When I started dating my boyfriend a few years back, I had no doubt in my mind I was falling for an awesome guy. While we are complete opposites on varying spectrums, we established our differences and found happy mediums to love each other on. Unfortunately, as the years have gone on, I just realized that he just hasn’t been fulfilling all my needs and therefore I started an affair, and my boyfriend approved of it.
It was with me.
The first mistake I made when I got into my relationship was that I did not secure within myself that I loved me unequivocally. Sure, I loved the way my curls caressed my cheeks, and the way my favorite jeans hugged my hips just right, but as for me loving the woman in the mirror? I had better luck winning the lottery than my own heart.
I would try to brush off the issue by pushing it on my boyfriend by telling him that he didn’t show me enough love and attention. But the reality was that I was lacking self-appreciation and love. After several arguments, he asked me to love myself although I assured myself over and over again that I already did.
It wasn’t until he threatened to break up with me that I then said to myself, “Sis, get your shit together.”
So I made a promise to myself to remain in my relationship with my boyfriend and love him unconditionally, but to also nurture a relationship with me, too. This is something that didn’t happen overnight. It took several months to even a year or so for me to get comfortable with me saying “I love me” without second guessing it.
Upon coming to this realization, I made efforts daily to appreciate the woman my boyfriend first fell for. For some, self-love may be sustained by buying the bag or new tech gadget they’ve been eyeing for months. For me, it started by waking up and finding something from the day before I can affirm with myself. This helped me (and in some way helped someone else) because the best love affair starts from within you.
After that, I found solace in penciling in on my calendar “Self-Care Hour” or my favorite day of the week “Self-Care Saturdays” where I find a new way to love me through adventure or a facial mask that’ll last through a re-run of Say Yes to the Dress.
After several months of being in a relationship with me, I began asking myself how I can continue to improve. I then got a personal trainer who is an absolute gem who furthered my knowledge of self-love through fitness. Has my relationship with my boyfriend after all of this improved? Definitely, even though all couples have their ups and downs. Through all of this, I realized I had to be selfish with my self-care in order to achieve self-love and share this energy in my relationship.
So to anyone who told you that you can’t be in a relationship with two people simultaneously, tell them that they’re wrong. This is the best love affair I’ve ever been in.