Remember Tyler? Yeah me too. He didn't die or anything, he just hasn't been seen since he got in a relationship.
We all have that friend or maybe we have even been that friend. That friend who is fun and vibrant and once they get into a relationship, you seem to not hear from them as much anymore, or you cannot hang out with them without their significant other coming along as well.
Don't get me wrong, as a Nicholas Sparks and Bachelor Nation lover, I am all for everyone finding love. I mean this with all sincerity. Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday because everyone has a shame-free excuse to show others love.
But for once, I'm asking readers to take a step back and put your pride and relationship aside and really hear me out. If you think you could be guilty of losing yourself in a relationship, I challenge you to read on. Because I am here to tell you it's OK.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about being in a serious relationship. A potential life-partner should be your best friend, someone you can trust, laugh with, have fun with, lean on, etc. A solid foundation in a relationship is important and so is quality time.
But let's take a second to not think about your significant other, and let's switch the focus back to you.
I previously mentioned the importance of having a life partner. If we break this down, this very statement means "someone to do life with." You are your own person, and this is your one and only life.
As important as your relationship is, it is equally as important to know you cannot truly love someone and give them your best if you are not giving that same love to yourself.
If you do not know who YOU are outside of your relationship, your whole life, happiness, future, etc., becomes dependent on another person. How scary and fragile it is to know your life could come crashing down if someone else changed their mind about you.
Think back to when you were single, alone, and only answered to yourself.
Did you love to sing? Did you have a passion for being active? Did you meet with your friends every Wednesday for coffee? Ask yourself what part of you, you lost along the way. Think about what changed, when it stopped, and why.
If the answer to this is "I stopped going to the club every night of the week" then dig deeper. Dancing and drinking with strangers isn't a true loss if you're happy and fulfilled in your relationship.
I'd like to use one of my favorite quotes from "Grey's Anatomy" to emphasize my point. The context is the main character, Meredith, choosing to move for her relationship when she is at the peak of her career. This is what her best friend, Christina, said to her.
"You are a gifted surgeon with an extraordinary mind. Don't let what he wants eclipse what you need. He's very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are."
This quote has always stood out to me. It is one of the most moving statements I have ever heard on a show.
Everything happens in divine timing. What is meant for you, will always find a way. It could be 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, etc. If someone is truly your life partner, they will allow you to live your life, and you should allow them to live theirs.
No person in this world should be controlled for what they were meant to do with their life. You only get one life and don't want to wake up someday wishing you went after what made you feel most alive and fulfilled. You don't want to wish that friend you let slip away was still in your life. If a relationship is healthy, there should never be a choice between your partner and your best friend, career, degree, family, etc.
There should never be an ultimatum if you truly love someone and want them to be happy.
Today — not tomorrow, next week, or next month — write down the things you love. Write down your goals short-term and long- term. Write down what has stopped you from achieving them. Sit down with your partner, and have an open conversation on how you can push each other to be more of your own person inside and outside of the relationship.
There is no need for force, pressure, lie, etc. Love is natural, but it takes hard work and effective communication. Don't let your relationship be fueled by resentment, harbored, and controlled feelings. Let one another be free.
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