Being in a relationship is a beautiful feeling, and to shower your partner with all the love and affection; fulfilling. Two people who are in love can only maintain a loving relationship if they also love themselves. Someone who practices self-love always finds it easier to appreciate their partner. Now, how to love yourself in a relationship might not come naturally to us, because most of us know self-love as ‘selfishness’ or someone drowning themselves in self-help books. Perhaps some of us might dismiss it as a fad as well. 

The key to a healthy relationship is to learn how to love yourself while loving someone else as well. Nurturing self-worth and happiness builds a solid, lasting foundation for a relationship.

Acts of self-love actually provide a sense of self-worth and compassion helping one lead a better life, and maintain happier, stable relationships. Healthy relationships need happy people who have a sense of self-worth to invest in the relationship.Learn to make yourself a priority and make a conscious effort to work toward your own happiness, for this is also the path toward your personal growth and mental and emotional well-being. 

And no, learning how to love yourself is not a difficult task, you just need to push yourself in the right direction. 

Why Is It Important To Love Yourself In A Relationship?

Honestly, self-love is attractive. Your partner loves you, sure but they would be so much in awe of you if they know you are special for yourself too. Before discussing how to love yourself in a relationship, let’s find out why exactly you need to learn to love yourself in a relationship. 

  • When you practice self-care and love, you don’t seek any validation. You are sure of your worth, and you do not rely on anyone’s opinions and judgments to validate you or to give you a sense of accomplishment
  • Self-love fills you up with positivity. Say no to all the negative thoughts nagging at you – body image issues, low confidence, seeking acceptance, and so on
  • You won’t ever think about not being good enough or not doing enough for your parter. Lack of self-worth is actually the root cause of not feeling good enough for your partner
  • No more dependence on your boyfriend or someone else to make you feel loved and cared for. You grow with your partner, and do not rely on them
  • Loving yourself also enables you to allow others to love you. You know your partner is right in choosing you as the love of their life, you know you absolutely deserve all the blessings in life, and you reinforce that you are lovable!

Self-love acts as a catalyst for finding a partner right for you. Also, if you love yourself first, you will be able to identify dysfunctional relationships and protect your mental and emotional health.

The power to say ‘no’ comes from understanding and acknowledging your self-worth.

How To Develop Self-Love If You Are In A Relationship

When you are head over heels for another person, you might overlook how amazing you are! Loving yourself first in a relationship should never be relegated to a secondary task. There are many ways you can rediscover your self-esteem and envelope yourself with love and affection. We have covered some of these to help you figure out how to love yourself in a relationship.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give yourself a warm hug!

1. Be gentle and kind to yourself 

Kindness begins at home. Show yourself the same kindness that you reserve for your partner, family, or friend. You are not as bad as you think you are. Stop second guessing yourself and your partner; cut yourself some slack.

Being gentle with yourself need not mean taking the easy way out, without pushing yourself. Instead, it is about allowing yourself to slow down in life and go with the flow. Try below:

  • Stop overthinking
  • Avoid over-criticizing yourself 
  • Do not pass judgmental or rash comments on yourself
  • Accept and embrace yourself the way you are

Remember, nobody is perfect and all of us are ‘nobody’. You do not need to be a flawless diva or a glam doll, carved out in excellence. Don’t beat yourself up for being yourself. Embrace your individuality with kindness and gratitude. Self-acceptance should be your first step toward loving yourself. 

2. Take care of yourself

Make your health a priority. Eat your greens, go for a quick workout even if you are hard-pressed for time, and take good care of yourself. Self-love is all about taking time out for your own needs and doing things that contribute to your well-being. 

While you prioritize your physical state, do not let your emotional state go for a toss. Maintain your emotional health by setting up healthy boundaries around you which no one is allowed to trespass at the cost of your sanity. 

  • Address your health issues, if any
  • Go for a routine check-up
  • Exercise, workout, meditate, jog, or do whatever suits you
  • Eat clean and green
  • Practice positive affirmations
  • Surround yourself with positive things such as green plants

Adapting a healthy lifestyle and bringing positive changes in your habits can do you a world of good by upping your self-worth and self-esteem.

