A few months ago, I stumbled upon a book called Choosing Me Before We. I vibed with the book so hard that I created my own “me before we” rule and incorporated it into my daily life. Many relationships struggle to survive because people fail to realize that you always have to put yourself first. Here’s a guide on how to do just that.
You really do have to love yourself before anyone else. I’m sure we’ve all heard this phrase time and time again but it really is true, and it quickly became the foundation of my “me before we” rule. If you don’t love yourself to your full capacity, you won’t know how to receive love at its full capacity. You may say you love yourself, but do you really? Start by dating yourself. Yes, like actually take yourself on dates. Start learning all of the little details about yourself as if you were learning about someone new. Become so comfortable with yourself that you grow to love every aspect of you, flaws included.
Make sure both people fit the equation before getting in a relationship. Looking back on your past relationships, were either one of you carrying any toxic traits? Were either one of you lacking self-love, self-confidence, or self-respect? If so, you were basically doomed from the start. Relationships seem difficult, but they’re actually super simple when you apply this equation. Toxic + healthy = toxic. Healthy + toxic = toxic. Healthy + healthy = healthy. In order for the relationship to work and become a strong “we,” each individual must first be a strong, healthy “me.” It’s simple math here, ladies.
Never search for someone to complete you. The moment you look for someone to make you whole is the moment you surrender all hope of a healthy relationship. Asking for someone to complete you is basically confirming to yourself that you aren’t good enough. Remember the foundation of the rule? Loving every bit of yourself is what will make you whole, not another person. Understand that only you can complete yourself—it just takes a little bit of soul-searching. Find your missing puzzle piece without any outside influence. Find what you’ve been searching for within yourself, not within a partner.
Avoid jumping in a relationship to fill a void. It’s not uncommon to jump into a new relationship right after a breakup or passing of a loved one. A piece that was a part of you for so long is now missing and you want to fill that void as soon as possible. A new relationship may seem comforting, but all you’re doing is attempting to fill an empty spot that cannot be filled. You need time to mourn your loss. Understand that the empty spot in your heart was made for one person and one person only. There are plenty of new spots to be filled, you just need to wait for the cloud of emotions to pass.
Understand that your single years are your most important years. Your single years are your chance to really focus on the “me” part of the rule. Being single teaches you how to live alone. It teaches you that you’ll be perfectly fine if a relationship doesn’t come along. You’ll learn how to be comfortable and content with yourself and not seek companionship out of loneliness. Being single allows you to focus and grow, so the future you will be ready for a relationship. You learn to love yourself unconditionally, connect with your spirit and energy, and discover exactly what you want in a partner.
You must respect yourself in your entirety. A lack of respect for yourself will equal a lack of respect in a relationship. Before adding another person to the equation, you must fully respect yourself. That means you respect your mind, body, and soul. You respect your boundaries, opinions, and voice, and above all else, you respect your future. What you manifest within yourself will manifest in your relationship.
Accept that when you meet “The One” isn’t your decision. Don’t search, don’t control, don’t force a relationship. God, the universe, or whatever divine spirit you believe in has its own plan and timing. Don’t interfere. Odds are, if you’re searching for a partner, you’re going to be left with a lot of resentment and bitterness. Why? Because you’re searching for superficial reasons while overlooking the meaningful ones. Give it a rest—your partner will come.
Let go of any “list” you’ve written. The only thing a list of must-have qualities is doing is limiting your future. Physical and superficial qualities will not feed your soul, so why are you holding potential partners to those standards? Sorry, but get over yourself. Judgments of a certain feature are typically reflections of your own fears. Once you let go of your list, you let go of any limitations and open your heart up to the perfect “we.”
Get crystal clear on why you want a relationship. Start by asking yourself these three questions: What am I looking for in a relationship (short-term vs. long-term)? Do I have any unhealthy motivations (fears, obligations)? Do I desire things I fear I cannot get on my own ($$$, happiness)? Asking yourself these questions will help you understand that a relationship isn’t a requirement, it’s a choice. Don’t let society tell you that you need to be in a relationship, especially by a certain age. Don’t feel pressured to marry and have kids just because all of your friends are. Choose a relationship for the right reasons, not out of fear.
Once you become the purest form of “me,” you’ll attract the purest form of “we.” The “me before we” rule has become such a backbone in my life that I couldn’t imagine living without it. Loving, respecting, and committing to yourself before you enter a relationship will lead you toward a life of fulfillment.
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