Self-love and self-acceptance are the direct conduits to lasting love success with another person.
And yet they’re routinely overlooked by seekers of true intimacy. Still, these two critical elements have been talked about and written about for a long, long, time…
Some quotes from all corners of history
Socrates may have been the first in the Western tradition to write about the need for self-reflection. His time-honored imperative was simple: “Know thyself!”
Now skip a millennium and change forward to the well-known 19th Century writer, Oscar Wilde, who penned these memorable words: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
And on to the present day, where Recovery writer and clinician, Melodie Beattie, so wisely states: “Self-care is a constantly changing, evolving art. It requires awareness, presence, self-love, and authentic interaction each moment with life.”
And then, there’s yours truly, who constantly repeats this simple yet essential phrase, over and over again to my clients, friends, and often to myself: “Take care of yourself!”
The loving art of self-care and self-acceptance
So it only makes sense that a major first step to relationship success is to fully take on the healing art of self-care and self-acceptance.
Believe it: you have the ability to love and accept yourself as much (or more) than anyone you’ve ever known. Simply put, you can have a loving and intimate relationship with yourself!
Your own true soul mate
Now, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Be your own best friend.”
Well, how about being your own best lover, your own true soul mate? Only after you’ve come to love, understand, and fully accept yourself (including your God-given gifts AND your pesky demons) can you truly love another in a complete and most far-reaching way.
In order to create intimacy with yourself, you’ll also want to identify who you really are, what makes you tick, and how you operate in the world. And that takes a lot of soul searching, which may or may not require outside assistance, like a supportive and understanding mentor, therapist, or friend.
You’ll also want to pursue a life of fulfillment, continue to work on interpersonal skills (like conscious communication), and develop a passionate caring for yourself. When you are truly living and loving this way, then any relationship you have with another will be a seamless outgrowth of your own evolving sense of self.
Attracting the right people with positive self-esteem
Here’s something else that I passionately believe, especially when it comes to initial attraction: We tend to meet people who are at our level of healthiness or unhealthiness.
If we’re feeling good about ourselves, and are routinely living a life of solid self-worth, we’re more likely to meet others who feel exactly the same positive way about themselves. Conversely, if we’re feeling like we’re defective, “worth less,” or plagued with destructive habits such as taking drugs or drinking too much, we’ll unfortunately be more likely to come in contact with others at this same level of unhealthiness.
So, by taking really good care of yourself and practicing unconditional positive self-regard, you’ll surely attract others who also treat themselves well – just the sort of people you’ll love to love!
That soulful connection with self
In order to attract the “right” people, you’ll need to experience love as something existing within the self – like a deep well of feeling just waiting to bubble up to the surface of your awareness.
This soulful connection with oneself involves honest analysis, the acquisition of self-knowledge, and a good deal of self-reflection. In short, it’s about creating a conscious love affair with yourself – before even thinking about entering into an intimate relationship.
When you achieve this kind of personal connection with yourself, then you can experience a higher level of mental and physical health, a healthier ego, and strong, protective boundaries when dealing with others. You become more available and more open to a meaningful love connection – which ultimately makes you a better long-term partner.
Taking it on the road
Self-care and self-acceptance are just about the most vital prerequisites to any successful love relationship, for these, as mentioned above, are your direct conduits to love success that can last a lifetime, or what I call a “honeymoon forever.”
Of course, how you actually go about practicing self-care and manifesting self-love is always your personal choice. It’s worth saying one more time: it always remains an important process, especially if you’re serious about seeking meaningful intimacy with another person.
When each individual in a relationship learns to love and care for herself or himself first, they can consciously enter into an amazing relationship of mutual love – a love that has the potential to go way beyond each separate partner – this type of shared love is the best of all possible worlds!
Take care of yourself!
So, take good care, and have that love affair with yourself.
Then let that love freely fan out into the universe, and who knows? You may just ignite a fiery partnership with that special someone (or you might take things with your current partner to the next level).
You’ll create a true and durable love that can surely last a lifetime – even an eternity!
*In a follow-up post, I’ll be suggesting some practical ways that you can better take care of yourself, so you can fully access that precious love within and ultimately share it all with another self-affirming soul. Stay tuned!