Feel better about your relationship instantly


Chocolate Pavlova from What Katie Ate

The last few days I’ve been thinking about the icing on the cake. Not actual icing (much though I love a good daydream about buttercream) but figurative icing and more precisely, figurative icing and relationships.

When we’re in love, we look to our partners to give us support, appreciation, companionship, compliments and much, much more. And that’s fantastic. After all, there has to be some sort of reward for putting up with constant mess, occasional grumpiness and fact that we can no longer have the whole bed to ourselves. I joke. Well, apart from the mess.

Of course, when we don’t feel that we’re getting those things we blame the other person. They’re no longer giving what they’re supposed to and we’re no longer getting what we need. We feel distant and unappreciated. Our love diminishes in direct proportion to the number of weeks since we last received a damn compliment. And as for ‘It’s not you, it’s me’, it most definitely is them. It’s them not doing ANYTHING RIGHT.

The cycle continues. The tears fall. The depths are plumbed.

But this is where the problem is. We’re looking for love in all the wrong places. We’re looking for love outside of ourselves. And that doesn’t work. When love is something that we expect other people to provide us with, we’re precarious. We totter between happiness and despair with nothing but the hope of a kind word to hold on to. And that’s no fun.

Wouldn’t it be better if the love that we receive from our partners is the icing on the cake, rather than the whole glorious thing? 

“Love yourself first” is old news. But it’s vital. What have you done today or this week to give yourself the love you’re looking for someone else to provide? If it’s not enough, what can you start doing to cherish yourself in the way that you want to be cherished?

If we give to ourselves we feel great and the better we feel, the better those around us treat us. It’s a win-win. It’s icing and cake.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. I do agree that it is important to love yourself. I love the way makemejoyful encourages random acts of kindness because I strongly believe that helps us to feel good about ourselves through the many different ways we get feedback that gives us the evidence we seem to need that we are OK. However, I also believe that love is all around us if we care to pick up on it and if we are open to it. It is great when we are in love and that love is reciprocated but when this is not the case friends and even pets can help us to feel loved. Even if you don’t love yourself that much, acting as if you do gives out a good message which attracts good things I find. If a friend told you that they are unworthy of love -my guess is that you would be able to give them reasons why they are worthy. We can do this for ourselves too.

    • Make Me Joyful

      Thanks for such an insightful comment, Heather. I agree that love is all around us and that’s a great way to start feeling better and better if you’re otherwise not feeling that great. When I’m struggling to feel good, I focus on the small, lovely things (like a beautiful garden or Pudding the cat etc etc) to help get me in that upward cycle. And you’re right, it attracts good things.

  2. Judy

    I quite agree with all you have said. After years of self dislike and disappointing relationships I started a counselling degree which involved a lot of personal development and personal counselling. In January this year I finally began to love myself – a point picked up by my fellow students and also my tutor. I finally felt comfortable with myself.
    After six months or so on various dating websites I was matched with a wonderful man who I first met the day after my 51st birthday. He is the icing on my cake of life; he accepts and loves me as I am whilst accepting and loving himself. I am truly happy in a relationship for the first time.

    • Make Me Joyful

      Hi Judy,

      This is so lovely to read. Congratulations on reaching that stage with yourself and also on meeting the icing on your cake. Just wonderful.