by Caitlin Boos
Self-love: a universally understood phenomenon, exercised infinitely less than its ubiquitous pop culture presence may deceive you to believe. While you may be unduly familiar with the concept as a staple facet of modern-day female empowerment, the details, intricacies and instructions surrounding it, may still be utterly foreign. Self-love isn’t merely embracing your perceived flaws or, participating in motivational rituals, but rather, a concoction of very diverse affirmative actions that work to ensure your health, happiness and overall place in life, are as optimal as they possibly can be. Though some staunch sources may convince you prioritizing your own wellbeing is simply inconceivable, once you’ve entered into a relationship, truthfully, the opposite could not be more viable. So, wherever you are in your self-love journey, the following, is just a sprinkling of advice encouraging and securing your assurance and independence even when you’re no longer on your lonesome.
Rely on Yourself for Esteem
In the realm of female empowerment, we are well-acquainted with the notion of acquiring all validation from internal reservoirs rather than external male sources but, sometimes when we enter into a relationship, we inadvertently neglect this incredibly vital practice. Receiving praise from our partners can become incredibly addictive, and while this may not seem overtly unhealthy, allowing this dynamic to fester into something more co-dependant, is. Gifting your boyfriend reign of how you acquire your reassurance, will allow him to manipulate your emotions and starve you of gratification; two ordeals no woman should have to endure. Reaffirm your own value with ambitions and accomplishments; reimburse your self-worth with positive thoughts. Don’t let any man - regardless of how highly you revere him - decisively define how you perceive yourself, for you are a magnificently powerful being, and no other person is allowed to deceive you into otherwise.
Maintain External Circles
Isolation from loved ones is the premier method abusive individuals employ to belittle, and thus, any action approximating such in your relationship is inherently detrimental to your wellbeing. While devoting a significant amount of time and effort to your partner is imperative for romance to flourish; refraining from channeling substantial quantities of either your beloved friends and family, will greatly negate your health and happiness.
Actively nourishing relationships other than amorous ones is necessary when partaking in such, as doing so allows you additional input and opinions, as well as access to external, objective advice. Interpersonal connections detached from your lover offers you a sanctuary; a safe space for you to express all your emotions to a chorus of eagerly awaiting ears. Make the effort to incorporate your friends and family into your everyday life- the insight they offer and comfort they provide are resources you unequivocally require.
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Avoid Utter Intertwinement
Prioritizing your personal interests, endeavours and activities is integral to self-love, especially as it pertains to being in a relationship, as far too many of us subconsciously sacrifice our own preferred events and recreation for the sake of “agreeability”. While compromise is compulsory for a mutually fruitful dynamic, acting upon, and outwardly pursuing, the things you find nourishing – either on your own or with another – is mandatory in ensuring a sane, stable state of mind. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
In less flowery prose, “having a life outside of your relationship”, is utterly important as it allows you to maintain autonomy over areas of your life, that are not innately attached to those of your partner’s. Keeping certain aspects of your existence such as entertainment, relaxation and leisure, separate from your lover, is an effective way of engaging independence and eluding an overly intertwined romantic relationship.
Attachment; Not Dependence
In a similar vein to the aforementioned, providing for yourself; whether in regards to wealth, security, happiness and all other necessities – transcends self-love and enters into the realm of self-preservation. Solely relying on your partner to endow any of your fundamentals is incredibly dangerous as effectively, you have just relinquished autonomous power over the things you require to sustain life as you know it.
Bestowing control of such to someone besides yourself, indiscreetly invites abuse, manipulation and disrespect, as your partner, now possesses all of the articles which grant you your freedom. With the prospect of you leaving essentially obsolete, the incentive behind your partner’s ‘good behavior’ may too, dissipate. Though I have approached this tip with overt moroseness, preserving your ability to abandon a relationship in the instance you feel unsatisfied, afraid or even endangered is categorically imperative for all women.
Love Shouldn’t Be Sacrificial
Though there are a plethora of ways you can avidly practice self-love while in a relationship, my final piece of noteworthy advice is to remain indisputably authentic to yourself throughout the romance’s tenure. The overarching thesis of this article is essentially prioritizing yourself over your partner and alas, this sentiment could not be more crucial than as it pertains to goals and ambitions.
What you personally seek from life should remain unwaveringly the core focus and prime purpose of your existence, regardless of if you are in a relationship or not. Sacrificing your independent aspirations to align more precisely with a man’s proposed vision of the future is preposterous, and will inevitably lead to discontentedness and melancholy. Pursuing what you love while thriving with the one you love is definitively doable and thus, all career, project and business plans should be assiduously acted upon, while the relationship securely blazes away.
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