A few months ago, I went through a divorce. You know, life is full of birds and rainbows, and 401k's and long, happy future, and then WHAM - rug ripped right out from underneath you. I peeled my face off the floor, shook myself off and told myself the whole, "everything happens for a reason" schpeal (or is it spiel?) and have tried my best to carry on ...
It is really great having a significant other. It was great. That whole "you complete me" yadda-yadda was nice, but it's more than that - I knew who I was, I had a title: wife and army spouse. I was a part of a team. There's a lot of security there.
So what happens when you're kicked off the team? When you gotta turn in your jersey and watch someone else take your place?
You have to figure out new ways to fill your self-worth tank. That feeling of emptiness? That's the tank running low. And even with a significant other - it's a niggling feeling that can sprout up sometimes.
The only way to fill it up? You have to take care of yourself and do/achieve things that are YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. Stuff that no one (or any team) can take from you.
You have to work on the person underneath the jersey, so to speak. Because who are you when you take it off? Self-worth comes from creating a strong bond with yourself. It's learning to accept your faults, your weaknesses, and rewarding your strengths.
Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to hate ourselves - and the hardest thing - to love ourselves.
Don't take the easy way out. When you're in a relationship with you, you should love yourself without condition, because that's the hardest kind of love to develop.
Nurture yourself. Know what you need to feel loved, skilled and useful. Yes, be selfish. Say no if you need to. Set boundaries. Show yourself some respect. Do not fall prey to negative self-talk. Would you let your best friend bash you verbally? No! So don't do it to yourself! Work on creating a healthy and supportive relationship with you - numero uno!
I've been in a relationship with myself for 26 years, and that's the one I nurture; the one that matters the most.