Love yourself, then someone else.
Cliché saying, isn’t it?
But it’s true—you don’t have to be radiantly confident and think every part of yourself is perfect: that isn’t what self-love truly is.
Self-love is exercising when you don’t want to.
Self-love is choosing to say no when you don’t want to do something, even if you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
Self-love is giving yourself what you need.
And you know what? Having a healthy relationship with someone is hard.
We all come with our own background stories, our own pasts, and our own beliefs, opinions, and life experience.
But do you know what is so much harder? Having a healthy relationship with yourself.
I get it, I’ve been there and the definition of self-love became so blurred with having an abundance of confidence.
My partner Gem and I went through a personal development journey before we met, and I truly believe if we didn’t, we’d be worlds apart, and even if we did meet, we’d have been chaos.
We were drinking for comfort, surrounding ourselves with the wrong crowd, holding out for the weekend, and putting ourselves in unsafe situations regularly.
We were both in relationships full of chaos and uncertainty before we’d met each other and strangely enough, that was the decider that we wanted to build that better relationship with ourselves, which beautifully lead us to each other.
What is personal development?
“Personal development is the conscious pursuit of personal growth by expanding self-awareness, knowledge and improving personal development.” – UK College of Personal Development
Personal development for us was a gateway to finding out who we truly were, understanding what genuine happiness is, and a commitment to continuously work on ourselves, as individuals and as a couple.
Here are our top tips on practicing personal development:
Practice gratitude daily – If you struggle to find something to be grateful for, try stripping back to basics: access to clean water, the ability to see, the ability to hear music.
Journal – I cannot recommend this highly enough. It’s so much cheaper than a therapy session, and if done correctly, this can help you work through all different emotions and feelings.
Read or listen to E-books – We were never big readers before personal development, but the amount of value that you gain from reading is absolutely life-changing.
Practice affirmations – This is so powerful, but this is for the long term. Try it for 14 days and watch how those words transform into feelings. You can do this by saying them out loud but really FEEL the words.
I would have laughed in your face if you’d said these things to me 3 years ago.
Even though I didn’t understand how being self-aware was going to change my life, it took hitting rock bottom for me to start practicing these things. I don’t believe in regrets, but I wish I’d realized these things sooner.
Try even two of the things above for a month, and watch how your mindset, priorities, and the world around you change.
And you know what is beautiful about being on that journey, and then falling in love?
Practicing personal development as a couple means you are constantly communicating freely and truly; you learn about yourself, each other, and you both as a couple.
Having a healthy relationship isn’t just loving each other and not doing wrong, it’s learning from each other, it’s being aware of our own faults, and working to fix them.
“The first step to change is becoming aware of your flaws, the second step is taking action to fix them.”
I pride myself on having a relationship I never even dreamed of being possible, and I thank both mine and Gemma’s journeys for that.
Here are our top tips for keeping a healthy, happy, loving relationship
Make sure you don’t lose your individuality – We love spending time together but having time to do things that you enjoy separately is so important. You are two whole people, not two halves of one.
Communicate – Every Sunday we talk about our week, about what we thought went well and not so well, and we show appreciation for the little things that you might not think to mention. Having a set time to speak openly also helps to have a safe, open space.
Never stop making each other feel special – Learn each other’s love languages, remember what is important to each other, leave cute notes around the house, be spontaneous and never forget the romance.
Prioritise yourself first – You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you shouldn’t expect someone else to fill your cup. Make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can love your partner the best you can.
Accept your partner for who they are – We all have differences, that is what makes us who we are. Love your partner for all their parts, quirks and all.
Never let the honeymoon period end – We choose not to let the little things at the beginning slip: we never go a day without saying I love you or being cheesy and silly. Those things never need to end. Things change, but the romance doesn’t have to.
Have goals to work on together – Involve each other in your future. Having a joint task gives you something to work on as a team, which is exciting
And when I say love yourself before you love someone else, I don’t mean if you’re in a relationship right now you should break up and go work on yourself.
I mean prioritize yourself first, figure out what you need, and make sure your dreams, goals, and aspirations don’t get left behind for somebody else.
If a personal development journey is something that you’d like to get into, give me a follow on Instagram @theborderlinecoach—I am always posting honest advice and guidance on how I manage my journey.
“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Liv and Gem from Hertfordshire, England. You can follow their journey on Instagram accounts: Liv, Gem, and their business. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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