Everyone wants to find love. And, everyone wants that love to last. When I was talking with one of my friends the other day, we started talking about how it can be so easy to lose yourself when you’re in a relationship. That should definitely not be the case, but it happens all the time. We can become so consumed with finding and keeping love, that we end up deprioritizing other aspects of ourselves or our life.
Whether you are in a new relationship, single, or in a long-term commitment, here are a few important things to remember to help you keep bringing your best self to any relationship:
Things to keep doing:
- LOVE YOURSELF. To find and maintain true love and healthy relationships, you must love yourself. When you’re in a relationship, your responses, expectations, attitudes, trust, and confidence comes from how you see and feel about yourself.
- Keeping Growing. Take personal responsibility to improve the areas you don’t like/love about yourself. It is not the other person’s job to hold your hand along this journey. It would be nice, but it’s not their responsibility to give you the confidence to change YOU. That is an unrealistic and unfair expectation. Don’t look for someone else to repair or accept the flaws you are too resistant or in denial to change.
- Lose the baggage. This is the one time that losing your luggage is a good thing. Your baggage is your past fears, hurts, and worries. Often, we project that onto other people. It’s important to at least try to limit how much baggage you are bringing on board. Remember, every plane has a weight limit and you want your relationships to soar. So, leave the junk behind if you can.
- Take responsibility and expect the same. Being in love is not an excuse to accept any and every type of behavior. You have to take ownership of your behavior and expect your partner to take responsibility as well.
- You need more than chemistry. Having “chemistry” with someone does not mean you should enter into (or stay in) a relationship with that person. You can and will have “chemistry” with many people in your life, so you are going to need a lot more than that to make your relationship last.
- Validate Yourself. This connects back to taking responsibility for your own growth. It’s important for others to encourage and uplift you; however, it’s also your responsibility to validate and affirm yourself.
Things to Stop Doing:
- Stop causing harm. When you don’t take care of your baggage, you can start acting out of your fears and use your insecurities as an excuse for irrational behavior.
- Do not look for someone to complete you. Relationships should not complete you, they should support and sharpen you. There’s a difference. Focus on you becoming whole as YOU and you will inevitably add more value to your relationship.
- Don’t look for someone to fill the voids and holes YOU created in your own life. Are you starting to see a theme here? Taking responsibility is critical to any successful relationship.
- Don’t enter a relationship to find yourself. Take time to get to know who you are and what you like/love about YOU. You can’t find in others what you can’t first see in yourself. In other words, you can’t find what you don’t know.
Any relationship takes work, but when you work on becoming whole you will inevitably add more value to your relationship. So, don’t forget to keep working on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. You will be better for everyone around you.
In curious, what advice would you add to this list?