How To Love Yourself In A Relationship – 21 Practical Tips

Dating experience | | , Journalist & Writer
Updated On: July 11, 2023
How to love yourself in a relationship

Picture this: you’re in a relationship, head over heels for your partner, and everything seems dreamy. But amidst the lovey-dovey moments, something plays a major role in keeping the flame burning bright – a healthy dose of self-love. If you are wondering how to love yourself in a relationship, you’ve come to the right place.

You see, self-love is like that secret ingredient that takes your relationship to a whole new level. It’s not just focusing on physical fitness or doing superficial things to please yourself. It’s not about being selfish or narcissistic; it’s about nurturing your own needs, well-being, and happiness, alongside the love you share with your partner. By embracing self-love, you’re empowering yourself to be the best version of yourself, which in turn has a positive impact externally and enhances the quality of your relationship.

21 Self-Love Tips When You’re In A Relationship

A study in Personality and Individual Differences reports, “There is a popular belief that ‘people need to love themselves before they will be capable of loving someone else.’ Consistent with this basic idea, there is a body of research demonstrating that individuals with high levels of self-esteem report more positive evaluations of their romantic relationships than individuals with low self-esteem in a relationship. Thus, there is at least some support for the notion that people who love themselves may have happier relationships than those who do not have such positive attitudes about themselves.”

Interestingly, in capitalism and pop culture, self-love has often meant bubble baths, spa treatments, and retail therapy. Sure, these steps might make you feel good, but they can’t replace inner peace, contentment, and the courage to live life on your own terms. Here are some ‘real’ tips that will teach you how to love yourself first: 

1. Take charge on loving yourself first in a relationship

Are you waiting for your partner to save you? Are you expecting your relationship to fix all the problems in your life? Instead of waiting for your romantic partner to rescue you or make you feel better all the time, take responsibility for your own happiness. Practice self-love daily and watch the magic unfold. And while you take charge, be patient with yourself.

Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Figure Out What Do You Want In A Relationship

2. Say goodbye to those sneaky limiting beliefs

Alright, we’re about to dive into the deep end of your mind – the land of limiting beliefs. You know, those pesky thoughts that whisper, “You’re not good enough for your boyfriend” or “You’re not worthy of love and healthy relationships.” Well, it’s time to shine a spotlight on those little troublemakers. Be aware of that negative self-talk and let these limiting beliefs float away. Reassure yourself like the rockstar that you are!

3. Mirror talk can teach you how to love yourself in a relationship 

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most loved of them all? Grab a mirror, look deep into your own eyes, and repeat, “I love myself” or “I love you.” Sounds a bit silly? Maybe. But trust me, this simple act can work wonders. It’s like having a heart-to-heart with your own self. So go ahead, give yourself some mirror talk and get cozy with the most important person in your life – you.

4. Embrace failures and rise again 

Life is a wild ride. Sometimes you stumble, you fall, and you face good ol’ failure. And that’s part of being human. Failures, past breakups, romantic rejections – all these are stepping stones on the path to love and light. And none of it implies that you’re inadequate or lazy. So, don’t let heartbreaks knock you down. Rise up and dust yourself off. Remember, a successful relationship comes from learning and growing. Embrace the journey, one step at a time.

5. Eat like a self-love champion

Wondering how to love yourself and be confident in a relationship? When it comes to self-love in relationships, it’s time to treat your body with kindness and self-care. So, pay attention to what you put on your plate. Nourish yourself with delicious, healthy goodness. Follow these tips: 

  • Try to skip the emotional eating binges, my friend. But if you’ve been eating a lot of junk food lately, try to get to the root cause and address your mental health needs
  • Try to eat healthy and filling dishes when you’re on a date with your partner. You can even end the date with a visit to the park and chill with a glass of lemonade together
  • Show your body some serious love by feeding it with nourishing food and drinks on time (yes, avoid skipping meals). Trust me, when you treat your body right, it’ll thank you with a radiant glow and an extra boost of self-love
  • Do not give into fatphobic ideas of beauty standards. You’re perfect the way you are and you deserve to eat good food every day

6. Take extra care of yourself when you feel overwhelmed

If you’re trying to learn to love yourself in a relationship even during a marriage conflict, that’s a worthy pursuit. Many rom-coms promote the idea that retail therapy can fix everything, but in real life, taking care of your emotional state during an overwhelming period is crucial.

