We’ve all heard the saying that “you can’t love another if you don’t love yourself.” While this sounds logical, few of us have any idea of how or why we fell out of love with ourselves in the first place.

The complexities of our families and unavoidable traumas big and small often destabilize our self-love, and, sadly, few of us have been given the tools to help reestablish it. The good news is that these tools exist, and I’ll share several of them below.

As you fall back in love with yourself, you’ll notice that you become a magnet that attracts healthier and healthier partnerships.

The Importance of Secure Attachment

Let’s start with a little background on “attachment theory.” The term was first coined by psychiatrist John Bowlby, MD, in the 1950s. He proposed that healthy personal development and growth begins with a “secure attachment” between a child and primary caregiver.

The ingredients of secure attachment include providing a child with appropriate boundaries, structure, consistency, safe physical touch, support to express emotions, and unconditional love. These lead to the development of confidence, curiosity, and self-exploration — all of which are the foundation of a cohesive relationship with self and an accurate assessment of the world.

Read the rest at Psych Central!