ALEXA PELLEGRINI: “Love Yourself First: Creating Healthy Relationships in a Superficial World”

Love Yourself

In the last several years, websites like ChristianMingle.com and Match.com have soared in popularity. Tinder and dating apps have blown up on social media. But relationship issues and loneliness are still more of a problem in our society than ever, and most of us continue to have a difficult time understanding the foundations of love. So, what is love – not just romantic love, but healthy, spiritual love? What does it mean to be in a genuine, loving relationship, and more importantly, how can we all find one? Here are some insights into improving your dating life so you can avoid unfulfilling relationships and get closer to discovering the healing power of love.

Finding ‘True Love’: It’s All About Your Energy

Relationships work on the basis of energetic attraction. The more you neglect loving and accepting yourself, the more you’ll encounter Karmic relationships that will show that this needs to change. To understand ourselves on a higher level, we tend to attract and be attracted to others who mirror our inner wounds. Instead of healing us, these people just exacerbate our pain – and yet ironically, these are the relationships we struggle to escape the most, because our souls are begging for us to heal ourselves! If we have a deep desire for attention, we may be attracted to a narcissistic person who denies us the attention we so desperately seek. If we have a strong need to be validated and nurtured, we may be attracted to someone who pull away the more we chase after them – and so on. There is a variety of ways we can go ‘wrong’ in our personal relationships by trying to deal with our inner wounds through our partners.

You’re probably wondering: how can this be avoided so we can get the relationship we really want? The solution to finding genuine, loving relationships that don’t reflect our identity crises is simpler than you think. Of course, it all starts with love – but not by giving all of your love and everything you have to the person you’re with, so you can convince them to love you wholeheartedly in return. It’s by showing all of that love and care to yourself.

Making Simple Changes, Day by Day

Repeat after me: you don’t need to prove you’re worthy or lovable to anyone – you already are. If you struggle to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re worth everything you have (and more!), it’s important to realize that some serious self-work lies ahead in order to find the relationship of your dreams.

Forgive yourself for all of your past mistakes. Give yourself a pat on the back for the wonderful things you’ve done and how hard you work every day. Look into your eyes and tell yourself that you are lovable and loved – over and over, until you really believe it. These behavioral adjustments are necessary for you to heal yourself and move on from words and events of the past that are holding you back from stepping into your own power and building healthy relationships. Don’t look for someone else to do the hard work of loving and accepting yourself for you – you can rise to the challenge and take on the quest with vigor and courage.

Love Yourself

Forget Flowers and Candy: Think Friendship and Forgiveness

Affection, gifts, romantic gestures and great sex are all hallmarks of a healthy, functional relationship, but it doesn’t stop there. We’ve all seen in movies and on TV how sexy, romantic relationships often end in heartbreak, how even the strongest of chemistry between two people often leads to nowhere except a series of one-night stands or a dysfunctional relationship. Yet society tells us that fantastic sex and romance are the defining features of a happy relationship, all while friendship and forgiveness are neglected.

Without being able to connect and empathize with our partners on a human level, we lose the ability to forgive their mistakes and realize that they aren’t solely around to fulfill our emotional, physical and financial needs. Codependency, resentment and declarations of “that’s not fair!” and “you don’t care about me as much as I care about you!” are usually the hallmark of these kinds of relationships. When we fail to see our partners as not only our lovers but our friends, we lose the ability to identify with them on a deeper emotional level and the energetic balance in the relationship is totally thrown off.

Here’s an exercise: in your mind, have your best friend and your partner switch places. How do you treat your best friend? Do you give your friend healthy space, reasonable forgiveness and support for their dreams? Do you do the same for your partner? Creating a feeling of friendship between you and your partner is the easiest way to try to heal a failing relationship.

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