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3. Stay close to people who matter

There are friends, and then there are the best friends – that bunch of your-kind-of-crazy people whom you can call up at 3 A.M. and launch your rantings and ramblings, whining your way into the morning. And all this while they patiently sit on the other side of the phone, lending you an ear or shoulder. This is the group you need to keep by your side! 

When you fall off the track of self-love, they will redirect you onto the right path. When you feel miserable about yourself and need a reminder of how to love yourself and be confident in a relationship, then, the lights might not guide you home, but these people will definitely drive the truth home, reminding you how special and worthy of love you are. Keep yourself in the company of friends and family whose love and trust can quell your negative emotions and help you bloom.

4. Do not lose yourself in the relationship

We all know that to fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness and that we need to love ourselves before loving others. But, how often do we practice this? It is easier to lose sight of ourselves while trying to stay afloat in a relationship. 

Have you ever resisted the urge to fit in the mold that your partner has carved out for you or did you just try to push yourself in? Have you ever felt like that square peg being forcibly pushed into a round hole? If yes, then, you are losing out on yourself, your individuality, and your identity. You know how to love yourself in a relationship when you strive to keep your identity alive. Stay true to your self-image and have the confidence to support yourself. Remember, you are your loudest cheerleader! 

5. Enjoy and have some fun!

People who do things they enjoy the most are the ones living the real life. The best way to learn to love yourself in a relationship is to do all the things that you love. Take time out for yourself and rekindle your passions and interests.

Read a good book. Rediscover the sous chef in you. Don the painter’s cap and be the Picasso you enjoy being. Or, if nothing, head to the nearest amusement park and relive your childhood. What better idea of self-love than spending time with yourself doing things that you enjoy the most? No need to feel guilty, no need to feel bad. You do you. 

When Norah, a 32-year-old banker, realized she’s been missing her former self because of her relationship of 6 years, she decided to take things into her own hands. She pursued her passion for dance and not only did she find herself all over again, but fell in love with her newfound self. So girl, when you decide you need to love yourself more than your boyfriend, you have the power to do all it takes to achieve that.

Infographic on - How to develop self-love in a relationship
How To Develop Self-Love In A Relationship

6. Embrace your flaws 

Embrace your imperfection and celebrate yourself. Everyday. Imperfections are what keep us real and humane. Acknowledge every part of yourself, be it silly, impulsive, lazy, whimsical, wild, or anything! These parts make you a whole. Love yourself first, no matter what. And once you accept yourself the way you are, you will see the beauty inherent in you, the beauty in imperfections and flaws. After all, being silly is way better than being boring! 

To help you get started on this journey of loving yourself first in a relationship, here are a few pointers to take you further toward self-acceptance:

  • Identify your individuality: Every morning, write down one trait or quality that makes you unique
  • Note your strengths: Give your self-esteem a boost by reflecting on some of the things you are good at
  • Celebrate your achievements: List down your accomplishments and give yourself a pat on the back!
  • Forgive yourself: Do not hold onto grudges. Let positivity surround you

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7. Push your boundaries 

Leave the doorstep of your comfort zone to widen your horizons. Soar like a free bird and reach for the sky. The cubicle walls of our comfort zone always lure us but you realize your potential only when you step out of these restricting walls. Work toward your personal growth.

Learn a new language. Join a hobby class. Take up a course on personality development. Learning a new skill set will contribute to your persona and help you develop intellectually. 

Adding another dimension to your personality will significantly contribute to your confidence and self-esteem. Together, all this will snowball and have a ripple effect on your relationship with yourself as well as your partner, all for the good. This is another way to feel like, ‘Girl, you’re good enough for everything!’ 

loving yourself in a relationship

8. Learn to say ‘no’

This is something that gets almost all of us nerve-wracked – having to say ‘no’ to someone. The seemingly small word assumes a much bigger meaning as we swallow the N-word dangling at our tongues, to glumly give in to someone’s demands. This is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing! Instead of giving in to toxic people’s unreasonable and, often, exhausting demands, you need to learn to say a polite ‘no’ to them. 