  • When things get overwhelming with your partner, breathe deeply and cut yourself some slack
  • Don’t blame yourself for feeling a little lost in your love life
  • Take some space, get out there, move that body, go for a refreshing walk, and soak up some fresh air
  • Don’t forget to reach out to friends or family members who can sprinkle some love and cheer on your journey
  • If all else fails, make yourself a cup of soothing green tea and remind yourself that this too shall pass
  • You can even reach out to a relationship therapist to smooth things over
  • Instead of having a poor sense of self that makes you feel guilty, or focusing only on your physical state post-conflict, dive deeper and point out all the things that make you feel bad or overwhelmed
  • A simple activity that feels good to you can really change the game, for instance, reading a good book
  • Another way of dealing with this is through time management – organizing your daily tasks and taking time to focus on your emotional needs

Related Reading: The Role Of Self-Esteem In Relationships – Take This Test To Assess Yours Today!

7. End toxic relationships

If your relationship is a constant source of stress, self-love turns into a difficult journey. If your partner leaves you feeling exhausted and depressed all the time, it’s time to wave goodbye to your toxic relationship. Remember, you deserve to be surrounded by people who make you feel amazing.

Don’t base your self-respect or self-worth on your partner’s opinion of you. Learn how to love yourself more than your boyfriend or girlfriend without relying on anyone else’s validation. Embrace your incredible uniqueness and let go of anything or anyone that doesn’t contribute positively to your self-love journey.

8. Take care of your mind

Ah, the mind – the tricky little devil that it can be! It sometimes plays tricks on you, making you believe the worst about yourself and your situation. Being self-aware and working on self-acceptance is crucial because you truly deserve happiness. Nurturing your mind is an essential part of your self-love journey, especially if you’re facing individual or relationship challenges. Here are few tips to help you take care of that precious mind of yours:

  • Indulge in some alone time in nature
  • Practice deep breathing exercises to calm those racing thoughts
  • Put daily conscious efforts to practice self-care for your emotional health and get in touch with your emotions
  • Take time to focus on positive things or an activity that makes you feel great about your self-image
  • Remind yourself of all your hard work and take some time off. Give your mind the rest it deserves
  • Spend time enjoying some hobbies for couples

9. Meditate and breathe

Are you constantly fighting with your partner? Are you questioning your worth in your marriage, or finding it difficult to love yourself more than your boyfriend or girlfriend? Trying to learn to love yourself in a relationship ‘with’ all your flaws, and not despite them? Here’s a solution: Carve out a little slice of heaven in your home where you can bask in the energy of the universe.

Light up scented candles, grab some uplifting books, and play soft, soothing music that speaks to your soul. Dedicate a few minutes each day to meditate. Trust me, it’s a rewarding act of self-love that brings serenity and balance to your relationship and your whole being.

10. Step out of your comfort zone

Some people say, “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” Want to skyrocket such self-love? Take on a challenge that will make you feel like a superhero. Step right out of that comfort zone and conquer something you’ve always feared. 

Never tried an adventure sport? Sign up for an adrenaline-pumping expedition. Hate cooking? Put on that apron and explore the kitchen with newfound excitement. Clueless about coding? Enroll in a course and embrace the mystery of programming. And if you feel that your relationship has made you too comfortable and lazy, you can always find some exciting hobbies for couples and try them out with your partner to spice things up. This will help you spend more quality time with your partner and also boost your journey of self-love.

11. Be patient

Self-love is an ongoing journey and it requires a dash of patience. You may have spent a lifetime battling feelings of inadequacy, jumping over obstacles, and trying to meet society’s unrealistic standards. But fret not, my friend. Self-love is a work in progress. 

Treat it like a fabulous workout routine – be disciplined, and be your own cheerleader. Embrace the power of patience and let self-love blossom into something extraordinary. This habit will also help you stay patient in your relationship and connect with your partner on a deeper level

12. Treat others well

It is important to assess how you treat yourself and your partner in your relationship. So follow the golden rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. But here’s the twist: treating others well doesn’t mean you neglect yourself. It’s all about finding that magical balance. When you know how to love yourself in a relationship, you naturally radiate kindness and compassion toward your bae and others. So, spread those good vibes and be the shining example of love and respect. 

13. Say “no” when necessary

“No” – a powerful word that can put an end to toxic relationships, soul-sucking jobs, and draw a line with inconsiderate partners, family members, and friends. Don’t be the ultimate people-pleaser who takes on the weight of the world and forgets about their own needs in a relationship. Practice the art of saying no. 

It doesn’t make you a bad partner – it makes you a self-love superhero who knows their worth. Saying “no” to your partner and others when necessary can make intimacy and communication easier and solve a lot of problems.

