By Victoria

September 29, 2016

More To Loving Yourself

We can all agree that loving yourself is one of the most important aspects in your life. It's not only what helps make you happy in a relationship with others, but it's what makes you happy in a relationship with yourself. & then there's that cliché line "you can't be happy in a relationship until you're happy with yourself." While that's true, there's more to being happy & loving yourself in order to have a successful relationship. It's learning to let others love yourself as well.

I'm really proud of how far I've come in life. Sure I have days where I am really stressed & want to just break down. But I've realized no matter what, nothing's the end of the world. I've learned to cope with my issues maturely & no longer blame myself so hard to the point I hate myself. & just because I'm proud of where I am right now, doesn't mean I'm not growing still. I'm growing each & everyday & I believe that there is always room to be the better version of you. 

I used to be at such a low point in my life where I couldn't leave a bad relationship. I'd rather hurt & be with a toxic person than not have them in my life at all. Thankfully this was years ago & I know I will never put myself in a situation like that again.

But have you ever met someone who is good to you & you don't know how to act so you fuck it all up instead? I guess after all the bad relationships, I had the mentality of just working on myself & that that would just make everything else in my life better. I never realized how important it was to work on trusting someone again. 

Trusting someone means more than being able to share your past or a few secrets with. It's allowing someone to see the most vulnerable side of you & being okay with them seeing & loving your flaws. I'm very comfortable talking to new people & making friends. When I talk with others though, I find that it is usually just fluff. I can engage & communicate well in conversations, but it's never deeper than that. Just small mindless chit chat. For someone so extroverted, it's really hard for me to make actual close friendships.

Whenever there was something bothering me, I would ignore it until I could forget about it. I deal with things by myself & don't really open up about my problems. Pretending that there isn't any problems makes things difficult in a relationship, because it doesn't allow honest communication with your partner. Society is really caught up on showcasing that perfect relationship where you don't argue at all. Talking about your problems doesn't have to mean fighting though. In a mature relationship, it's about understanding each other's feelings. I thought by ignoring things that bothered me, I would not have to tell my partner & therefore we wouldn't have "problems." When you become so insecure about annoying your partner with little things that affect you, you can end up pushing them away instead. If your partner asks what's wrong & you respond with nothing, how are they going to be able to figure out whats really wrong if you can't tell them?

Ignoring situations never work, trust me. They will end up manifesting later on. You will find yourself getting upset over little things until you blow up. This can result in treating your partner badly out of nowhere & ignoring them which ends up pushing them away. Opening myself up, trusting, admitting what I really wanted, & making myself vulnerable is hard for me to do. I've been so used to keeping my thoughts locked inside & believing the notion that "boys don't like it when girls complain," etc. I didn't see how holding everything in was also hurting my partner. You don't realize how much you're probably confusing & frustrating them. This is someone who wants to love you, but when they do, you end up closing yourself.  

Life is about growing & learning from your past mistakes. If you're in love with yourself, let someone else love you too. Share yourself. Share your vulnerability. The first step is simply being honest with your partner. If you have trust issues, let them know from the start. Don't wait till you're having problems to tell them. Letting someone know what your weaknesses are from the start allows them to understand you. It also lets you & your partner grow together as you guys realize new things about each other. A partner who really cares about you & wants to be with you will try to understand & work with you. Relationships are about working a dynamic together anyways. They may not be able to comprehend why you can't trust them & frustrated with how long it's taking. Explain to them that it's not them, they haven't done anything wrong for you to not trust them, but that you have a hard time letting people in.

For me personally, I'm starting small by learning to open up to select friends especially those within my sorority. I pushed myself to share my deepest insecurities with them. This has been the first form of sharing my vulnerability with anyone. My friends & sisters never understood how I felt until I explained myself. The first several weeks of school was hell for me. Rush, trying to find a little, school, work, getting things ready for my future career, relationship problems, family, you name it. Old me would've just kept it all in until I broke down. But this time, because I had been opening up & connecting with girls in my sorority, they noticed how stress I was. Before they would've guessed I was quiet & not talking, because I was annoyed & wanted to be unbothered by them. After loosening my grip on my own insecurities, many of my friends & sisters could see my internal struggles. This led to me growing a sense of trust with them as many took the effort to check up on me regularly during this time.

I was so new to this experience of allowing others to see & enter this part of my personal life. It's a relief to know that I have people I can count on by my side. They've been able to see who I really am & it's allowed me to release all this negative energy I've kept inside me. As I continue to work on opening up with certain people, I know that it is helping me learn to open up in general. Whenever the next serious relationship that comes along whether it be a new friendship or romance, I'm going to actually put effort in letting them see the real me.

My advice in learning how to open up is to start with someone that cares about you whether it be a significant other or friend. If you want a deeper & more emotionally connected relationship with someone, you're going to have discuss your feelings with them or else the relationship will never grow & only be a surface relationship. Identify your weaknesses & things that bother you. If you find it uncomfortable to share your feelings, write them down beforehand. This way you'll remember & know what to say without flustering up & closing yourself off. It's not going to feel natural when you begin to show your vulnerability & you may even feel unsafe. No one can force you to share your feelings, but know that when you limit yourself to others, you are limiting how close they can really be to you. "Your partner can't know the real you unless you let them into your world by opening up." I'm still struggling on opening up & although I'm taking baby steps, I've seen a dramatic improvement within myself & relationships with others already. So when you're working on improving yourself to be healthier & better version, this includes letting people see that part of yourself grow as well.

Title image via Arcompany Co.

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