It’s Time We Stopped Defining Our Worth According To Our Relationship Success

If you feel better when your relationship is progressing and like the biggest loser when you’re going through a breakup, it’s worth remembering that a relationship shouldn’t define you or give you greater value. You’re a complete person with or without a partner and it’s time you start reminding yourself of that.

  1. You’re the same no matter what happens to you. Whether you get engaged to an amazing guy or you get dumped by a horrible one, that has nothing to do with who you really are. What really matters is who you are, not what you have. The awesome things that make you who you are won’t change when your life or relationship status changes. Those things are what should define you, not your relationship status or milestones.
  2. Whose eyes really matter? When you feel ashamed because your long-term relationship is coming to an end, ask yourself who really matters. Do you care what other people might think about you being single again? Really? If so, you’re wasting time and energy. You can bet people aren’t talking about how you’re single again when they go home after work. They’re worrying about their own things, as they should be!
  3. “Taken” isn’t necessarily better. It’s easy to feel less worthy when you’re the only single woman surrounded by women who are married or in happy relationships, or who have kids. But who’s to say that you don’t have value you’re bringing to the table? It’s worth remembering that having a relationship or being a mother isn’t always guaranteed to be the better option. Just think of people who are in unsatisfying relationships or who are living stressful lives even though their lives look amazing from the outside.
  4. You’re not to blame for relationships that go wrong. Why do we feel so bad or ashamed when relationships go south? It’s ridiculous! You can’t blame yourself for why a toxic guy was your boyfriend or why your husband of three years decided to cheat on you with his colleague. If you always blame yourself, then you’re saying that you’re not worth happiness or self-love unless someone is in love with you. Can you see how ridiculous that is?
  5. You should know your worth. The most important thing is that you know your worth, and you should know that your worth doesn’t depend on whether or not you’re in a blissful relationship. That’s just something that’s in your life (or not). It’s not an extension of your being.
  6. Failing can be good for you! No really. When you don’t get what you want, such as the perfect man and the perfect family (two kids and two puppies included), this can actually be the best thing that could ever happen to you. You might realize that you want something else for your life, other than finding the perfect man. Or, you might discover that you’re happier than you ever imagined now that you’re single.
  7. External things won’t make you happy. Sure, your awesome career can make you dizzy with bliss some days, just like a happy relationship could make you feel fantastic. It might also be good for the ego. But the tricky thing is that if you determine your worth according to whether or not you’re in a happy relationship, you could be expecting it to make you happy. That’s why some people who seem to have it all are actually the most miserable. Is that really relationship success? Nope. If we stop define ourselves according to having Facebook-worthy relationships, we’ll stop giving our power over to external things that can change or leave.
  8. Marriage isn’t an achievement. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t feel good about having a successful marriage or partnership in your life, but it’s not something that you strive to achieve. If you think about marriage in terms of it being a life goal, then you put unnecessary pressure on yourself to have it in your life. If you don’t get it, you’ll think you’ve somehow failed, which is BS. Bear in mind, anyone can get married, like your toxic ex. That in itself proves that it’s something that happens to you, not something that speaks to your great ambition and skill.
  9. You are not your life. Think about it: there’s you, doing your thing and living your life. And then there’s your life, filled with lots of people, things, activities, and some things you can’t control. Now, it’s totally unrealistic to let things that happen to you in your life determine your worth or how you feel about yourself. The two things are completely different! Your life might not be exactly where you want it to be, but that doesn’t mean that you’re less of a worthy person.
  10. There are different ways to define relationship success. What one persons considers to be relationship success might not quite hit the mark for another person. There’s no real way to measure a happy, satisfying relationship! When you remember that, then you can take this thought further. Who’s to say not having a relationship isn’t the better choice for you? Whatever you choose, own it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.