"Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance." - Brene Brown
The core of a mutually satisfying relationships depends on both partners being authentically themselves and feeling connected to one another. Honoring your needs and setting healthy boundaries are the foundation of authenticity, influences the types of partners you attract and fall in love with. When you fear being yourself, you worry that you are unlovable. When you believe you are unworthy of love, you will fall prey to the following problems.
If you've had relationships like this in the past, are currently single, and have struggled to attract a romantic partner who makes you feel important, loved, and cared for, then I'd recommend looking at your personal boundaries and how you honor your needs.
Many people have had to face their fears of being rejected and courageously ask for what they need during the dating process. At times this meant walking away from potential partners that they maybe were head over heels for. It can be extremely difficult to take these steps for people. However, if you fail to enact healthy boundaries, ask and receive what you need, you will continue to attract partners who are not good for you. As the old saying goes, "Change occurs when the pain to remain the same is greater than the pain to change."
Improving your personal boundaries, honoring your needs, and accepting yourself as you are, is the foundation to attracting a relationship that makes you feel loved, cared for, and important.
Thomas Kessler, LMFT, RAS
Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Addiction Specialist