If you want passion in your long-term love relationship, be aware that it all starts at home, with yourself. The truth that we cannot fully love another if we don’t first love our self is a truth often spoken about. But it is one not often described in detail. With intimacy, and even more so during sex, if we do not believe deep down that we are good and valuable, then we will not be comfortable letting another know and experience us deeply.
What does it mean to love yourself? And if we don’t, how do we begin?
If the relationship between us and our self is a good one then we will possess what is termed good self-esteem or confidence. In each one of us, there exists, in our mind, in thoughts, an inner conversation. In this conversation, there are two parts: the part that is doing the thinking and the part that is doing the listening. Those are the two parts of our self. It is the quality of relationship between these two parts that determines the level of our self-esteem. An inner conversation full of negativity, doubts, criticisms, hurtfulness, and harsh language, suggests a low level of self-esteem, which also means a lack of love for oneself, the root cause of most relationship and sexual problems.
To improve, positive loving changes, also termed growth, must be made. If we alter that inner conversation so it possesses loving qualities such as kindness, patience, generosity and encouragement, this will help to slowly improve that inner relationship. If we change our choices so that our actions only express kindness, helpfulness and avoid hurtfulness, this too will slowly improve the relationship we have with our self. Our emotions are like a record of our history. If we refuse to allow negative emotions to influence our choices, once again this will lead to an inner improvement.
It is a universal truth that each one of us wants to be loved. Being loved by another is only likely once we begin to demand it first of our self …only then will we begin to identify and choose another who is truly capable of loving. Other methods for increasing the love you have for yourself are: by practicing assertiveness as a way to be true to yourself; by avoiding hurting others; by being strong in setting firm but balanced limits on your choices; by learning from your mistakes and not repeating them; by creating a satisfying mess-free life; and by making choices which cause you to grow. By loving yourself and living a good life, you have the greatest potential to be passionate and sexy, within. Andrew Aaron is a sex therapist, marriage counselor, and relationship therapist who practices in the New Bedford Seaport.
This article first appeared when published in SoCo Magazine.