Learning to Love Yourself Before You Can Love Others - Banyan Treatment Center

Learning to Love Yourself Before You Can Love Others

 

Learning to Love Yourself Before You Can Love Others


“You can’t pour from an empty glass of water.”
“Two dead batteries don’t start a car.”
“Two sickies don’t make a wellie.”

These are just a few of the sayings you’ve probably heard if you’re in recovery and looking to start a relationship early on. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching it can seem like everyone is focused on relationships. But you’ve also heard the saying “You must love yourself before you can love someone else,” and this is especially true for those of us in recovery. While finding someone that relates to your experiences and shares common goals (like achieving long term sobriety) can seem like a good idea, it’s important to make sure that you’re at a point in your recovery where you can bring positivity, support and a healthy outlook on life to the relationship. This is because when two people with the same problem join up it is rare that they will overcome the problem together- often they make it worse by fueling each other’s negative, toxic thought processes.

This February, instead of focusing on finding someone else to love, be your own Valentine. It’s only after you have truly learned to love yourself that you can best love someone else. Here are three reasons why it’s important to develop a sense of self-love, and become stable in your recovery, before sharing that love with another person:

1. No one else can make you whole.

It’s common for people to seek relationships for reasons other than unselfishly sharing love with another human being. Sometimes people seek relationships simply to avoid loneliness, or to gain self-validation. Sometimes it’s a matter of commiseration. Once you have truly developed a sense of self-love, are content with what you already have, and are no longer looking for someone else to make you feel whole, these other needs fall away. It is then you can love truly someone just for the sake of loving them. You will no longer try to fulfill self-seeking needs, and you will be able to build a healthy relationship.

2. You won’t be setting yourself up for failure.

You hear about it over and over again- someone goes through a breakup and ends up relapsing. This can happen when you haven’t built a solid foundation based in self-love and emotional independence. Unhealthy relationships are often centered on codependence, with each person “losing” part of their identity, becoming so entwined with the other. If you never had a strong, positive self-image to begin with this becomes even more difficult and it can be hard to maintain sobriety through a breakup.

3. You’ll probably pick a better partner.

According to Psychology Today, people struggling with low self-esteem and poor self-image are more likely to pick toxic partners. They may pick partners who treat them poorly, believing it’s what they deserve, or pick partners who see them as they see themselves- negatively. If you have a sense of self-love, however, your chances of selecting a positive partner increase greatly. Once you love yourself you will be able to find the love you truly deserve.

Once you’ve succeeded at loving yourself, you will then be able to completely love someone else. Developing a sense of true self-love is a process, and it isn’t always easy. It’s something that has to be worked on every single day, but is so worth it in the end. This Valentine’s Day be your own Valentine and learn to love you. Our drug and alcohol treatment center is here to guide you on the right path towards recovery and self-love. If you or a loved one is struggling from addiction call us today at 888-280-4763, we can help!

 

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Anne Martin
Anne Martin
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from Montclair State University, Anne brings several years’ experience in media placement, copywriting and content creation to Banyan Treatment Center. She joined Banyan’s Operations Department in July 2016, and changed roles to Public Relations Specialist in November of last year.