Practical wisdom about dating, courtship, and relationships to improve your love life.
“Integrity is not conditional and doesn't change based on the situation. It is the way you view yourself and how you conduct yourself.”
What’s integrity got to do with love?
Integrity is the foundation from which you conduct yourself. It's your moral fiber, character, and how honest and trustworthy you are. It's knowing and being comfortable with who you are and who you’re not, while committing to being the best you can be. It’s about letting others live their lives without trying to control or change them, knowing they have their own path to walk and lessons to learn.
When you approach love with integrity, you do and say the right things.You’re more concerned with what's right rather than who's right. You behave and take action from who you really are and not how someone defines you. You give your partner the space to be who he is without trying to change or control him. You would rather be happy and alone, than miserable with your partner.
Integrity is staying in a relationship to work through minor differences and leaving a relationship instead of forcing a deep connection that isn’t there. Integrity is staying true to yourself while being sensitive to your partner’s needs, and not losing yourself in the relationship.
How I lost my integrity in love
Disappointments in love and failed relationships took me out of integrity. Each let down and break up led to a feeling of loss. Instead of finding my integrity during these dark times, I found doubt, bitterness and fear. I’ve often wondered how I could have integrity in other areas of my life, yet have it missing in love? (I’ll explain this and how I found my integrity in an upcoming article.)
Most of us travel from relationship to relationship without taking the time to unpack the excess baggage that we’ve accumulated. We drag our baggage on dates and into relationships. I thought I was a light traveler in love, but looking back, the excess baggage built up between my ears weighed down my love life. What started out as a bag filled with optimism and anticipation, became a heavy bag of negative thoughts and beliefs 15 years later.
What lost integrity looks like
Traveling with excess baggage compromises your integrity in many ways. You try to please the next person at the expense of your own happiness. You’re afraid or hesitant to speak up because you don’t want to rock the boat. You try to hide your self-perceived bad sides because you want your partner to love you. You feel uncomfortable and stressed in the relationship because you know what’s right, yet act and behave in ways that don't feel true to who you are.
Ultimately, it’s like you’re wearing a mask that will fall off and reveal who you really are. The inability to be authentic is what happens when you lose your integrity. I know firsthand what it's like to be in this position and what it's like to reclaim my integrity. Once you reclaim your integrity, you'll never lose it to excess baggage.
How to reclaim your integrity
Reclaiming your integrity consists of having a positive self worth and behaving and taking action from that place. How you think and feel about yourself is how others see you. Be the most important person in your life. Treat yourself with the same care, respect and love you would like others to treat you with.
Uncover and improve negative habitual ways of thinking about yourself and beliefs around love. What is the soundtrack that plays over and over in your mind about you and love? Does it sound something like, “I’m not _________ enough.” “It’s hard to express myself.” “All the good ones are taken.” “Love isn’t easy.”? This soundtrack is your biggest barrier to love. Create a different and positive soundtrack that you can believe in.
What can you start doing now to have a more positive self worth and create a better soundtrack?
p.s. If you're frustrated and tired about not being successful in love, get your free Monthly Guide to Love. You'll receive insightful articles, inspirational resources and best practices that support your journey to love. The March issue features “5 Reasons to Love with Integrity”.
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Copyright Love for Successful Women, 2020.