  • Say ‘no’ when you feel like
  • Say ‘no’ to toxic relationships
  • Shut the door on demanding jobs and dominating bosses
  • Deny your 24*7 availability

Remember, saying ‘no’ is not called being a ‘bad’ or ‘mean’ person. It is called being ‘assertive’ and ‘self-aware’. You need not sacrifice your happiness and burnout to bring joy and contentment to others’ lives. 

9. Practice gratefulness 

Adopt a grateful approach to life. An abundant mindset opens the door to contentment. When you practice gratefulness, you ooze self-love. Aptly is it said, ‘Gratitude is the best attitude’. A few conscious efforts of gratefulness will help you incorporate positivity into your life. Not only will you find joy in little things that matter, but will also find your larger purpose and meaning in life. 

  • Inculcate the habit of journaling, noting down three things that you are grateful for
  • Find little pleasures in life. Stop, and smell the roses!
  • Try to look for the positives even amidst the negativity
  • Count your blessings
  • Send a gratitude letter to a person you are grateful for

Ron was on the brink of depression, as he pondered over his failing career, and began doubting his own worth. Dave, his partner of 8 years, then, took it upon himself to help Ron get out of the emotional mess. He introduced Ron to practicing gratitude and writing journals, and soon Ron was in love with his life. He started seeing himself in a new light, as if after a reincarnation.

10. Stop comparing yourself to others 

Comparisons can get nastier than they seem. Comparing yourself with others is inane and baseless. The grass is always greener on the other side. The other person will always have a better job, a more lavish lifestyle, a more loving partner, more money, and more of everything. Do not fall into the trap of the glossy lives you see on social media. 

The day you realize you are good the way you are, you will learn how to love yourself in a relationship. Accept your shortcomings. Acknowledge the missing pieces of your life’s puzzles and try to replace them with contentment and gratitude. Avoid taking note of others’ lives and enjoy yours instead. 

11. Give it back

Nothing can make you love yourself more than random acts of kindness. Discover the joy of giving. Giving it back to society can help you find purpose in life. You will know you are special and unique because you are capable of spreading joy and happiness in others’ lives. As you stumble upon your reason for existence, self-love flows unabashedly. 

  • Get involved at the local NGO
  • Volunteer at the orphanage
  • Spend some quality time with the elderly at the old age home
  • Participate in a community service act
  • Identify a cause that you strongly believe in and spread awareness by educating people about it

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12. Celebrate yourself

When was the last time you gave yourself a treat? When did you last celebrate yourself? Have you ever made a note of your strengths? Learn to revel in the moment. Celebrate every small win. Acknowledge your every single accomplishment. Or, treat yourself just because you want one! Sometimes, it is good to pamper yourself silly for no reason at all. 

Write down your strengths. List down your successes. Read them when you feel low. Write yourself a love letter, passionately romanticizing yourself. Give yourself some downtime. Stop the rush and catch a breather. Bask in your own glory and know that you deserve every bit of it.

13. Seek professional help

We understand that, sometimes, finding the good and positive is easier said than done. When your mind is exploding with self-doubt and self-sabotaging thoughts, no amount of positivity can help you love yourself. It is during these times that you need to show yourself some tender love and care. Seeking professional help from a psychological counselor can help you sail through turbulent times. 

Talking to a therapist is one of the most crucial ways to learn to love yourself. Address your concerns, self-image issues, self-worth, and self-esteem problems, and pour your heart out to your therapist. Alternatively, you can also seek relationship counseling to get assistance in managing relationships and maintaining your individuality. 

You might not learn how to love yourself in a relationship overnight. It will take some time and a lot of conscious effort but it will eventually settle in. It is not just a fashionable fad, taking upon the masses. Rather, it is an inward journey that helps you rediscover yourself, and accept yourself the way you are. Experiment with your life choices, throw in a dash of adventurous fun, and get ready to light up the fire of self-love that is here to burn. 


1.Is it possible to love yourself while in a relationship?

Yes, absolutely. Being in a relationship does not mean negating your existence. You can love yourself, acknowledge your individuality and celebrate your uniqueness, no matter which stage of a relationship you are in.

2.What are examples of self-love?

Self-love is about being kind, gentle, caring, and loving to oneself. It can mean making yourself your top-most priority and treating yourself with kindness. You trust yourself and know your self-worth. You stop over-criticizing or being harsh and rude to yourself.