Do we necessarily have to love ourselves in order for the other to love us in return?

“You can not love someone who does not love himself”. This sentence, I have heard it again and again. Yet I have never seen her move anyone forward.

For if “love yourself first” is to be an enriching personal development advice, it quickly becomes an injunction for singles in need of romantic relationships. And if there is a grain of truth in this banality that is launched incorrectly and across the board, it would be time to question this ill-founded idea.

“Although the intention is good, it is something that can make the recipient of the information feel guilty. We must not forget that loving each other is a work of life, so we can not wait to be there 100% to give ourselves the right to love “, Myriam agrees from the start. Bidaud, coach and partner therapist, in the tip of a chain Youtube advises on romantic relationships.

A matter of self-awareness, more than love

As the expert explains, few people can attest that they love themselves unconditionally. And although self-confidence over the years tends to increase, it will never be linear as we are beings in constant evolution.

To love and be loved well, you need to be aware of yourself, know where your boundaries are, and know yourself well.

That is why, according to Myriam Bidaud, it would be better here to be interested in self-awareness and not to remain stuck in a love that is sometimes unattainable.

“Ultimately, self-confidence, love and self-worth, come from accepting yourself, despite the mistakes you are aware of. So I want to say that in order to love well and be loved – because it works both ways – you have to be aware of yourself, know where your physical and emotional boundaries are and know yourself well “, she explains.

About the impossibility of living without the other’s gaze

The risk of starting a relationship without this awareness – at least – is not being able to love the other or be unloved because without known needs, it is impossible to build a relationship based on communication and shared well-being.

“The risk is to disappear in the relationship, or on the contrary to cannibalize the other. Uncertainty is due to jealousy, for example,” Myriam Bidaud evades. “The problem arises when you come to fill a gap, the coach nuances, often it is because you are afraid of being alone, or that there is a desire to forget yourself, not to have to take care of yourself. And there, the relationship will not work, and it will end up hurting the main characters, ”she continues.

But it is complicated to reason with oneself, first to learn to listen to oneself when we are social animals for whom the other’s gaze is constitutive.

“Especially since the injunction can be misunderstood: we must love each other so that the other loves us and not for us. many people will learn to love themselves in spite of the other, and not in spite of themselves“, Argues the specialist in romantic relationships.

To deny love because of lack of trust

But if the fear of being abandoned and other childhood traumas already make the task complicated when it comes to opening up to love, it would be a matter of not putting bread on the board for those and those who lack self-confidence.

“It pulls the rug out from under them, they think they will never have access to love, because for them they will never be able to love each other. So weakened by the pressure of a society that focuses on personal development, and they will never be able to love each other. many condemn themselves for not falling in love. Sometimes there is even a sense of shame that sets in, ”warns the expert.

We need to integrate the idea that the relationship makes us evolve and that there is no need to have solved all our problems before we get together with anyone.

In this case, the injunction can provoke a rejection of the outside world or the development of fear of romantic relationships – until one denies some, and thinks that they are all doomed to fail.

“We need to get rid of this belief and rather integrate the idea that the relationship as a couple makes us develop. We do not have to have solved absolutely all our problems before we sit down with anyone,” she continues. .

To be in a healthy relationship is already to love yourself

For in the end, it happens to have love for oneself even before the formalization of the couple. To love each other is to know why I am in a relationship. It is to respect yourself enough to recognize your needs and analyze whether they will be compatible with the other.

Before you are a good companion for the other, you must be one for yourself. “It is essential to know how to communicate (with oneself, then with the other) and to accept one’s vulnerability. Without this awareness of our feelings, we do not risk success even if we think we love each other. From the outside.” , warns Myriam Bidaud.

And the expert is formal, if there is not a minimum of self-awareness, we give too much power to the other. “If the person is healthy, it can weigh on the relationship, which will then be dead in the bud, but if it is malicious, it is dangerous because it can be used to manipulate you,” she warns.

Otherwise, it is then a project of mutual exaltation and beneficial to both parties that is created. “Here the other gives us a mirror whose reflection may be more structuring or show us things that we did not see in us before, dazzled by our complexes. In general, this is how we learn to love one another better, through the eyes of the other“, Remembers the expert.

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