The idea of being in a relationship is often romanticized, in literature, on stage, and on the screen. To be in love is many people’s ultimate dream. The happily ever after with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with sounds so supportive, comforting, and embracing.
You meet someone and they seem to be perfect, well, perfect for you. After a few dates, you can see this may be the one. Things are going pretty smoothly but in time, there seem to be some conflicts that come up, more disagreements, basically the inevitable.
The solid foundation of a relationship is you
This does not mean that love has dwindled but in order to have a true relationship, the rose-colored glasses we once wore must come off. We must face the reality that no relationship is perfect and differences can be positive in your relationship. Differences help you realize the things you may have put off because of wanting to be with your partner at all times. Differences allow you to remember that every relationship needs to start with a solid foundation. The solid foundation of a relationship is YOU.
Know yourself first
Relationships cannot truly survive unless each person understands themselves, their wants, and needs first. When this step is missed, people in relationships choose to want and need what their partner wants and needs. This leads to frustration on the part of the partner because they may lose the independence they greatly desire. It also leads to disappointment for the person themself. Perhaps a goal once dreamed of is no longer being pursued. Perhaps watching football each Sunday with a partner isn’t so much fun anymore and you realized you never really liked football and you have wasted many Sundays where you could have been brunching with friends instead. This starts to create resentment.
Once resentment hits in a relationship, couples can decide to work together to improve on their wants and needs knowing it is okay, actually necessary to spend time apart. It doesn’t mean you don’t love each other anymore, it just means to be the best partner, you need to be the best version of yourself first. The other option is to fail to see how you got to the point you are at and point the finger at the other person. Blaming them for your unhappiness.
In order to figure out what you want and need not only for your relationship but for yourself, talking to supportive people in your life can help, although by definition, supportive friends may not give objective responses. On the other hand, a therapist can help you figure out where you left yourself before entering your relationship, thereby becoming a version of yourself that did not get to where you hoped. By speaking with someone that can take your words and help you hear your thoughts in a different, more empowering manner, you will be able to work on becoming the person you always dreamed of.
Finding yourself doesn’t always mean losing your relationship, it just means living life through clear lenses without misleading yourself or your partner about what you want and need. When dating, be honest, don’t change your needs to please another person. Relationships are amazing and fun. The love you want is out there. The right person would never want you to change but instead will cherish your time together and apart.
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