I know we have all heard this before, but it is so true. You have to love yourself and create your own happiness. No one, and I mean no one can do it for you. The love of your life can make you happier, your kids and family can bring you joy beyond measure but, if you don’t love you then you won’t be able to have successful relationships with anyone.
How do you get there? How do you love yourself if you don’t already? Find and work in a career that you love and are passionate about. Find a life partner with similar values, morals and work ethic, otherwise you will resent them and yourself. Don’t waste your time. Be productive and find your OWN JOY! Start by asking yourself what brings you JOY? It’s different for every person. Be really good being alone with yourself. Take yourself to dinner, hike/walk outside alone, or go to a movie alone. If you haven’t done those things you don’t enjoy your own company. Again, JOY, what brings you JOY? Answer the question out loud or write it down. Then LIVE that stellar, joy filled life.
The best advice I can give anyone is to allow your partner to be him/herself. Most people don’t change. Embrace all of their nuances and encourage their healthy and productive hobbies, their perfect imperfections and be intimate as much as you can. Hug them for 20 seconds not just a peck on the cheek. Listen to them. No one likes not being heard. No one likes to be dismissed or ignored. Also, make all “big” discussions together. Be honest with yourself and your partner and your kids. Communicate your needs and expectations early so that you are on the same page. I like to say no one can take my “Teri-ness” away. Have fun and laugh as much as possible especially if you have kids. They will see this and learn from a happy, healthy relationship.
Travel, plan date night, or go to a hotel on a Saturday afternoon and stay the night. Get a sitter. Get away from your laundry, your house chores, the to-do lists, grocery shopping, your work, your computer, and focus on enjoying each other. Do this at least once a month. Or go play a round of golf, go for a 2 hour walk and talk, watch a movie in bed. Treasure each other and yourself. You won’t regret it.
Love YOU first then your relationships will follow in the same path you set for yourself.