1. Establish your own security
In order to work on something with our partner, we have to have enough invested in our own sense of security first. We have to have our own comfort that stems from our own being, so that when we are faced with conflict or rejection, we are speaking from a space of wholeness rather than our trauma, insecurity, fears, etc.
2. Know your boundaries
In order for a relationship to work, both people must know their boundaries AND communicate them. We have to do our own self work so that we are aware of things that are “non negotiable” for us. A “non negotiable” is something that we will not tolerable. An example of a “non negotiable” could be something as small as, “someone who likes dogs”, or as big as something rooted back into our childhood such as, “Has no temper and doesn’t struggle with addiction”. Knowing what we are okay with and what we are not okay with, allows us to have these standards and these limits that prevent us from feeling bad, taken advantage of, or disrespected. We must know what we are not okay with, and then communicate it.
3. Follow through with your boundaries
We are not honoring ourselves when we say, “If you cheat on me one more time, I cannot be in this relationship anymore”, and then do the opposite. It is our job to honor our own boundaries and follow through with them. We are allowed to have needs, and we are allowed to make sure those needs are met. If we say we are not okay with something once, chances are, we truly are not okay with it. Learning to respect our own voice is a surely a prelude for someone else to respect ours as well.
4. Know how you need to be loved
We have to teach people how to love us. People are not just born knowing exactly what we need, it’s our job to tell or show them. By knowing things like your love language, how you best engage in conflict or a disagreement, how you need to be spoken to, etc, you have to share that! We are all so different. Some people feel the most loved after receiving a new pair of earrings, whereas some people feel most loved after finding a handwritten letter in their book. It’s our job to know how we need to be loved, and then to share that with someone who is trying to love us best.
5. Do not force things to work
Once you have established a relationship with yourself, created your boundaries, and expressed how you need to be loved, spoken to, and honored, it is up to our partner to decide to meet us where we are at, or if they are even able to. Once what we need is said and shared, it is not up to us to make someone meet those needs. However, it is up to us to honor ourselves and take our sense of security that we have, and walk away from a situation that is not able to or is not willing to respect our boundaries,honor our love language, and meet all of our other needs.
Working on a relationship is a lot of work, but it takes an unnecessary toll on us when we keep working on something that doesn’t even want to be fixed.