What is the best relationship advice you have ever received? What is the best relationship advice you can give to your friend, to anyone or even to yourself?
For me, the best advice ever to build, grow and maintain a relationship between you and your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse is to love your partner as you love yourself. This is also the piece of advice given by the scriptures for maintaining a happy and successful marriage.
“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33 ESV
In fact, this advice is not just applicable for maintaining a healthy romantic relationship but also for creating a good relationship with your neighbors and other people.
“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ” – Matthew 22:39 ESV
Why love your partner as you love yourself?
One of the top reasons why relationships fail is that they become a one-sided love affair. Some people in a relationship have given all their love to their own partner but forgotten to love themselves, depriving themselves the opportunity to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Loving your partner but forgetting to love yourself can make your partner happy, but it cannot make your relationship healthy. Remember that you are also an important part of your relationship. For a relationship to be successful, both of you should attain growth and happiness.
When you truly love your partner, you should also love yourself because your partner also needs you. Your significant other also needs to see that you are happy and okay. How could you love someone if you can’t even love yourself? How can you take care of your partner if you can’t even take care of yourself? And how can you make them happy if you can’t even make yourself happy?
How to love your partner as you love yourself
Loving your partner as you love yourself ensures that the both of you will be healthy and happy, and your relationship will be successful and long-lasting. Here are some ways to love your partner as you love yourself:
1. Love your partner as your own body.
You will not do anything that will hurt your own body. You always want to see it beautiful and healthy. If you will love and take care of your partner as your own body, you will not think about hurting them in any way. You will take care and nurture your significant other the way you nourishes your own body, and vice versa.
2. Never hurt yourself just to get attention.
Sometimes, people tend to hurt themselves to get the attention of their partners, especially if they feel like they are being neglected, unloved, and hurt. If you do this, you won’t actually get the attention or love you so desire. Instead, your partner may only feel that you are being selfish for letting them worried and crazy for causing pain to yourself.
To really love your partner, show them that you will never harm yourself. If you think that your partner does not love you enough and you want to get their attention to make them realize your importance, then don’t hurt yourself. Instead, love it! Show your partner that you are good and happy. Show them that you’re mature and strong enough to not do anything that will hurt yourself and make them worried.
Your partner will actually give you more importance if they see that you are mature, strong, wise, and well.
3. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Have you promised your wife to always protect her and be with her all the time? Have you promised your husband to always take good care of him and your children? But how can you fulfill your promises if you are always sick? How can you protect and take care of your loved ones if you are weak?
To love your loved one as you love yourself, eat healthy foods, do regular exercise, and always practice habits that will make you a healthy person. Avoid smoking, drunkenness and other vices that will not only make you weak but may also affect your relationship with your partner.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you will also inspire your partner to do the same. Remember that your relationship needs two people who are both healthy, not only emotionally but also physically. If you are physically and mentally healthy, you are more capable of always protecting and taking care of your loved ones.
4. Work on your personal and spiritual growth.
The key to a successful and lasting relationship is a set of qualities or virtues that include love, patience, kindness, understanding, self-control, respect, honesty, loyalty, hopefulness, and faithfulness. Without these qualities, your relationship won’t grow. And what would you do to nourish your relationship with those virtues? Should you just wait and rely on your partner to do that for you?
No. You have to start by developing them within yourself. Loving your partner as you love yourself means becoming more patient, kind, understanding, honest, and faithful to her or him. When you do that, you are not only making your partner happy but you are also giving yourself a favor to be the best person you can be.
Love your partner by having more patience so you’ll not be easily angered. Love your partner with honesty, compassion, and understanding so you may always resolve any issues and problems in your relationship. Moreover, love your partner by getting rid of your bad habits, attitudes, and other negative traits to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.
5. Do not love your partner with all your heart, mind, and soul.
Do not give your everything to your romantic partner. If you do that, there will be nothing left for yourself. You cannot love your partner as you love yourself if you are losing yourself. To maintain a healthy relationship with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or husband, make sure that you still have control over your mind, heart, and soul.
Besides, your partner who is a human being is not to be worshipped. Loving with all your heart, mind and soul is something you may only do to God, your Creator. By loving God that way and loving your partner as you love yourself, you can let God be the center of your relationship and make it last.