1. Know your worth.
Far too often we stay in relationships that are less than gratifying because we don’t value ourselves.
A fundamental change occurs once you realize what you are worth and what you deserve from a partner. Once you start believing that you deserve something deeply fulfilling, you will never settle for anything less.
Any effort to try and cheapen your value will be futile. The tide will have changed. Not only will you start respecting yourself, others will recognize this and respect you in return.
2. Know how to love with an open heart.
This is particularly difficult for me because I am so protective of my heart. It’s a defense mechanism that served me as a child, but it has hindered my ability to get close to people as an adult.
Loving with an open heart means embracing vulnerability. It’s essentially opening yourself up to the possibility of pain in order to strive for something beautiful. It’s not easy, but we can take solace in knowing we’re in all in this together.
We all want to be accepted and loved, and we are all terrified of heartache and pain. Once we understand this, it becomes easier to let our guard down and let others in.
Loving with an open heart takes extraordinary courage because nothing is more challenging than stepping out of the darkness and letting yourself be seen—but it’s worth it, because nothing is more fulfilling.
3. Know how to be compassionate.
The ability to recognize suffering and offer compassion is vital to a mutually supportive relationship.
We all have our own story of hardship, mistrust, and loss, as well as joy, love, and triumph. By listening with an open heart and mind, we can find commonalities in each other’s stories and foster compassion and love.
It’s not easy to nurture compassion in an egocentric society that sees emotion as weakness. Many of us focus on our own betterment without acknowledging the people around us, and repress our feelings to avoid judgment. But we need to embrace our own feelings to be able to embrace someone else’s.
4. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Recognizing and understanding our limitations enables us to work on them and find partners who will complement us.
This can be tricky because our strengths and weaknesses are often one and the same. For example, I can be demanding, in that I am constantly trying to push my partners to be the best they can be. I place the same expectations on myself.
This is a weakness because I place heavy demands on partners, which can lead to disappointment and resentment. It’s a strength because it has pushed me to continue on my career path and achieve goals I’ve set for myself.
It’s perfectly okay to have qualities that are both redeeming and sometimes difficult. That’s what makes us unique. When we understand those qualities, we can both work on them and seek partners who will balance them.
5. Know what it’s like to be alone.
Too often we focus on romantic relationship because we fear being alone, and because it’s easier to get approval from someone else than it is to validate ourselves.
As a result, many people jump from one relationship to the next without fully understanding why the previous relationship didn’t work. This also leads incompatible people to get married or stay in relationships that no longer satisfy them.
Knowing who you are alone is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It pulls you away from the comforts of a relationship and allows you space to understand yourself and what makes you happy.
We all want to find our “other half,” but the best relationships occur when two whole people unite and allow their love to complement their already enriched lives.
These components were missing in the last chapter of my life, but I am looking forward to acknowledging them in the ones ahead.
From: Tiny Buddha