So excited to kick off my panel of Romantic Men with Clay Andrews. Clay blogs at The Path to Passion which is a unique dual site, Mika speaks for women and Clay speaks for men, who want a deep and satisfying relationship with their partner. Today he reminds all of us that our most important romantic relationship is with ourselves.
When most people think of the word romance, they think about gooshy pink hearts, bouquets of roses, boxes of chocolates, or other sorts of things that are designed to woo over the object of their affection (or maybe that’s just what I think of…).
But I believe a lot of people overlook the importance of loving themselves first and put too much focus on trying to “get” someone else to love them.
Unfortunately, this leads to many people seeking validation or love from another person–looking for someone else to fill them up or to “complete” who they are.
In my opinion, this isn’t a good way to start (or nurture) a relationship.
Why? Well, if you’re looking for someone else to complete you or validate you, then you are essentially not taking responsibility for your own emotions. You’re letting how you feel be determined by external circumstances.
This is a set up for things like codependency and neglecting your own needs in favor of someone else’s.
Plus, it’s also a lot of pressure for your partner to feel as though they are responsible for your emotional well-being (not very attractive, if you ask me).
So, What Are You Supposed to Do?
The quick answer is to love yourself first.
Instead of trying to win over that sexy babe or that hunky dude with gifts, pick up lines, carefully orchestrated ploys to manipulate their emotions, or other shenanigans, first fill yourself up with love.
Once you love yourself completely and fully, your love will overflow and spill over on to them.
Suddenly love becomes more about giving freely from a place of abundance (which is sexy) rather than a quid-pro-quo like “I bought you dinner, therefore you owe me a kiss” (definitely not sexy–trust me, I’ve tried!).
How to Love Yourself
Okay, what do you do to start loving yourself?
What I’m going to recommend you do is to take yourself out on a date.
Yes, you–flying solo.
Do something that you genuinely love to do to make yourself feel like you are worth the effort.
This might include taking yourself out to dinner at your favorite restaurant (sorry fast food doesn’t count), cooking yourself a nice meal (no microwaveable frozen bricks), spending an afternoon at the park, or anything else that you would like. The most important thing is that it’s something that you genuinely would enjoy.
You might have to confront a few fears to do this like walking into a restaurant by yourself, spending a little money on just little-old-you, or otherwise proving to yourself that you are indeed worthy of something nice.
It is actually a good thing if this frightens you a bit. You’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, which will only smash any sort of limiting belief that you aren’t worthy of nice things in your life.
This can start to reverse the habits of looking to someone else to fill you up with love, and develop the habit of filling yourself up with love.
This simple shift can radically change your relationship with your partner (or all those sexy singles down at the bar). Plus, you’ll just feel better too. You’ll start to love your life just the way it is. Suddenly, romance will become the icing on top the cake, rather than the cake itself.
In case you missed that metaphor, I’m saying that your life should be like a rich and satisfying cake in and of itself, while your relationship should be the icing that goes on top of it–sweet and delicious, but not absolutely essential.
So, what are you going to do this week on that date with yourself? Please take a moment and share your ideas in the comments below. (And please, don’t stand yourself up!)
Clay Andrews writes for a blog called The Path to Passion which gives relationship advice for people interested in improving their relationships by exploring their own beliefs and mindsets. You can also find him on Twitter.