We’re all looking for love, but we’re still skeptical when we meet the guy who could be “The One,” because what if it crashes and burns? You do eventually become more comfortable thinking of yourself as part of a couple, and that’s great, but it doesn’t mean you should lose your own identity. All relationships require compromise, but there are certain parts of yourself you should never have to change for a guy.
- Your professional drive and career goals. Love is awesome, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Even if your significant other is wealthy, you don’t want to be dependent on him financially. Be sure to remain invested in your own career and continue working towards the goals you set when you were single. Whether the relationship works out or not, you’ll always be thankful for the ability to stand on your own two feet.
- Your relationships with your friends. It’s so easy to get lost in a new relationship and forget to hang out with your girls from time to time as well. If your partner is worthwhile, he won’t want you to lose touch with your friends, anyway. If he does try to alienate you from them, it’s a serious red flag. Whether the relationship leads to a breakup or a wedding, you’re going to want your girls around for help and support.
- Your passion and hobbies. When you’re single and have lots of free time, it’s easy to engage in your favorite hobbies and pursue your passion. Once you’re coupled up and dividing your time between work, household chores, and your significant other, that time isn’t so readily available. However, you should still make time to cook, bake, write, or do whatever you’re passionate about. Your relationship will be happier if your soul is happy.
- Your relationship with your family. Whether you have a tight-knit family or the type who only flies in for a meal together near the holidays, they’re an important part of your life. They’ll drive you crazy sometimes because that’s what families are for, but you love them and shouldn’t sacrifice the bond you have with them for the sake of a relationship. Again, if your partner is worthwhile, he’ll encourage you to see your family and even go with you.
- Your personal style. Style is considered a trivial matter to some, but it’s actually a really important aspect of who you are. When your outfit, hair, and makeup are on point, you feel beautiful and confident. If your significant other tries to change your style to match his tastes, that should be a red flag to you. Go ahead and rock your favorite boots and scarf because it makes you happy.
- Your long-term life and family goals. Relationships do involve a lot of compromise, but there’s a difference between compromising on what to have for dinner and compromising on whether or not to marry/have kids. If you’ve always dreamed of having a family someday, don’t give up on that dream because you met someone great who doesn’t share your vision for the future. It sucks, but your dreams won’t magically disappear and you may start to resent him over time because you feel as if he’s taken that away from you. It’s not always easy, but you should stay true to yourself.
- Your values and beliefs. When you’re single, it’s easy to remain adamant about your political views, spirituality, and values in general. Once you’re in a relationship, unless your significant other is exactly like you, there’s a chance you’ll meet some opposition. Of course you should listen to their views and be respectful, but it’s perfectly okay to disagree on certain issues. You shouldn’t change your entire way of thinking because he disagrees.
The bottom line is that a relationship is a partnership that should be rooted in equality. It’s perfectly natural to grow and change slightly throughout the journey of life, but the most important aspects of your personality shouldn’t be watered down or lost in a sea of togetherness.