When we think about the core foundations of a relationship, the words commitment, communication, trust and love come to mind. These few qualities are, of course, extremely important to building a healthy and happy relationship. However, I have discovered that there is one major thing that needs to be present in every relationship: you need to be your own person.
It really is that simple. When we have a sense of who we are and hold onto that, we set ourselves up to attract and maintain joyful and healthy relationships. So what exactly does it mean to be your own person in a relationship? And why is it so damn vital? Let me explain.
1. No one can complete you.
Contrary to the popular '90s movie 'Jerry McGuire', no one should complete you. When we are happy on our own and have a sense of self, it means we aren't waiting or looking for someone to fill in the gaps. Relationships are about two complete people coming together to add to each other. For sure, we all have that longing to be with someone, but there is a big difference between wanting someone to add to your life and searching for someone to complete it.
2. How you love and value yourself sets the bar for how you let others treat you.
The most important love that we can focus on and perfect is the love that we have for ourselves. This isn't about becoming self-absorbed or narcissistic, but rather understanding your worth as a human being. When we have a healthy self-love, we are able to identify what real love is when given to us by another person.
3. You need to have your own purpose.
It's imperative to have your own purpose, goals and direction in life. Sure, we can compromise and alter it a little to fit into our relationship, but we should never give it up just to keep someone else happy. Why? Because who we are and what we want in life is something that only we are responsible for and it is ultimately what fulfills us.
4. No one can be the sole reason for your happiness
Being your own person means you understand that you and only you are responsible for your happiness. When you comprehend this, you stop putting the pressure on your partner to try and fulfill this need. It also means that you can have more consistency and control over your joy, purely because you understand that you are the one that is accountable for it.
5. Having a sense of self means you can discern where boundaries need to be set.
Even the best relationships require us to lay down boundaries with one another. Having a strong sense of self and self-love means you will be able to discern where lines need to be drawn. The thing is, sometimes even the good people, and the partners we love, can overstep the line. No one is perfect after all and if we have a clarity on who we are, then we are able to understand where we need to set the parameters.
6. You will always be achieving something.
Often when we fall in love with someone we tend to just give them our all and place all the eggs in one basket. So when things start to turn sour or if the relationship doesn't work out, we can feel like we have failed. When you continue to have your own dreams, goals and personal direction in a relationship, you will still feel like you are achieving something in life. To have a great relationship is an awesome goal, but it shouldn't be your only one, because situations and people can change and there is never a certain outcome.
7. Having your own agenda means you get a chance to appreciate each other more.
Simply because when you are still busy being your own person, you aren't living in each other's pockets. In most cases, it will reduce the amount of conflict in your relationship, because you are happier and aren't focusing on trying to make your partner the soul means of your happiness. It also gives you a chance to miss and appreciate each other more because while you are a couple there is some sort of healthy distance between you both.
Being your own person in a couple is not about being selfish or so independent that it becomes destructive. Rather, it's about understanding your value as an individual, having clarity on what you want in life and choosing to still pursue your own happiness and dreams despite being with someone.