By Katie & Gay Hendricks
When your partner says “I love you,” do you believe it?
Do you feel secure? Are you able to take in the expression of love and say it freely in return?
Or is there a part of you holding back? Is there a little voice in your head saying anything like this:
“If she truly loved me, she’d want to sleep with me more often – and cook for me like she used to. Maybe she’s not so into me anymore.”
“If he truly loved me, he would be just as excited about spending time with me as he is about fixing up that old car of his.”
“If he truly loved me, he would behave more like he used to when we first met.”
“Hmm, maybe she’s just saying she loves me because that’s just what we do every night. Maybe it’s just a matter of routine, and she doesn’t really feel it anymore – but she’s afraid to say it.”
If you have these doubts in your head, how do you know if there’s any truth to them? What if you’re picking up on the fact that your mate is faking it or has somehow become disillusioned with you?
How, really, do you know if someone truly loves you?
What if we told you that there is nothing your partner can say or do that will prove to you that he or she truly loves you?
That a million “I love yous” a day is not enough to prove it.
That a big diamond ring won’t prove it to you, either.
That your partner could want to rip your clothes off every day, and it still doesn’t prove it.
That he or she can plan an elaborate surprise birthday party and getaway, and it still wouldn’t do it.
That you could spend every minute of your day together, and that wouldn’t be evidence, either.
That they can marry you, have children with you, and vow to never leave your side, but that’s no indication.
We’re serious. And that’s because NOTHING another person does or says will ever convince you of their love – UNLESS you answer this question first:
Do I truly love myself?
If you don’t truly love yourself, you’ll never believe that someone else can truly love you.
If they vow to stay with you forever, you’ll secretly wonder whether they’re just saying that because they believe in commitment no matter what. Or that they’re only staying for the kids. Or that they don’t have the guts to get back out there and start over. You won’t believe they want to be with you for YOU.
Let’s look at a few ways not loving yourself shows up:
Whether it’s needing reassurance from your partner that they think you’re attractive, or bending over backwards to please someone – to the point of neglecting yourself – you’re always working hard to make sure the person you’re with will never have a reason to leave you.
You’ll feel a surge of security when you and your partner buy a house together. But looking for confirmation works both ways. As soon as you move in, you’ll find other reasons to doubt their love.
You join various online dating services, go on countless dates, and even start a few relationships. But something always feels off to you about the other person. You have lofty ideals about romance and the way a relationship should be, and you think you’ll be happy when you find it. Yet once the initial glow of new love wears off, you become dissatisfied.
Maybe you’re a workaholic. Maybe you have a million different hobbies. Or tried a bunch of different sports. If you’re not on vacation, you’re planning one. While we’re all for living life to the fullest and enjoying all it has to offer, keeping yourself busy can be a sign that you’re trying to avoid the feelings that result from a lack of self love.
Everyone has heard stories of celebrities and wealthy people who struggle with personal demons and can’t seem to find happiness. If you’re often chasing the next "thing" in your life – whether it’s a new car or home, another therapist who can crack the code on your issues, a new fad diet that will make you feel better about yourself – chances are you’re ignoring the only thing that can give you true happiness: learning to love yourself.
Underneath these 4 signs is one common denominator: an uneasy sense of emptiness or loneliness. People may tell you how lucky you are or how good you have it, but deep down you feel like something’s just not right.
And that something is lack of self love.
What you’re searching for can’t be filled by your partner, your career, your lifestyle, or anything material. And as long as you continue to look to these things to fill you up, you will remain unhappy.
We know it might not have been easy identifying with one or more of the 4 signs above. We know it might make you feel a sense of sadness. But here’s the bright, shining spot in all this: you can learn to love yourself! And once you do, it will have a domino effect on every single area of your life – for the rest of your life.
That’s the kind of security no amount of money can buy.
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Your question should not be “Does my partner truly love me?”
“Do I truly love myself?”
Once you can answer yes to that, you’ll never need to wonder about your partner’s affections again. Because self-love is the most attractive quality you can have.