14. Set and communicate boundaries

Loving yourself first in a relationship means honoring your needs and boundaries. Clearly communicate your boundaries to your partner and ensure they are respected. This could involve discussing your personal space, alone time, emotional needs, or any other aspect that’s important to you. Remember, setting boundaries is a sign of self-respect, and it strengthens your relationship by fostering understanding and mutual respect.

Related Reading: The 7 Types Of Boundaries In Relationships For A Stronger Bond

15. Focus on your pleasure and sexual needs

Sexual fulfillment and pleasure are vital aspects of self-love within a relationship. Communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your desires, fantasies, and boundaries. Explore new experiences, experiment with different forms of intimacy, and prioritize your sexual well-being. Remember, your pleasure matters and expressing your needs in the bedroom is an act of self-love and faith in your partner.

16. Heal your inner child

Give your inner child a bear hug. Embracing self-love means taking care of those wounds from the past and nurturing yourself back to joy and wholeness. By healing your inner child, you create a solid foundation of self-love that positively impacts your relationship. It paves the way for a deep and meaningful connection with the rest of the world.

17. Focus on gratitude journaling

Take a moment to appreciate all the amazing things in your life. Shift your focus from what you lack to the abundance that surrounds you. Grab that journal and unleash your gratitude power! Write down ten things you’re grateful for every day. Read and re-read them, and let the positive energy wash over you. When you operate from a place of gratitude, the universe showers you with even more blessings.

18. Do not compare

Do you compare yourself with your partner’s exes or anyone else. When you feel jealous in a relationship, try to gauge what hurts inside, what you truly need, and what needs healing. Embracing self-love means accepting yourself exactly as you are, flaws and all. Release the need to compare yourself to others. Remember, you’re writing your own extraordinary story, not trying to fit into someone else’s narrative. So put down that notebook of comparisons, embrace your uniqueness, and rock your self-love journey with confidence.

19. Speak kindly to yourself

Imagine having a personal cheerleader who always lifts you up with words of love and encouragement. Well, guess what? You can be your own cheerleader. When you look in the mirror, celebrate what you have and shower yourself with kind words. Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would show to your best friend or your soulmate. Remember, how you talk to yourself sets the tone for how others treat you. So, be your own BFF and speak kindly to yourself first.

Related Reading: 26 Love Yourself Quotes to Build Your Confidence

20. Form friendships outside of the relationship

While your romantic relationship is important, it’s equally important to maintain connections and friendships outside of it. Cultivating relationships with friends allows you to have a support system and a sense of individuality beyond your romantic partnership. Spending time with friends who uplift and inspire you can boost your self-esteem and contribute to your overall happiness. Moreover, having diverse social connections provides different perspectives and experiences that enrich your personal growth and help you love yourself even more.

Relationship advice and more

21. Practice positive affirmations

Want to get rid of negative thoughts and negative emotions? Affirmations for love can be hugely beneficial in such a situation. Keep telling yourself – I am enough, or I am more than enough. Tell yourself this until it is imprinted in your subconscious. There are several affirmation cards available in the market, and you can try them out first thing every morning. Feel the words as you say them out loud, and watch how wonderfully they transform you and your relationship with your special one.

Key Pointers

  • To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness. To understand how to love yourself in a relationship, practice daily affirmations, form friendships outside of the relationship, and spend some quality time with yourself
  • Positive mirror talk, gratitude journaling, focusing on your pleasure, and letting go of toxic relationships can make your self-love journey super smooth and incredible
  • When you truly love yourself, you exude confidence and radiate positive energy. You’re able to set healthy boundaries, communicate your needs effectively, and make choices that align with your values and desires
  • Self-love helps you banish those doubts about your talents and self-worth. Instead of constantly seeking validation from your partner, you can appreciate your unique qualities yourself. This not only strengthens your self-esteem but also creates a sense of security within the relationship

The power to love yourself lies within you, waiting to be unleashed. As you embark on this journey of self-discovery and self-love, get ready for a transformation like no other. Embrace the relationship you’re building with yourself and witness how it radiates into all aspects of your life, including your romantic relationship. Your newfound self-love will become a force that elevates your love life to extraordinary heights. And remember something throughout this incredible journey – you’ve got this!

Transparency In Relationships: Meaning, How To Show & Some Secret Tips

Why Would A Guy Reject You If He Likes You?

Emotional Validation In Relationships – Meaning, Importance, And Signs

Ask Our Expert