Notice when you’re placing unexamined assumptions or unrealistic expectations on those closest to you. Up until age seven you depend on love from your parents to make you feel valued. From seven to fourteen years old you look to the rest of your family, friends, and having fun to feel like you belong. From fourteen to twenty-one as you’re building your identity you get your sense of worth and validation from your peer and others who have similar goals. Between twenty-one to twenty-eight, when many people jump into relationships, this is the golden time period when if you learn how to care for yourself and nurture your own interests you are able to then open yourself up to deeper relationships in your thirties.
However, during your 20s and 30s is when love needs can get confusing. Up until your early 20s you depended on other people to fulfill your love needs. To have a truly open, honest, and committed long-term relationship last in your 30s and beyond it is critical to learn how to love and care for yourself before tending to the care and feeding of your relationship. If you have kids before you’ve figured self-love out, then this can also complicate things as well.
So, if you’re hoping for a big romantic gesture on Valentine’s, then talk about this with your love before the big day. If you constantly feel disappointed or let down, because you’re hoping someone will give you a massage, or a gift certificate for a facial, or that they’ll make dinner for you, then something bigger could be underfoot, i.e., you’ve forgotten to take time to care for yourself. If you notice you feel run down all the time, ask yourself what nurturing thing you could do for yourself to feel loved. Bubble baths, settling down to read a good book, taking a hike to feel refreshed, calling up an old friend—these are things we can do on a daily basis to make sure we’re caring and nurturing our self.
Our 50s and 60s is another time period when we can feel jaded or run down if we don’t have enough love vitamins from prior time periods. If most of our loved needs have been met, then we may find ourselves happily married, nurturing our kids, doing community service, and involved with causes to effect change on a global level. However, if you’re in your 50s and are divorced, feel exhausted, and resentful of giving your time away to everyone else except you; then you may need to take time practicing self-love and devoting quality time to your interests and friendships before you feel ready to give back to the community or world.
When you release the expectation that someone else will notice or do this for you, then you begin to place realistic expectations on others. When you examine an assumption about why you want someone else to do it for you, then your assumptions about how other people should be towards you can become more balanced. And, if you’re having trouble creating that space and time for you, then coaching can help you re-prioritize your life so that you find balance as you pursue your goals and keep your relationships intact, including the most important one—the relationship with your Self.
Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations