The Importance of Self-Love When Choosing a Romantic Partner
We have all, at some point, heard that we can’t love someone else if we don’t know the importance of self-love. But loving yourself isn’t easy. In order to accomplish this, we need to work on getting to know ourselves well. This requires understanding our beginnings and our life history, learning from it, and accepting it, which is difficult. It’s important to remember that our levels of self-knowledge and self-esteem are essential when picking a romantic partner.
No matter how well we know the benefits of loving ourselves and others, we won’t learn to understand the importance of self-love if we don’t work on ourselves. We also can’t accomplish it if we’re not exposed to examples and models that let us recognize new ways of achieving emotional connection. Neurologist, psychiatrist, and writer Boris Cyrulnik, says we have to try to observe different people and emotional styles throughout our lives to achieve this.
In this sense, the different styles of loving help us see that love, indifference, and hatred aren’t linked to a specific style of behavior. Knowing this will open our minds and enrich our personalities.
“To love yourself in a realistic and healthy way is one of the principal requirements for health, in the broadest sense of the word, and the best path to express and communicate our emotions to the people we love.”
Types of couples
From a young age we learn to connect with others. We connect with our parents and the rest of the family. They are our first examples of emotional connection. We observe and learn how they treat us and how we can connect with each other.
Little by little, we come to expand our social circles. As we grow up, we get to know more people. Then we have a relationship, and our first romantic connection.
Boris Cyrulnik affirms that our childhoods will determine the type of emotional connection we establish with our romantic partners. In his opinion, there are different types of couples. We can categorize these into three groups: couples where both partners support each other, couples where one person hurts the other, and couples where both partners hurt each other.
The couple made up of two people who support each other lasts longer and allows for a better quality of life, when the pair is together or separate. Additionally, this interchange of support contributes positively to the health of each one, improving their emotional balance and their sense of humor. Also, it is the only type of couple that deserves to reassert itself.
The other types of couples, those in which there is hurting from one side or from both sides, have to be changed . This could be through changes in negative attitudes or from the search for new meaning that could establish the foundations for a healthier relationship. If this is not possible, it may be time to ask if breaking up might be better.
Sometimes, in order to get out of a relationship, we need to feel secure. So we look to other people to provide support. This can lead to the search for a new partner before it’s the right time. Then there cannot be profound learning from the experience. This could lead to making the same mistakes in the new relationship.
See also: Partnership
We are both of our better halves
The choice of a partner is something done unconsciously, based on everything we have learned throughout our personal histories. It also fits our personal situation . If we don’t make an effort to improve and know ourselves better, we will not be able to select a partner to help us live a relationship with mutual support.
A romantic partner cannot take care of all of our needs. To keep this idea and hope that this happens is only a fantasy and will lead to constant frustrations. Nevertheless, we as people need to have relationships with other human beings and have different kinds of relationships that enrich our lives.
One of the most dangerous beliefs is related to the idea of not considering ourselves whole beings. This concept has brought us to a wrong idea about love. We consider love to be an emotion that can handle anything. We stop thinking realistically and we don’t see the limitations of every healthy love. So we may choose a partner who can end up becoming part of a relationship supported by dependence and fear.
“Two better than fear. The better half doesn’t exist. We are both of our better halves.”
Distinguishing between suffering and love
Our beliefs and behavior patterns are not only determined by what we observe in our immediate environment. We are also exposed to a great deal of social stereotypes: rigid models that we believe the world adapts itself to.
The media has a huge influence on our behavior through the stereotypes they reinforce. Television, movies, music, and literature give us a lot of information. But we must pay attention to whether the information is complete, fair, and sufficient. Both the myth of prince charming and in most people movies and books, we find the same idea: love and suffering go hand-in-hand.
Apparently, the more a couple argues the more love is between them. The more they oppose each other, the more they love each other. Because of this, we end up hearing and saying, from childhood, things like “two people who fight or hit each other want each other” or “whoever loves you will make you cry”. We then dream of having impossible or secret loves, those that raise passion over warmth. This can lead us to the selection of a partner based on romantic fantasies rather than reality and necessity.
Also, all of these ideas make us stay in a fixed role within the romantic relationship. And in relationships in general. This is a learned role that can be oppressing our real identities, our real thoughts, feelings, and desires. To break away with preconceived ideas, realize the importance of self-love and reconstruct this role we appear to be programmed for is not easy. But it is possible.
See also: Desire
Being happy with yourself
Wrong social ideas about relationships can lead us to make a bad choice of partner. And to suffer emotional dependence. We forget our right to be people with our own identities and independence.
To strengthen our “emotional immune system” we must get to know ourselves and love ourselves to wisely choose a partner who will increase our happiness. Before trying to find happiness with our partner, it is better if we have already found it with ourselves.
“We have to learn to enjoy the company of the only person who will be with us for the rest of our lives for sure – ourselves.”
Choosing a romantic partner with maturity
A couple have to respect each other. They must choose freely to be together. We should not be in a relationship because we need to fill a void. We should build a relationship because, even though we can be alone, we prefer to be with our partner.
The choice of a romantic partner is made from the heart. But keeping in mind our own needs and desires, will make a relationship of mutual support possible. Remember that achieving this dynamic depends on both of the members of the couple.