The missing ingredient in many relationships

When it comes to love, many of us seem to view this in the vein of romance and loving another person, yet the most important person we love in our life is ourselves.  

See, if you don’t have an adequate supply of self-love then you’re going to need other people to ‘fill you up’ which means entering a relationship isn’t always a light and breezy experience, for you need the love and validation of someone else to fill your void within.


This is a recipe for codependency, and whilst a certain amount of dependency on each other is a positive thing, codependence is when we tend to engage in shadow behaviour to get what we want – often making us quite manipulative in relationships, even though we don’t intend or want to be.

Essentially, if you lack self love then a relationship can be likened to a thirsty person in a desert; desperate for water.

This puts you in a vulnerable situation, emotionally, as if you’re dependent on someone else to make you feel good, or loved, then your world is no longer in your control; meaning, we can’t control other people to be or behave in a particular way toward us… we only have control of ourselves, and therefore, life will be an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs which are contingent on whether the object of your affection is giving you what you need or not.

The above will sound quite familiar to most people, and there’s nothing wrong with it, in moderation – in fact, it’s perfectly natural, but relationships are much more fulfilling when you come at things with a strong base within yourself.

Self love

The ingredient you need for this – is self love.

See, when you love, appreciate and accept yourself you don’t need a partner to provide you with the inner stability, love and acceptance we all need to feel good.  

Yet, some people will even rush into marriage and jump into sending out wedding invitations by Pure Invitation before they really get to know someone, as the feeling of commitment and security that comes from being married is more important to them than the person they are getting married too.  

It might sound crazy, but if you depended on the love, validation and affirmation of a partner to feel good about yourself… wouldn’t you want to jump into a commitment like this?

The world seems to be suffering with an emotional epidemic of low self-esteem, low self-worth and low-confidence.

The challenge

The challenge is, we often look to external solutions to solve internal challenges and go around thinking if we just get a flatter stomach, an increase in salary, a promotion at work, or even a particular person… then, we’ll feel better; but this logic is backward.  

These external things tend to fulfil us in the short-term, but this is short-lived and we are always left wanting more… a better approach is to look at this from an inside-out perspective; finding ways to love and accept ourselves.

Here are three tips on how to love yourself from the inside out.

Stop trying to fill the void

We’re all guilty of distracting ourselves from time to time, but this level of distraction can become unhealthy and can easily turns into addictive behaviour.  It’s easy to chase after things, or people, in order to fill the void within.  The challenge, as stated above, is that you can rarely fill an internal void with an external solution.

The best approach is to acknowledge the inner void you feel and look for nourishing ways to resolve your feelings around it, and create a full and fulfilling life for yourself.

Stop doing that which hurts you

There’s normally a trigger that causes physical pain meaning there are things that aggravate and relieve the pain; for instance, sitting at a desk for long period of time might be an aggravating factor for back pain.

The same is true for emotional pain.  Just like how there are daily activities you engage in on a physical level that cause pain, and therefore should be reduced or avoided, there are activities you engage in on an emotional level that cause emotional pain.  

In a nutshell, you want to avoid these activities and stop doing that which hurts you.

Get rid of negative people

On the note of reducing the painful triggers in your life, it’s important you surround yourself with only quality people that uplift and nurture you.  There is scientific research to prove the fact energy from other people rubs off on you; meaning if you’re around negative people then their negativity is going to be passed on to you, like a virus.

See also:

7 simple ways to bring balance in your life
Dare to be body positive
How not to waste your life


(contributed content)


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