When one hears the word ‘relationship’, most people automatically think of romantic bonds. Of course, these are relationships, but there are so many other different types of relationships as well. Our entire lives are networks of relationships in bloom, and we are positively immersed in the connections that we build our lives around. Our families (yes, including pets) keep us grounded. Our friends keep us positive. And our partners keep us smiling. But the most important relationship in anyone’s life is the relationship they have with themselves.
It sounds so simple, so obvious, but the relationships that we have with ourselves are often underrated or severely undernourished. This is the disheartening reality for millions of people around the world. And now, people are realising this and they are taking control of their relationships with themselves again. From the bride being the one to pick out which vibrator to give the bride as a gag gift, to an individual making decisions for themselves rather than for the benefit of their partner and their relationship, people are investing more heavily in their bonds with themselves.
This is something that we are realising is far healthier all the time. When a person enters a relationship of any kid – and especially a romantic relationship – they are happier and more content when they are happy in themselves and with themselves. In this way, it could not be truer that self-love is the key ingredient to happy, healthy relationships all round. There is something exciting about investing in ourselves before anything else. A broken person cannot be in a healthy romantic relationship. We need to first work on loving ourselves before we can love anyone else unconditionally.
The best part about being content in oneself is that you can stand back and let things happen naturally, rather than pulling and breaking to force things into focus and perspective. Forcing something never works, and those of us who are content in ourselves are the very same people who flourish in all their relationships – especially with their partners. We exist in a world where we have been force-fed false perspectives on what the perfect person should embody, and we are having to work especially hard to force ourselves out of that mindset. It is a work in progress that continually needs refocusing.
Harnessing and maintaining self-love is not a quick fix. It demands a lot of continuous work and bright mentality that flourishes on despite the ups and downs that naturally present themselves in any relationship. When we love ourselves, we can give our best selves to those we love. It is a circle, and when we run around battering and belittling ourselves, we create unhealthy patterns that are difficult to break off. The relationship we have with ourselves is arguably the most important relationship that we will ever have in our lives. Therefore, we must do everything in our power to nourish it and allow it to bloom – even on the days when it feels impossible.