Love for Self and Another

Love is the answer – What was the question?

I have seen this statement throughout my years on bumper stickers, fridge magnets and inspirational desk calendars.

At times I have scoffed, others I have stop to think about but right now I totally understand. Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about dating and the trials it can feel like at times. A comment was said about wishing there was a book that actually gave the rules for dating. Yes we are both aware that there are several dating rule books but one was needed that was simple and no games.

As we continued our conversation I came to understand there is only one rule – one solution – one answer to all relationship.

Yes I have said only ONE RULE – Five little words –  to end all disputes, set boundaries, live a happy and healthy relationship.

Love for self and another.

That’s it – the big secret rule for a happy, long lasting, healthy relationship can be summed up in those five words.

Once I realized this truth I had to put it to the test.

Setting boundaries – not only does this define self love it teaches another that you respect yourself and in turn they also respect you. A person with no boundaries does not show love for self as they allow another to treat them poorly even though they know (or will in time know) that they are worthy of better treatment.

An example from my personal  life would be when I realized I was living out a behavior of not being worth more than sex in a relationship. I knew this was not the truth and so as a way to help me heal and to help me become strong in myself with regards to sex I set the boundary not to have sex with anyone for three months. At the time I was dating several men and my past behavior would have been to allow sexual interaction even though I did not feel good about it.  Setting the boundary not to have sex and then maintaining it when challenged showed my partner that I respected myself enough not to allow this boundary to be relaxed. I was not punishing them or manipulating a situation I was honoring myself.  In turn my partner chose to honor me as well and before we entered into a sexual relationship again he checked in with me that this is what I wanted, not based on hormones but that my heart was okay with the idea of a sexual relationship.

I set a boundary of love for self – I was allowing myself the honor of healing and so my partner also had more love for me.

Should I step put on my partner? Again is this showing yourself love or love for another? If you are in a committed monogamous relationship you are not loving your partner by entering in a sexual relationship with another. You are also not showing yourself love. 

I have talked with many partners who have “cheated” on their mates and it seems to always come down to the same core truths – the relationship has become stagnate of the flow of love.

I have heard men state that they are no longer having sexual relations with their partner and so they have strayed. I have heard women state that their partner has forgotten to look at them and see the, appreciate them. They had lost the connection between themselves and were not communicating and neither party was being fulfilled by their partnership.

Again – had they come back tot he love of themselves and the love of another they would have made a different choice over cheating. It may have been the decision to end the relationship or to seek relationship counseling or maybe even a relationship course – but they would not have chosen to hurt themselves or hurt the one they were with.

I am playing more with this thought pattern and am thinking I want to write a short book on the subject. First though I am going to see if I can ever find an instance where love for self and another is not the answer…..

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