Reading this title, you may perceive the notion of being in a relationship “with yourself” as a bad thing. People often use this idea to accuse others or bring attention to someone else’s selfishness, especially in a relationship. Allow me to offer the perspective that being in a relationship with yourself, is probably the most selfless thing you can do.
Being in a relationship by yourself can denote acts of selfishness, but being in relationship with yourself promotes self care, and care for those around you. When you think about “relationship”, and what that means, and what it has meant to you in your experiences, you think about communication. You think about tending to the needs of someone else- the person you are in a relationship with. How often are you checking in with your partner about what they want for dinner, plans for the weekend, or even how their day was? How often are you communicating your own wants and needs to that person? The same way you check in with them, is the same way you need to check in with yourself.
The primary component of any relationship is communication. We’ve all heard and probably used the phrase “Communication if key”. Communication unlocks the halls of misunderstanding and confusion. We need to communicate with ourselves in the same manner, check in with ourselves. We need to ask ourselves how we want to be nourished today. We need to talk to ourselves about our feelings in the moment. We need to check in with ourselves about our plans, either for the weekend or much further into the future. We need to love on ourselves, the same way we find it so necessary to fill those around us with love. We need to be in relationship with ourselves. A healthy one.
Here are some ways to create a healthy relationship with yourself:
1. Check in.
When you’re in a relationship with someone, you’re constantly “checking in”. What’s for dinner? How do you feel? I’ll be home shortly. It’s the crux of communication in a relationship. It allows you to give and receive brief yet necessary information that could affect the flow of your day. We need to check in with ourselves the same way: What’s up with you this morning? What’s on the plate? We need some lunch. This is a brief, necessary communication with self that allows you to check your own temperature, in a sense. Respond and act accordingly.
2. Self Conversation is Preservation!
Some communication requires more than a “check-in”. A more, in-depth response is necessary which inspires a corresponding action. These conversations in relationships could look like discussions about relocating, building a family, switching careers and how all of these things affect the other person. Now, it may seem silly to sit and talk with yourself, but a good way to manifest these self-conversations is through journaling. Life maneuvering items that require more thought- or self conversing- may be best mapped out written down and reflected upon. This may turn into a blueprint for how you make these decisions or move forward with your plans. There’s no form or fashion- you could write as if you’re talking to yourself, or jot ideas/ words that resonate. Remember, communication is key.
3. Intimacy 👀
Intimacy probably is one of our highest forms of communication with our partners. It tells our partner “I love you. There’s no one else I would rather share this space with. I care for you beyond measure”, or something along those lines. Consider what intimacy may look like in your relationship with yourself (beyond physically). It could be affirmations, telling yourself how much you love you, especially while looking in the mirror. It could mean taking care of your body- trying a new scent, fixing your hair in a way that compliments your face, or exercising. It could look like self care- maximize moments throughout the day to show yourself love- your favorite tea, a bubble bath, a night time activity or ritual. All of these things can communicate love, to yourself.
Self love is the best love. If you are taken care of, your partner is taken care of. Your tribe is taken care of. Your home is taken care of. As the saying goes “you can’t pour from an empty glass”. I always say “if i can’t have my basic needs met, how can I be who I need to be for those around me?” But now consider, if I can’t have my basic needs met, how can I show up for MYSELF?
Peace and light Queens and Kings. If this post resonated with you, consider sharing. Leave a comment with your thoughts. We are stronger together.
Author Queen Phierce is a poet, motivator, mompreneur and activist based in Philadelphia, Pa. To contact, click here.