Love Is An Inside Job….

How do you really feel about YOU.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before – how much you actually like/love yourself significantly impacts your ability to attract a healthy, meaningful relationship.  But what does that really mean?

I came across this really interesting article in Psychology Today in which Gay Hendricks, PhD. says the following:

The reason that human beings, myself included, don’t attract the kind of love we want and need is because we haven’t loved a part of ourselves. And the unloved part of ourselves does the attracting unconsciously until we learn to love it in ourselves. And then we can attract what we consciously really want. 

Up until then our love life is being run by our old unconscious programming that may have been dipped in a bath of abandonment, or dipped in a bath of divorce and conflict. The unconscious aspects of whatever you got bathed in while growing up start attracting people into your life that fit this matrix.

For example, I’ve probably counseled two or three hundred people who said that because of growing up in a family where there was addiction or abuse, they automatically attracted an addict or abuser into their life as a mate.

Pretty interesting to consider actually. So how do you identify the parts of yourself that you need to love more? Dr. Hendricks suggests that  we each spend some time thinking specifically and honestly about the following question:  what it is it in myself that I most need to learn to love?

So while we are all free to roam about the country meeting and mating with zillions of people, I really do think that we up our odds of actual relationship success when we spend some time getting to know ourselves a bit better and accept ourselves more. Maybe you do this by journaling to give yourself an outlet to think about this question?  Maybe talking to a friend or therapist would help?

Recognizing that we are all works in progress capable of growing stronger, smarter and more confident is an important revelation.  🙂

Have you ever experienced a realization about yourself that has improved the quality of your relationships? 

Photo credit: schipulites’ Flickr photostream


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I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

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11 Comments on “Love Is An Inside Job….”

  1. trennasue
    December 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    I always learn something when I stop by. Thanks.

    • December 16, 2011 at 3:08 am #

      Thanks so much, Trenna! I like your blog too! Thanks for reblogging me!

  2. December 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    I second Trennasue’s comment! 🙂 Awesome entry!! 🙂

  3. adalamar
    December 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    I completely agree. I have had to look at myself recently after the very a very horrible attack from the man I was going to marry. It has made me examine why and how he was attracted to me, and why I was attracted to him. I have come the to conclusionn that I was setting for less that what I deserved because I did not think I deserved more than what he offered. Now, I did not know of his abusive nature, and never would have been with him if I had, but I did attract him none the less.

    As horrible as that experience was and has been, it also has made me aware that I need not only to attract better people in my life, but also need to realize that I am worthy of that type of true love from another, because I am worthy of that kind of love from myself.

    Thanks for an awesome post!

    • December 16, 2011 at 3:10 am #

      You are absolutely worthy of true love, Adalamar!!
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting here. I’m glad you’re a part of this community. We can learn a lot from one another. 🙂

  4. December 10, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    This is so right on! In most times we attract people who we hope will fill a gap in ourselves. There is this notion of thinking that we need someone else to complete us, and this is just absurd really! We are not a “half” person looking for someone to complete us, we are already complete!

    @Adalamar, am happy for you that you found the strength to ask the best for yourself 😉

    • December 16, 2011 at 2:19 am #

      Well said.

    • December 16, 2011 at 3:12 am #

      Totally agree, Veeh!

      I want to yell at the guy who wrote Jerry Maguire. What a load of hooey!
      We are already complete. It’s better to think about it this way – we are looking for someone who complements who we each uniquely are.

  5. December 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Loving yourself is an essential half of any healthy relationship; the other half is connect oneself to someone that has the same love for themselves. There isn’t anything more important in a relationship self-worth and common goals. Two wholes multiplied equal one!!!! AB (AmazinglyBrash)

  6. December 16, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    Thanks for commenting, Brash. I totally agree!

  7. Liza Vassallo
    December 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    I’m glad you found me, thank you for sharing your insights. There are deeper issues for women about latching onto a love they are missing. I am not making excuses or condoning women or men but I took the risk very young of breaking up relationships that were not growing and stifling my heart. I had to fight influences of women and men around me that strongly believed women are to be treated like pieces of property; only to leave home with a partner. I was not encouraged to live alone, but I did any way. I was not encouraged to move from relationship to relationship, but I did any way. Virginity and submissive attitudes were promoted and I could not hold up that side of the bargain. I was lucky, brave and developed love for myself whereby every relationship that ended; I realized what I wanted, what I could deal with and what was non-negotiable for me. The other side of the coin is, if you become too independent, you attract men that admire that quality because they truly feel loved because they are not needed but the extreme of that is that if they don’t feel needed, they don’t feel valued and loved. There is a subtle exchange of power between couples that have dominant and submissive qualities about them. Some people have the personality that they don’t want to make any decisions in their life, while others need to be control of everything. It is quite challenging to try to promote self love and balance ones sense of self with another meanwhile juggling careers, home life, family life, children and sense of sanity. It takes a lot of courage to peel back the layers and witness the blockages we have created…the distance to intimacy, the neglect dance to get attention or not beg for it.

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