How to Start a Relationship Built on Love

For a long time I have been feeling I did not really choose to be in a relationship but more felt I ought to be in one because everything around me (magazines, media, movies, family, friends etc.) were telling me, that that was what you want to do as a young woman.

I did throw myself into it, literally, and would be at times quite proactive in finding a boyfriend. These relationships were very innocent and loving at the start. But later I got this feeling that there was always something missing in them.

In the years passing and me growing up into a young adult, this need to be in a relationship with a man had grown stronger and stronger and I often felt out of control, just a puppet who could only think of being in a relationship with a man!

To add to that, I would be devastated as well when the relationship was over. Ask my mum, I would be crying on the kitchen floor one time, I remember. Being so desperate and out of control was not something I liked to feel but I did not know a way out.

A couple of years later I started to attend workshops and courses held by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. He presented a lot on relationships and especially the importance of loving yourself before looking for love from someone else. I now know this to be true and this supported me to see a way out of my neediness.

From there I decided to have a period in my life without looking for or being in a relationship with a man.

I have been single by choice for a couple of years and it has supported me enormously to build a loving relationship with myself. I have grown a deeper level of understanding for how I feel and see things and also a confidence in myself that has allowed me to make loving choices for myself.

So that is a bit of my history, but how did I start a relationship built on love?

I have been deeply inspired by the Women in Livingness Magazine’s first edition on the subject of Breast care. There is a section by Karin Becker: ‘Dating with Karin’ where she asks the reader to consider: “What kind of relationship do I really want to have in my life? And, am I willing to come to the table and bring my part to really make this happen?”

I realised after reading this that I never ever asked myself what kind of relationship I wanted in my life. This felt very important to realise.

Without knowing and deeply asking myself what kind of relationship I wanted to be in, I was at the mercy of all that the world told me in the way of movies and magazines but also by the reflection of many people in relationships around me.

At that moment I felt I wanted to be in a relationship to build love with someone equally as committed to this as I was. Someone who adored me and would hold me with respect, care and love for the beautiful woman I am. In that moment I also claimed to not accept anything less than this as I could feel that if I didn’t, I would keep the option there to be in a relationship less than this.

It is not about results or happy endings, but a week after this realisation I got the opportunity to start a beautiful relationship, which was about love and building a true relationship together, which I took and it has been an amazing unfoldment over the last year plus a bit.

In this relationship, because it has been for both of us about love and our connection from the start, I have been asked to deepen my relationship with myself even further. When there would be something uncomfortable coming up like feeling hurt or feeling I had been a bit needy, I found that in the end it was never about my partner but always about my relationship with myself. The littlest bits of lack of love for myself were sort of magnified by the relationship.

Lieke- A Relationship Built on Love
Lieke 2016

So I have found being in a relationship is not a point of ‘Ah, I am there, now life is perfect, all is good and I can sit down now’. No, it is a next step of deepening the forever relationship with myself and therefore with my partner and ultimately with everyone I meet.

It is learning to understand myself and my partner, always making it about love first, not about being right or not, and about growing together, supporting each other to be more of the amazing people we naturally are.

Recently we felt to get married, which we did! I feel this is just the beginning of an amazing life of forever deepening and growing together, in my relationship with myself and all others – because that is the purpose of relationships in the end. 

By Lieke Campbell, Dentistry Student, aged 25, Ghent, Belgium

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698 thoughts on “How to Start a Relationship Built on Love

  1. Love the space you gave to yourself to choose what kind of relationship you wanted. It feels like honouring what you knew was true supported you to stablish a new relationship based on the tender care and cherising you and every man and woman deserve. Being single has this potential, giving us the space to feel love for ourselves first, then this can be felt in everyone else.

  2. Lieke I can relate very much in what you shared about finding desperatly the one who loves you and this feeling of missing something at the end. This talks about what we missed in the first place was love, a quality that noone can give us. Attending workshops and courses from Universal Medicine have supported me along these years to understand what true love is about. It’s who we are, what we are made of, regardless if we are single or not. This was a very freeing revelation to me, and still it is.

  3. What I love about the Women in Livingness magazine is that it gets you to question your life and how you feel to be, rather than telling you to follow another or the newest (recycled) fad.

  4. Making it about right or wrong has been the down full of many relationships, when we make it about love we give ourselves chance to expand into all that has been offered.

  5. Thank you Lieke, there are so many gems of wisdom shared in your blog, and your photo is exquisite, you feel so sacred. This is such practical and supportive advice for every person “I realised after reading this that I never ever asked myself what kind of relationship I wanted in my life. This felt very important to realise.” And also setting what we want as a standard, not as a demand for others to deliver, but that we won’t compromise and settle for less. I also appreciated what you shared about how the loving relationship magnified areas where you didn’t love yourself.

