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For More Love in Your Relationship, Love Yourself More (5 Tips)

“If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be looking for someone else to fill the void inside you, but no one will ever be able to do it.” ~Lori Deschene

Two years ago, I sat in my basement with tears streaming down my face. I had just found a copy of an old letter I’d written to an old boyfriend years before. In it, I was practically begging for his love, and also complaining and even shaming him for not loving me well.

As I read, I was overcome by three insights, all of which brought up big emotions:

The first was that for well over the first half of my life, I had been so hungry for love, so needy for it, that in this and subsequent relationships, including my first marriage, I created a lot of pain and discord.

I was so desperate to feel loved that I constantly focused on how I wasn’t being cared for enough, how my current romantic partner was not loving me right.

Then I’d try to get him to do better by complaining, criticizing, having multiple-hour long talks explaining what I wanted, and crying to him so he’d see how deeply I needed his love and he’d finally change and give me the adoration I so wanted–which inevitably , disconnection, and feeling less loved and connected!

The second insight was that I did all of this because I simply didn’t love myself well. So the only way I could feel the love I needed (because we all need love) was from outside—which made it my partner’s job to fill that emptiness inside me. (I have since learned this is not a job anyone wants to do for too long, as it becomes burdensome, exhausting, and restricting, nor are many people well-equipped to do it!)

My big tears really came from this second insight. And such deep compassion for that old me. Tears of forgiveness, tears of

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