debilitating task? Why give romantic partners the responsibility of ‘fixing’ you?
You don’t love someone from the outset, but having your own back is a prerequisite to carrying yourself with integrity, compassion and responsibility.
This means that even in those instances where you don’t know, like and trust someone [for who they truly are] yet, you can still operate from a place of love, care, trust, and respect in your dating interactions because you’re coming from a place of self-worth instead of fear.
Coming from a place of self-worth limits the crumb mindset. This is where you conduct yourself as if you have to earn the basics.
‘If I prove I am worthy they will go from where they are now (being/doing the things you don’t want) to becoming someone who will treat me right and give me what I want.’
When you treat and regard you with love, care, trust and respect, you won’t accept less from others than what you can already be and do for yourself.
In unhealthy relationships, you accept from others only slightly less than what you do from yourself. It’s like, Well, I’ve got this covered in my [uncomfortable] comfort zone. Yes, it’s painful but at least I know what to expect and it can’t get much worse. Until it does.
It’s not as if being with someone who mistreats you in a similar fashion will ‘double’ what you’ve been receiving from yourself. If anything, it’s going to decimate your own efforts because you’ll be in an emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually taxing relationship.
Even though you might feel as if you get by on your self-esteem, possibly because your perfectionism and people pleasing has garnered a level of success (e.g. career or education) or you’ve quite simply gotten into a routine that shuts down or numbs feelings and thoughts, it’s another thing altogether when the person you’re with is the living embodiment of your fears.
You can, for a time, get away with hiding your beliefs and their impact. However, there will always be people who are willing to step into your life and reflect the truth back to you through their behaviour and what you go on to continue to accept from the relationship.
If you treat yourself decently, it’s gonna feel damn funny to continue to be around someone who doesn’t.
You have to be the person you seek.
Your relationships begin before you have even met the people. Through your relationship with yourself, you are laying the foundations for how you will be when you meet others and when you’re in the relationship. The more you strive to treat and regard yourself by being the person you seek is the more you break unhealthy habits and patterns. You will also be more receptive to meeting someone who can treat you similarly.
Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to “please” or protect yourself from others? My new book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (HarperCollins/Harper Horizon), is out now.