  6. When I recall the quality of relationship I settled for in the past makes me shudder and ask myself ‘where was I and how come my standards were so low?’ What I called love was a selling out of myself and not until I began to deeply love and bring definition to my own self was I able to truly love another.

  7. How to Start a Relationship Built on Love? Simple we get ourselves out of the way and remember there is a bigger picture that we often can not see.

  8. “What kind of relationship do I really want to have in my life? And, am I willing to come to the table and bring my part to really make this happen?” Two very important questions to ask ourselves when it comes to a relationship.

    1. I agree Leigh. We’re not accustomed to asking this questions because we either put ourselves so low on the agenda or often don’t even appear on it. Perhaps the question to ask is ‘How can I bring purpose to all relationships?’ This question shifts focus from us and a single person bringing advance ment to everyone.

    2. Thanks for highlighting this Leigh, I can see it relates to all of my relationships and my commitment to building the quality of depth they can be.

    1. To bring purpose to relationships transforms the quality of what we offer each other. We are the conduit through which love is made available to all equally. Simply put, a relationship is never about two people, but reflection of our relationship to all others.

  9. “From there I decided to have a period in my life without looking for or being in a relationship with a man” – from a young age I was always the one in my group of friends to not have a boyfriend, and at various times over the years would feel anxious or even handicapped about that fact until I got to my 30’s where i realised a truer reason as to why that (my singleness) was the case which was being in no compromise when it came to love and having a relationship .. though until that point of realisation i had been compromising totally on love – on my own love and thus the realisation kickstarted for me the very best relationship ever – the one and the love I have for myself and in this actively chose to be single for that very reason and embracing and enjoying the space for it without distraction of ‘another person’.

  10. “How to Start a Relationship Built on Love?” The answer is to first know for oneself what true love really is, then we are we able to share that love with all.

  11. You make an amazing point here about how we don’t ask ourselves what kind of relationship we want – we just go with whatever and sort it out later. when actually it is our responsibility to know our bodies and what love is to us.

  12. “The littlest bits of lack of love for myself were sort of magnified by the relationship.” And those ‘littlest bits of lack of love’ for ourselves can have an enormous effect on our relationships with everyone.

    1. Yes because when we don’t want to go there we use great force to actually avoid it. I don’t mean physical force but the more subtle manipulation we can do to let someone know to ‘back of’ with our eyes, movements or words and tone of voice.

  13. Learning to build relationships that are founded on love, and not need, is not something we’re taught to do, or have the reflection of from many places. The objective of most relationships is to ‘find the one’ and then that’s it, job done, we’re safe in the comfortable nature of the arrangement -when really it’s only the very beginning. Relationships are incredible learning grounds and can be hugely evolving, but they take work and commitment from both people to stay open, keep communicating, and to want to grow and evolve together, whatever that looks like.

  14. I agree that these relationships we have with a partner can reflect and magnify the relationship we have with ourselves. Where things get stuck is if we blame the other rather than using their reflection to review the relationship we have with ourselves.

  15. Having had the great blessing of being the man you have been married to over these later few years I can say there is nothing more enriching than evolving our love together by bring even more of ourselves to life. There is equally nothing worse than staying stuck in the comfort of not evolving together. That is not love, it is abuse.

    1. Beautiful Joshua, “I can say there is nothing more enriching than evolving our love together by bring even more of ourselves to life.” I’ve found the same to be true when in my work with clients. Relationships never stand still and if they do are not ‘built on love.’

  16. “…Someone who adored me and would hold me with respect, care and love for the beautiful woman I am.” How wonderful that if we do this for ourselves this is the kind of partner we can be with. For without self love, how can we accept this level of love from someone else? Making this resolve within ourselves is so powerful. It sets the bar.

    1. ” For without self love, how can we accept this level of love from someone else?’ A powerful point, in many relationships we push love away because we haven’t embodied it within ourselves and leaves us with very shaky foundations..

  17. If we took all of our biggest woes, held them close and reconsidered – ‘how can I bring more love to this?’ – wouldn’t we find these woes are transformed instantly into opportunities?

  18. A relationship built on a loving foundation and a willingness to choose love whatever the situation, cannot but evolve for the highest good for all concerned.

  19. And when this is the foundation of a relationship, if it comes to an end it is easy for us to move on with our hearts open and a lesson learnt. When we are constantly making choices to deepen the love we hold for ourselves, a relationship break up does not equal a heart break up, just an opportunity for a next phase.

  20. True Lieke the moment we feel we are there, we know we are hooked by the thoughts that has come in to soothe that it is okay like this. There will never be an endpoint there is always more love to build and to share with others, a constant deepening in every moment and in every movement.

