Do you dedicate enough time to self-care? Or for you, is it easier to care for others than it is for yourself? Perhaps you don’t think twice about ditching the gym to take that late work meeting and perhaps the thought of relaxing with a good book seems like a distant memory that you just don’t have time for these days. Doubting the importance of self-care is something many of us are prone to. However, what if it is more important than we realize, and what if it is actually the key to a successful love life?
Beauchamp & Childress (2001) describe self-care as taking efforts to nurture one’s psychological and physical wellness. Since we are all different, the ways in which we practice self-care can vary; while for one it may be making time to go to that Power Yoga class, for another it may be taking a short break away with the kids. Regardless of the action, if it brings you peace, we can consider it self-care.
How can this impact my love life, you may be thinking? As implied by the familiar adage, “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else”, it’s important to understand that you are worthy of love, and not just from another, but from yourself.
‘Psychological wellness’ is about understanding your needs and what it takes to meet those needs. If we do not take time to reflect on how we feel or to understand ourselves by thinking about us, how can we expect to put our best selves out there?
While the thought of putting yourself first may seem alien to you, it may be more important than you think. From a relationship perspective, perhaps you know you want your partner to look like Brad Pitt, but have you ever stopped to think what it is you really want from a relationship? Do you know yourself well enough to understand why this want exists?
It’s true, that at some point in our lives many of us are unconsciously influenced by those closest to us, whether that be a peer or a family member. Perhaps your desire for the ‘perfect partner’ is not based on your needs but is influenced by those around you.
What do you truly need from a relationship? Forget about looks or status, what are your core values, and what are those you would like to see reflected in a partner? What values do you find attractive and which ones would best complement your own?
Self-care is about forgetting what others think and putting yourself first. It’s turning into yourself to understand what you truly need. If we put this in the context of romantic relationships, self-care is paramount. It can help us to discover and set expectations, saving us a great deal of time by avoiding unnecessary dating experiences with those who are not truly compatible with us.
A good place to start is by identifying what self-care means to you, is it sweating it out at the gym or spending time in nature? Next, think about how you can fit these acts into your life in order to make them part of your routine. By making these acts a habit, you may find that you improve not only the relationship you have with yourself but also your relationships with others. It may give you the time to reflect on your true desires and discover the things you truly need in a relationship, helping you to identify the type of partner that is compatible with you.
If you are unsure about the type of partner you should be looking for, we are here to help. Take your first step of self-care by contacting us today. Together we can help you identify the type of partner you should be looking for and help you discover ways to find them!