Learning to love ourselves in our loved one’s presence is the best thing we can do for our relationships. No other activity or exercise comes even close to making this much of a difference.

What difference does it make?

When we love ourselves in our loved one’s presence what we are really saying is I value myself so much that I now put myself first in my life. This is the ultimate goal. Why? When we put ourselves first in our lives especially in our loved one’s presence, we are saying I am important enough to love first.

When we love ourselves first and foremost we must share this love because now the well is brimming over rather than half empty or even less. We need to give from a full place.

It is a joy to give to others especially our loved ones when we are full of our own self-love.

Now the opposite is sadly more common. We give to our loved ones with the well half or sometimes even less than half full. Often our giving is conditional with the following unvoiced expectation: I will love you if you will love me back.

Unconditional loving or giving is rare in most relationships, in my experience. It is much more common with our pets especially dogs.

When we honestly and genuinely love ourselves in our loved one’s presence our loved one also receives the benefit of us loving ourselves. This can’t be helped. It’s like the more we give to ourselves first, the more we must give to others.

How do we love ourselves in our loved one’s presence?

1). Put ourselves first in our lives by recognizing and meeting our own needs first. Often we depend on our loved one’s to meet some of our needs.

For example: The need to be loved or taken care of. Now that we are self-responsible we can take care of this need by upping the love for ourselves.

How do we up the love for ourselves?

Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention. Pay attention to our internal “signals”. Listen to our self-talk. Our self-talk is usually ego based and negative. It is that voice inside our heads that tells us we’re too stupid, fat, ugly, not good enough, non-deserving, lazy, poor, and unhealthy and on and on and on.

If we can take the worst most negative thought we have about ourselves and flip it around to a positive, in the moment statement, we are now upping the love for ourselves.

We are also increasing our self-awareness. By becoming more self-aware we are changing our internal landscape. The landscape made up of our thoughts, feelings and our spirit. Our internal world.

For example: If the worst thought I have about myself is “I hate myself”, I flip that negative statement around to “I like myself” or even “I love myself”. I say this to myself as often as I can throughout the day. I even write it out 30 times a day for several weeks or until I can literally “feel” the change to “Hey, I do like myself.”

2). a). Take responsibility for ourselves and our life. No person, place or thing can make us think what we think, feel what we feel or do what we do. It’s all us. Take ownership of ourselves and our lives.

When we take responsibility for ourselves and our life we stop being a victim of our circumstances. Instead we create more of what we want as opposed to reacting to what we don’t want.

The benefit to our loved one is they are now relating to someone who knows how to get their own needs met AND who has personal power because they are now being responsible for themselves and their life.

b). We need to stop all projection, playing the blame game and the right vs wrong game as well as the dominate and avoid being dominated game. We also need to stop taking responsibility for the other person. In other words the buck stops with ourselves. No more games.

c). Learn new communication skills. Learn to speak using I messages.

I messages are the complete opposite of what we normally do, which are you messages. These messages take responsibility for how we are feeling, you messages, project blame and judgement.

When we use these messages with our loved ones we are being open and honest with ourselves and consequently with whom we are speaking to.


You message: You spent our money on what? You bought a dress when we needed the money elsewhere?!! Do you enjoy being a flake?!

I message: I am so angry and frustrated right now. I thought we had an agreement about what we were going to spend the money on. I can’t believe you did that.

Again, the first message casts blame and judgement on the other party. In the second message, the adult takes responsibility for his feelings. This takes courage and honesty to do. Let’s take it further.

You message: John says. “You spent our money on what? You bought a dress when we needed the money elsewhere?!! Do you enjoy being a flake?!”

Erica replies. “Why do you always control the money? I never have any money to spend on me. It’s always about what you want. You’re such a jerk!"

New way of communicating:

John says. “I am so angry and frustrated right now. I thought we had an agreement about what we were going to spend the money on. I can’t believe you did that."

Erica replies. “I’m sorry. It’s just there never seems to be enough money to spend on myself”

John says “You wish there was more money in our budget to spend on you."

Erica. "Yes, not a lot just a little."

John. "Well, let’s sit down together and see if we figure something out. What do you think?"

Erica. “That would be great. Thanks for understanding. "
Learning to use I messages goes a long long way to creating real relationships with each other. It can be awkward at first. It can also be uncomfortable. However, with great risks, comes great rewards. Imagine having real honest open communication with your loved ones. All it takes is a little patience and practice.

When we love ourselves in our loved one’s presence it is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your loved one!! The more you love yourself the more you love your loved one. A wonderful vicious circle gets created – a definite win win.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, my name is Dave Abbott. I have done 15 years of personal growth work to heal my past, raise my self esteem and learned to really love myself in my loved one's presence.

I am committed to supporting you in knowing yourself and in doing what you love!