It’s hard to convince people (or a partner) to respect you when you don’t respect yourself first. Now, while loving yourself is supposed to come intuitively, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a good reason to have more personal respect.
Many people seek validation from their partner, which never ends well. Confidence is contagious; only satisfied people can create a satisfying relationship. Expecting anything else would be making a machine out of broken parts and expecting it to work.
So, with that in mind and without further ado, here’s a brief list of ways to become more confident in your relationship.
1. Be open in your communication
The first thing you need to come to terms with is that your partner is not a mind-reader. You can’t expect them to know exactly what you want and expect of them. Instead, you need to be open in your communication.
In the book, No More Mr. Nice Guy (although the concept applies regardless of gender), the main source of disappointment lies in one’s inability to express their desires and wants. You fail to tell your partner what you expect of them and then feel disappointed that they didn’t just read your mind and act upon your wishes.
Bear in mind that to be open in your communication, you must first come to terms with your desires. You must sort them out first and then express them to your audience.
2. Learn how to recognize emotional blackmail
One of the most intuitive false assumptions is that emotional blackmail is always malicious. The way people imagine this is their partner just waking up in the morning to manipulate them.
The truth is completely different.
Through their years of knowing you, your partner passively acquires knowledge of what works for you and doesn’t. It’s like when you were a kid and knew exactly how to ask your parents for permission to increase the odds of getting it.
By recognizing emotional blackmail and ending it early on, you’re doing your relationship a huge favor. No matter how much they enjoy having the upper hand, no loving partner wants you to be a pushover.
3. Don’t neglect yourself
People sometimes act too comfortable in a relationship, and they let themselves go. Now, this point may be a bit controversial since, to neglect yourself, you must first feel confident enough to do so, but is this the case?
Real confidence comes from you consistently working on yourself. Taking an easy road of skipping the gym for the day and believing that your partner is attracted to your newly-acquired love handles are two entirely different things.
Some people become pushovers after letting themselves go because they become aware that, in their current state, they wouldn’t do too well in the dating market. By taking care of yourself, you can skip all of this. You’re doing it for yourself, but it also benefits your relationship and your partner.
4. Maintain your independence
While one of the best aspects of being in a relationship is the ability to share friends, activities, and interests, it’s important to maintain your independence. Having a contingency plan and being a pessimist is not the same.
Just look at the breakup and divorce numbers and ask yourself, what would my life look like if we broke up?
If the answer is that it would be the same, you’re not in a relationship. At the same time, if your life changes in its entirety and no activity remains untouched, your relationship is too codependent for your good.
The worst scenario is where your partner keeps a part of their independent interests and traits while you go all-in on your relationship. It won’t be long until they start seeing you as clingy. There’s nothing wrong with having some ME-time or maintaining an interest outside of your relationship.
5. Choose trust
Trust is a choice. You have no way of knowing what your partner is doing or thinking. Even apps that spy on phone activity can’t reveal anything, and a cheater will always find a way to go around any restriction.
You can object to your spouse working, but you have no idea what they’re doing while you’re at work.
The thing is that a lack of trust will poison your relationship whether you find something or not. You won’t feel reassured but guilty if you don’t find a thing. The worst part is that you still won’t feel safe since, as we’ve mentioned, there’s a way around every spying method.
Remember that if you don’t trust them, the best thing to do is walk away. This is not a court procedure – you need no proof. Feeling that way and tainting their own life with your suspicion is unhealthy and never breeds positive results.
6. Plan for the next step
People often worry about whether their partner is taking this relationship as seriously as they are. If you and your partner want different things in the long run, it’s always best to get this out of the way. Being afraid to start this conversation is not a solution; it’s burying your head in the sand and postponing the inevitable.
You can’t be out there picking a diamond ring while your partner still thinks you’re just keeping it casual and seeing how things go.
Ideally, you wouldn’t propose (or get proposed to) out of the blue. Sure, people love spontaneity, but making life-changing decisions this way is not smart. Saying that you will move in together when you finish X or get moved to a Y job is a good thing.
7. Celebrate milestones
You should commemorate every milestone, and making it to your first month, year, or five years together in this day and age is a feat. You need to show appreciation for this.
You must also understand that celebrating these milestones is no longer optional. Your partner expects you to spend this time together, and failure to do so will result in a major disappointment.
Does this make sense? Not necessarily!
However, we shouldn’t pretend we have a say in societal norms. Try not inviting someone to your birthday party or a wedding and see what happens! You’re not obliged to do anything, but you should still do it.
Also, it’s a simple way to display your devotion and effort. Speaking of which…
8. Don’t take them for granted
Many expect love and loyalty to be earned; once earned, it’s theirs forever. This is like expecting that when you buy a car, you’ll never have to spend a dime toward its maintenance or even pay for the gasoline.
No one loves to be taken for granted. This will erode your relationship, and even if the partner doesn’t end up cheating or leaving you, the relationship will no longer be what it once was.
Believing that you no longer have to try is a horrible mindset. It’s true. You don’t “HAVE TO.” You never really had to. The only thing that’s changed is that you no longer want to, and now it might be the time to ask yourself why that is.
Loving yourself and loving your partner is really not that far apart
You can love yourself in a relationship without being selfish and toxic. The sooner you learn that, the better relationships you’ll have. By learning how to take care of yourself, you’re doing everyone a favor.