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Friday, April 19, 2013

Your Relationships Reflect Your Self-Love

When I was single, I used to spend a lot of time wondering whether I would find the woman of my dreams or not. I was constantly dreaming of her and wishing she was dreaming of me, unsure she existed, longing for her, and lonely. I was preoccupied with finding her, but love seemed as elusive then as it did during my long years of invisibility, when I tried to be the woman I was not and dated three variations of the same man and was equally miserable alone and with a partner.

The reason love didn't work for me then is the same reason it may not be working for you now:

Your relationships are a reflection of your love for yourself. You can't succeed in love if you're using it to fill a void or heal broken self-esteem or convince yourself you are loveable.

Many people make the mistake of getting into a relationship because they are in love with the idea of being in love and not with the person they are with. You may think your partner is as good as you'll ever do or that anything is better than being alone or that he or she is the answer to your problems. But the truth is that if you are in a relationship for any reason other than your love enhancing your life, you are bound to make yourself and your partner more miserable instead of less. You may try to change the person into something he or she is not or hold back parts of who you are to keep the relationship going. Either way, you are not basing your relationship on reflecting your most authentic self.

You may have heard this before and may even know it on some level, but not be sure what to do about it. Sometimes people get "stuck" in relationships and don't know how to get out. There are always a ton of reasons not to leave. Untangling your life from your partner's can seem painful or impossible, even when logically it seems like the best thing. So what do you do?

Coach Jack's Four-Step Process
If you don't know how to get out of a relationship that's dragging you down, here's some questions you can ask yourself.
  1. How do I feel about myself in this relationship? Many people focus on how much they love their partner. But caring about your partner isn't enough if you don't feel loved yourself. Look carefully at how your partner is affecting your self-esteem. Do you feel worn out, tired, incompetent or useless after a day with your partner? If you do, you may be outgrowing the relationship.
  2. What am I getting from staying? There are reasons you're in this relationship -- what are they? Write down everything positive about your relationship.
  3. What do I fear if I leave? Make sure your decision isn't fear-based. Sometimes people stay in relationships because they fear their partner will hurt themselves or they don't want to face being alone. Write down your fears.
  4. What price am I paying to keep my fear at bay? It's okay to decide to stay -- but what are you giving up?  Ask yourself if the emotional or other costs are worth it.
Answering these questions honestly can help you decide what to do. Writing your answers in a journal only you can see can help you face feelings and facts you were reluctant to see.

If you still don't know what to do after answering these questions or don't know how to begin answering them, you may be tied to your partner because of negative beliefs about yourself.  I specialize in helping people overcome these types of negative beliefs. Please register for Rewrite Your Life Script today so that we can begin working together to change your self-image.