People have this saying that you can’t love others unless you love yourself. But that’s not true. You can love others deeply while despising yourself. Loving yourself doesn’t necessarily involve how you treat others but more so how you expect others to treat you.
The reason for a healthy view of who you are and what you’re worth is less about what you give and more about what you receive. People with a less than healthy view of themselves tend to stay in unhealthy relationships. I’ve spoken to three people I know well that were in an abusive romantic relationship and they all said something simular. “I love them.” Not they love me, not they were by my side through hardships. But that they stayed because they loved the person.
Love is all well and good. But no matter how much you love someone you cannot fill the gaps of their heart. You can not heal their wounds from the past. You can not love away any mental illnesses they have. Or put all their broken pieces back together. You can help them through it but you can not do it. It’s up to them.
You need to understand that it’s alright to love others and it’s alright to love the wrong people too. But once you realize the relationship is one sided it’s ok to walk away. You don’t have to stop loving them and you might never stop loving them but you might want to keep your distance. In the end your mental and physical health is more important than a lot of things. If a person says they love you but also submits you to pressure, unwanted things, harmful things, and doesn’t seem to care about your well being don’t believe them. Love is about being by someone’s side and helping them take care of their emotional and physical needs. Notice I said helping to take care not completely taking care. Some independence is importance and every relationship should be give and take on both sides.
I’m an aspiring cognitive therapist that currently works as a child care provider.