12 Things You NEED To Know About Yourself Before You Start Dating

Are you in a place in your life that you could truly be a good partner? Do you know yourself well enough to stand up for yourself and your individuality in a relationship that might be all-consuming? Below are 12 things you absolutely need to know about yourself before linking your life with someone else’s.

  1. That you have value Too many people get into relationships hoping to achieve a sense of self-worth, but that’s not how it works. You have all the value in the world already—it’s within you right now. If you aren’t convinced of that and feel like a relationship might give you value, getting into one might be the absolute worst thing for you.
  2. What your skills are Be able to pick out a few things you are good at or things that people generally admire about you. You should have a bedrock of self-esteem where you know you have worth and abilities. Maybe you’re a great writer or an amazing student, or maybe people really admire your work ethic. If you don’t recognize these qualities in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
  3. What your weaknesses are It’s important to be self-aware enough to know things you aren’t quite so good at. This doesn’t mean you should be beating yourself up over them, but just being conscious of the areas where you might improve can make a world of difference in helping you continue to grow as a person.
  4. A sense of where you want to go in life This doesn’t mean you need to know your ultimate career goals or know where you want to live forever, but you should have a sense of what you want to accomplish with your life. What drives you and motivates you to get up every day? When you’re actually in a relationship, it’s rewarding to work towards your dreams with your partner and be each other’s biggest cheerleader.
  5. What behavior you consider a deal breaker You should have the confidence to know what things are an absolute no-go no matter how much you love the person you’re with. Whether it’s cheating, having radically different politics, or seeing your partner be unkind to others, you should know what a deal breaker looks like and have the self-confidence to end the relationship if need be.
  6. What you need out of a relationship Are you looking for a passionate lover to have fun with, an adventurous spirit to go places with, or a loving soul to come home to at the end of a long day? Maybe all three? You don’t need to know everything about your “dream guy” but you should know what you need out of a relationship so it’s obvious whether or not someone is a good fit.
  7. That your beauty isn’t dependent on other people’s opinions You shouldn’t be looking for a partner to affirm that you have beauty. You should know that you already do. After all, everyone’s idea of beauty is wildly different and ultimately it comes from within, so while you may want to find someone who’s attracted to you, you need to know it’s more than skin deep and believe it while you’re still on your own.
  8. What toxic behaviors look like and how to get away from them So many people get settled into a bad relationship and get used to toxic behaviors to the point that they eventually feel as though it’s normal. It’s not. You have to be able to recognize toxic, harmful behaviors so that you can get out ASAP.
  9. What makes you happy What big things give you overwhelming joy and what little things put a smile on your face? After all, if you don’t know what makes you happy, how can you expect a partner to know? That being said, you should be happy before you get into a relationship—no one else can give you that feeling of contentment.
  10. A sense of your core values What do you believe about humanity and the world? What things are important to you? Some people can date someone who has radically different ideals than them but most people can’t, at least not long-term. Know what matters to you and don’t compromise for anyone or anything.
  11. What you expect from a partner What do you expect your partner to contribute to your life? How will they fit into the big, messy, dynamic that is your day-to-day? Do you want someone who’s around all the time or someone you see only a few times a week? Do you want someone who you instantly go super deep with or do you want to gradually move into each other’s lives? Knowing what you want from a partner will make it easier for you to tell if you’re going to get it or not when you start dating.
very (not) chill internet person.