Monday, October 15, 2007

The Secret to a Happy Relationship

I get letters from readers who wonder why they keep attracting men who mistreat or disregard them. I respond by asking, "How do you treat yourself?"

Because if you're always inwardly sniping about the size of your nose or your calves, or how stupid you are, guess what? You're going to attract men who treat you the same way.

Perhaps you've noticed that certain people who aren't smart, good-looking, or even decent human beings manage to attract excellent boyfriends, sky-high paying jobs, winning raffle tickets, and so on. It's because they feel great about themselves. Somewhere along the line, their mothers or fathers or somebody instilled it in them that they are God's gift, and they've been acting upon that supposition every day since. And, fascinatingly enough, so has the rest of the universe.

It's been said that you can't really love anybody else until you love yourself first, but I'd go further. Nobody can love you until you love yourself first.

So, how do you start loving yourself?

Start by treating yourself as you would a beloved child. You wouldn't call a child you love ugly, would you? You wouldn't call her stupid when she fell while she was learning to walk. Well, treat yourself similarly.

Find something to like when you look in the mirror. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Buy things that serve you, not things you don't need and put you in debt. Eat real food, instead of the processed crap you find in the inner aisles of the supermarkets (hint: the longer the ingredient list means the more toxic it is to your health--and to your looks).

When you're in a relationship, you should treat the other person as you'd have him treat you. But he should also be treating you as he would have you treat him. Let a man's behavior toward you be the guideline in determining whether you should even be in the relationship.

Hey, sometimes you're better off being on your own. Especially if you're on your own with somebody who loves herself.

Love yourself, and your next relationship will be better. I promise.