How to love yourself in a relationship: 5 self-love tips

Learning how to love yourself in a relationship can be your first step towards a healthy romantic life. Check out self-love tips right here!
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Don't forget to love yourself in a relationship. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Radhika Bhirani Updated: 13 Feb 2024, 15:22 pm IST
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Being in love may feel like the best feeling in the world, but it can be even better when you love yourself too! American singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus’ Grammy Award-winning Flowers, hailed as a self-love anthem, reminds how every woman is capable of loving herself more than any partner can. But in the real world, women often forget that. Instead, many women lose themselves. They may end up killing their own personality while trying to maintain attraction, love and peace. But it is crucial not to forget self-love or let your individuality fade behind the gloss of love. You must know how to love yourself in a relationship, rather than make it an after-thought of broken relationships.

Why is self-love important in relationships?

Miley Cyrus asserts the idea of self-love when she sings: “I can buy myself flowers, Write my name in the sand; Talk to myself for hours, Say things you don’t understand; I can take myself dancing, And I can hold my own hand… Yeah, I can love me better than you can.”

Miley Cyrus song on self Love
Miley Cyrus has spoken about self-love in her Grammy Award-winning song Flowers.

According to mental health expert Dr Chandni Tugnait, the lyrics directly address concepts like gaining independence, nurturing self-worth, and embracing resilience in the face of hardship or betrayal in relationships. The singer also lends her platform to normalise often-stigmatized emotions. “It urges people to firmly establish one’s standards, boundaries, and inherent value instead of minimizing or suppressing oneself in attempts to earn affection or avoid abandonment (while in a relationship),” Tugnait tells Health Shots.

Therefore, it becomes important that you embrace your quirks, make time for yourself, cultivate independence, set boundaries, keep doing things you love and self-reflect.

Relationship coach Radhika Mohta explains it creatively: “You are the cake and anybody else can only be the icing!” What she means to say is that people need to continue investing in their personal growth, whether or not they are in a relationship. “When people go through a breakup, their heart opens up to a world of possibilities. They are able to give more time to themselves. But even when people are in relationships, it is important to have me-time, prioritise self care and have things to do and people to go out with, even without the partner. If you are going to pin all your hopes on one person to be your travel buddy, sous chef, mentor, therapist, crying shoulder, remember that one person cannot be a village to you. You need to have your own support system,” Mohta tells Health Shots.

At the same time, it is important to understand that self-love does not translate to thinking that you don’t need a partner in life. “Self-love is not okay when thoughts like, ‘I don’t need anybody else in life and I am completely okay by myself for a lifetime’ cloud your mind. The ‘I, me, myself’ may not always work. Humans are hardwired to have connections, community and a sense of belonging. What they need to remember is setting the right boundaries,” adds Mohta.

Tips to love yourself in a relationship

Try following these self-love tips, whether or not you are in a relationship, and you will feel like a better version of yourself. This is because your sense of self-worth should not be dependent on another person.

1. Embrace your flaws

It is important to know that we will always have some flaws to work on, and yet be compassionate with ourselves as our best friends or well-wishers would be. Nobody is perfect, including you and your partner. Accept yourself as you are, and encourage your partner to do the same. Your unique qualities make you, well, YOU. So, own it!

Also read: 6 ways to overcome self-criticism, because you’re totally worth it!

Self love is important in relationships
Prioritise self love to and you will feel more loved than ever. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Build a self-care routine

Work on a self-care routine, preferably a morning routine and night routine acting as bookends to the day. This allows you to mark your own calendar for what matters to you and hopefully soothe all your five senses. From starting the day with a nature walk, journalling, favourite playlist, a cup of coffee to wrapping up the day with a skin care routine, re-reading an old book while your favourite candle releases its mild fragrance in the room. Taking care of yourself with little rituals that bring you joy will allow you to share that joy within the relationship.

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3. Stay curious

Continue being curious and make your life interesting to develop self-love and maintain a healthy romantic relationship. When you spend time pursuing some of your individual interests, you will have time away from each other to experience what aspect of you they bring out. Quite often, we take each other for granted. But spending some time away allows us to come back with a renewed vigour and stories to share. After all, you need not have a 100 percent overlap in your hobbies but you can always introduce each other to a different side of your world.

4. Maintain your support system

Radhika Mohta cites couples therapist Esther Perel when she says, “There’s no one significant other”. It takes a village to lead a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. Stay in touch with old friends and make that trip happen, take time off to show up for your grandmother’s 80th birthday even if she cannot join you, make plans with coworkers for a day-long trek. You don’t have to plan just about everything with your spouse just because you are in a relationship!

5. Be mindful of the content you consume

It is easy to consume OTT content, social media and TV content and feel that those fictional friends are leading the best of lives while you are leading a normal and boring life. It is easy to fall in the comparison trap in relationships. Do what works for your relationship, without treating someone else’s as your benchmark. Perhaps your partner is in the defence and you get half-yearly blocks of time together but not daily time in-person. Or he can work from home but she has to be in office everyday. Therefore, the expectation from each one of you is not a copy-paste of gender stereotyped roles that you see in the TV drama.

While doing all this, make sure you also feel seen, heard, valued and understood as you grow old with your partner!

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About the Author

Radhika Bhirani is a journalist with close to 15 years of experience in the Indian media industry. After writing extensively on health, lifestyle and entertainment, she leads the English content team at Health Shots. She has a special interest in writing on mental health and wellness. ...Read More

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