To find the right person, BE the right person

Posted on May 22, 2017


"The fact that someone else loves you doesn't rescue you from the project of loving yourself." - Sahaj Kohli

People who have a tendency of engaging in bad relationships are usually trying to find something outside themselves to fill up the emptiness within - but often and seemingly to no avail. That's why the only solution to finding healthy relationships with others is to develop a healthy relationship with oneself first, according to Susan J Elliot JD of Psychology Today.

"I learned to depend on me and never let 'I need you' play a part in my decisions", the M.Ed holder explains. The journey can be long and exasperating, especially for those that are impatient - but the long-term benefits of self-care and compassion bode well and can be attained by virtually anyone. Here are five ways to start developing a relationship with yourself today:

1. Listen to yourself.
Journal. Mull things over. Figure yourself out. Learn to be quiet, and on your own. It may be uncomfortable at first, but cultivate a life where you have some quality "me time" so things that need to be addressed can float to the surface. Elliot recommends to first and foremost, put down your cellphone: "We MUST learn to be still without distractions if we are to find our way to our inner voice...Learn to unplug, unwind and listen to [that voice] that has something to say to you."

2. Treat yourself.
Have you ever wanted to learn something but never had the time to? Now's as good a time as any! Take a class, write a poem, learn a new language - do whatever your heart has always desired. If you have the money, travel by yourself; it may be scary the first time, but after getting used to it you'll see why so many travelers choose to go solo. Learning to do things with you and for you is the ultimate self-treatment.

3. Do your grief work.
Cry. Get angry. Accept your losses. Once you learn to face your grief, "you can make better choices when you are not afraid of losing and know that you can get through whatever happens."

4. Cultivate friendships with healthy people.
A good mantra to go by is to "Become friends with people who have what you want." Befriend those who have nice, healthy, happy lives on their own and then others in relationships. If you want what they have, do what they do - a little observational learning goes a long way.

5. Finally, enjoy the solo journey and appreciate what is nice about NOT being with someone.
Instead of glamorising relationships for what you think they are and expect to be, recognise what you don't have to suffer through when alone: the endless bickering, the controlling situations, and the self-deprecation that often results. As the saying goes, no company is better than bad company. Make peace with the peace that comes from being alone and you will never again stay in a relationship for all the wrong reasons.

Learning to cultivate a relationship with yourself can be arduous, but the payoff is that you will ultimately be stronger, better, and wiser to not put up with less-than-optimal behavior from a mate.

"Learn to love your life so much that you will never abandon you for anyone else," Elliot recommends. After all, healthy people are those with their own interests, passions, hobbies, friends, and things to do; they want someone who is well-rounded and not completely dependent on them for happiness.

The bottom line: Your life starts with you. Go out and find it!

Category(s):Happiness, Self-Care / Self Compassion, Self-Confidence, Self-Love

Source material from Psychology Today

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