  21. It is important to know what kind of relationship you want before you go into one. Otherwise we are at the mercy of the ideals we have grown up with. This is not about having a checklist but really knowing yourself, what you value, and your standards. Most important to me is that you know that love starts with you and is your responsibility to bring to the relationship instead of expecting a partner to fill all the gaps you are unwilling to give yourself.

  22. While reading this I was asking myself what kind of relationship I’d like in my life and it wasn’t a list of physical attributes but moreso of the quality of another and the freedom within myself to adore myself and adore another without restraint.

  23. “It is learning to understand myself and my partner, always making it about love first, not about being right or not, and about growing together, supporting each other to be more of the amazing people we naturally are.” a deeply beautiful and inspiring article for us all .

  24. How to start to build a relationship built on love – love yourself first and fully and don’t sell that standard of love for anyone. And – build up those you have around you instead of seeking something from them.

  25. Some years ago, a wise young woman shared with me the best advice ever on relationships, and that was to take the time to build a loving relationship with me first. It made so much sense that I wondered why I had never considered that for myself, but then I had never considered that I actually didn’t love myself as much as was possible. I still smile when I remember that sage advice, as it has totally changed my life.

  26. “Without knowing and deeply asking myself what kind of relationship I wanted to be in, I was at the mercy of all that the world told me in the way of movies and magazines but also by the reflection of many people in relationships around me.” How many of us go through life without even clocking this simple truth?

  27. When we let go of self love, everything else in our life pretty quickly deteriorates in quality.. nothing can substitute the love that we can learn to give to ourselves.

  28. I agree with what you share, and yes, the relationship we have with self is so important, ‘It is learning to understand myself and my partner, always making it about love first’.

  29. It seems to me that something happens when we look within to find the love that is naturally there. We turn life inside out and start to be the love we are rather than seek it outside of us. Then the basis of all our relationship shifts away from being needy for love to bringing love to them. It is extraordinarily simple in one sense, but also deeply profound.

  30. What a powerful reflection and reminder you shared Lieke, that when we commit to and hold a certain level or quality of love that we feel we will no longer sacrifice, we can get an almost immediate feedback from the Universe, as you did with finding your current partner one week after your realisation about claiming the type of relationship you wanted in your life. I look forward to experimenting with this myself.

  31. I love how you keep bringing the relationship back to the relationship you are building with yourself, if we are not deepening in our connection with ourselves and leaning on our partner for the areas in our lives where we are lacking love for ourselves we halt the deepening and intimacy that is possible in the relationship together.

  32. There is such simplicity yet power in how you bring back moments of insecurity or neediness in your relationships to something that can be explored or confirmed within yourself.

  33. ‘it is a next step of deepening the forever relationship with myself and therefore with my partner and ultimately with everyone I meet.’ This is the beauty of relationships.

    1. Yes and there were moments that I thought it was not needed anymore because I ‘got the self-love part’ but I learnt nothing is less true than that! When we let go of self-love the relationship will also get less and less sparkly and joyful because the love in our body is not being confirmed, deepened and enjoyed. And in a loveless body there can be no true love enjoyed with others.

      1. This is what shares with us that we are equally responsible for the quality in our relationship. Thank you Lieke for that reminder, our commitment to self-love is a vital part of the foundation we bring to every aspect of our lives and without it, every aspect of our lives is a little less.

  34. Thank you Leike for a beautiful article about relationships, “It is learning to understand myself and my partner, always making it about love first, not about being right or not, and about growing together, supporting each other to be more of the amazing people we naturally are” this is the blue print for a joyful ever evolving, deeply loving relationship, what an amazing reflection this relationship offers to the world.

  35. I love the understanding you share here Lieke, that in fact when there are difficulties or challenges in our relationships, it’s never really about the other, it’s about us being asked to deepen our relationship with ourselves and in doing so we bring that to our partners.

    1. Always. There is always something for ourselves to reflect on even if what the other person is doing might be not true and a reaction there is still a learning in staying with ourselves in that moment and not taking it on.

  36. I have had resistance to what I need to bring to relationships, which is essential all of me, no hiding, but II have waited for others to bring something for me, it is not about negotiation and give and take, but about surrendering and being open.

  37. I have found there is so much searching we don’t see what is right in front of us. By building a relationship with our body and being at ease in our skin, it leaves space for magic to happen.

  38. The open hearted approach to your relationship, in that it was one of being held, of holding each other and of developing and growing together is demonstrating a role model for us all.

  39. Lieke, this is a great question for us to ask ourselves; ‘ “What kind of relationship do I really want to have in my life? And, am I willing to come to the table and bring my part to really make this happen?” I can feel how easy it is fall into relationships and compromise and try to please. It is beautiful to know what kind of relationship we want and to work on this in the relationship.

  40. Great to highlight the importance of how loving ourselves first allows us to let go of neediness and builds a confidence and strength in knowing ourselves from within that enables us to naturally build the same depth of foundation with our connections and relationships with others.

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