self love and IKEA-style dating - Jackie Schwartz, The Love Expert

Self-Love and IKEA-Style Dating

“An outstanding love doesn’t come from two half-filled people coming together to make one whole, complete life. Outstanding love comes from two whole people coming together to share and enhance their already beautiful lives.” ~ Pia Scade


Why You Have to Love Yourself to Love Your Partner

As a love expert, I deem that loving ourselves is just as important, if not more so, as loving our partner. Only when we love ourselves are we able to be present with our partner and truly accept their love. Loving ourselves in dating means that we feel fulfilled in our lives when single as well as in a relationship. Loving ourselves single means that we are likely to have standards in who we date.

Being yourself means having ultimate respect for yourself and living life in a way that is authentic to you. When in a relationship, it’s so important to bring your genuine self to the relationship. This means respecting and loving yourself enough to have boundaries and not being afraid to honor them. Being genuine and self-loving means speaking up about your needs and being open about who you are and what’s important to you. Self-love is also self-acceptance; “I am who I am, I need what I need, and that’s ok”. When we withhold who we really are for the sake of someone else, it’s only a matter of time before the real you surfaces. None of us want to be surprised down the road when our partner seems different due to hiding parts of themselves early on in the relationship.


What is IKEA-Style Dating?

This means avoiding something I call “IKEA-style dating”. IKEA-style dating is dating someone who enters your life in pieces and requires to be put back together. We need to be a happy, whole person to add value to someone else’s life, and it is equally as important to require the same in a partner or romantic interest. This means avoiding IKEA- style dating and people who are unlikely to add positive value to our lives. We will continue to set ourselves up for failure when we attempt to put people back together. We can’t do that; only they can do that for themselves. We are not responsible for fixing or assembling someone who, through negative experiences, has come undone.

“I am not a rehabilitation center for poorly raised people, or people who are generally troubled or traumatized; I want a partner not a project.”

I’ve observed this pattern of dating in people who lack sufficient self-love. They often accept or tolerate less than what they need and deserve. Self-love and having self-loving standards means being choosy with who we let into our lives. Our lives and time are precious commodities that we need to value and protect! We can’t give time and parts of ourselves to just anyone.


What a Healthy Mutual Relationship Looks Like

A healthy relationship doesn’t look the same for everybody. It’s a relatively broad term that depends on wants, needs, desires and expectations. For the purpose of this blog, I’ll keep it to avoiding IKEA-style dating and going after relationships that respect our boundaries and what we want, need, and expect. A healthy relationship is where two people come together and have their own full lives with positive aspects to add to the relationship. It means being with someone who listens to and respects our boundaries. They are willing to give as much as they get. It means two individuals who “have their sh*t together!” This usually looks like both people having jobs/being in school, friends, interests, having their own place to live, paying their bills on time, and demonstrating appropriate decision-making skills. I’m not saying that someone needs to be perfect; there is no such thing as perfection. But if you get the feeling that various areas in someone’s life are in disarray, then you might be facing an IKEA-style person.


You Deserve a Happy and Fulfilling Love Life

Whether you are single, dating, or in a long-term relationship, you deserve to first: love yourself, and second: be loved by others. If you live in Florida and need guidance, therapy, or coaching on how to improve your self-esteem or love life, I’m here for you. Contact me – The Love Expert – today and feel the love.

Posted by jackieschwartz