Being single is sometimes touted as some terrible thing that ‘happens’ to us, like a disease that we were unfortunate enough to be afflicted by. If you’re solo for too long, suddenly pitied whispers of multiple cats and a life of loneliness become almost deafening, especially as you descend into your late twenties.
No worries – after suffering through all those Tinder nightmares, you’ve suddenly found yourself in a great new relationship. Everything makes sense again and the world feels brand spankin’ new.
Relationships can truly bring the best out of us if we are with the right person, and your bae is just perfect.
Except, no one is actually perfect.
When the rose-colored glasses slip down our nose a little, sometimes we are able to see things more clearly. Maybe your boo does a few things that really grind your gears, but you excuse them in your lovestruck haze. That’s okay – it’s totally normal (and healthy) to disagree over a few things; the key is in how you communicate with each other.
What is NOT healthy? Changing yourself, or things core to who you are to make your partner happy.
Here are 5 things you should never have to change about yourself:
Your job or career path.
A partner who loves you will take an active interest in your career goals and push you to achieve them, no matter if it is to become an attorney or gift wrapper at the mall. At the end of the day, they don’t define you by your professional accomplishments, but they do appreciate your ambition. If they love you, they will support you and never belittle your job or what you want to do with your life.
Your passions or interests.
We all have different interests that make us tick, and half the fun is exploring that with another person. Sometimes we don’t always love the things that our partner does, but that’s where compromise factors in. You’re a beach lover; your partner hates it – so, you agree to try something he loves in return for a beach day. Or, maybe you have a deep love for art from the Renaissance era and he thinks it’s super boring – and weird. Your partner doesn’t have to love everything that you do, but they should respect it and allow you to explore your interests – with or without them in tow. If they become critical of you and your interests (and/or the time it takes from them), consider this a huge red flag.
A jealous or insecure person doesn’t appreciate when you have a group of close friends and confidants other than them. If they feel your friends (as a group, or on an individual basis) inspire different behavior or freedom to act in a manner they do not agree with, they may try to pick fights with you or discourage you from spending time with that person. If you ever wondered, the best way to gauge if you’re with the right person is to ask your friends how they feel about your partner. Be prepared for some very honest feedback – but also know that your crew has your back and can save you a lot of heartache.
Whether it’s your clothing, your hairstyle, your makeup (or lack thereof), or your weight, no one should ever make you feel like you are less than. If they truly love you and are worth loving back, they will not care what you look like, because their connection to you is more than the superficial aspects of these qualities. You are beautiful, no matter what.
If you’re not careful, these behaviors can really impact your self-esteem over time. If your new partner seems to be pushing for you to change harder than Donald Trump is trying to make America great again, you might need to take a step back. Remember, you are always worth it.
Cats and Netflix don’t sound like such a bad combo all of a sudden.
A great relationship takes work no matter what, but there are certain things that should just come easy. If you’re spending a majority of your time together arguing, in tears, or feeling like you have to prove yourself, it’s best to reevaluate why you’re in the relationship to begin with.