Your Relationship Doesn’t Define You — Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise

Your Relationship Doesn’t Define You — Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise ©iStock/alexey_ds

When you’re in a relationship for a long time, it can be difficult to imagine what life would be like if you weren’t together. Couples just share everything, and in that regard, relationships are kind of like growing another head. However, it’s important to remember that you aren’t your relationship, and it doesn’t define you, no matter how much you might think it does.

  1. You had a life before your relationship.>You didn’t instantly get together the moment you were born. Before you were even dating, you did things on your own. You hung out with friends, you competed in a triathlon, you played the lead in your high school’s musical. In other words, you had your own life, and it didn’t just end the moment you became a couple.
  2. We all have our own unique interests.It’s almost guaranteed that certain things you enjoy doing aren’t of any interest to your boyfriend. It’s completely normal to share interests, and to introduce each other to new things, but when it comes down to it, you still have your own interests and pastimes. That means if you were to factor out your boyfriend, there are things that will still make you uniquely you, like your love of quoting romantic comedies or collecting beer-stained coasters.
  3. A real relationship is between two people, where each person brings something to the table.You didn’t enter into your relationship just because your boyfriend said so. You needed to agree to it too, meaning your relationship is equal parts you and him. You’re a complete entity, a complete person, and nothing and nobody can say you’re anything less.
  4. When you introduce yourself to a stranger, you don’t just say “Hi, I’m Mike’s girlfriend.”And if you do, cut it the hell out. You introduce yourself as you – your name, what you do, what you like, what you don’t like. And you only bring up your boyfriend when it’s clear the guy’s probably going to ask for your number.
  5. If relationships defined, single people would be nobodies.And we both know that’s not true (but it is, however, slightly insulting). If the only way you’d be worth anything is if you were with a guy, then how could other people be anything when they’re not with someone? Taylor Swift doesn’t just stop being Taylor Swift when she goes through yet another break up (in fact, I think that just helps her record sales).
  6. You wouldn’t want your boyfriend to think he’s just some guy with a girlfriend.So why would you think these things about yourself? Just like you want the best for him, he also wants the best for you, which means he wants you to have a life separate from him, your own goals, your own dreams, and your own successes. Because those are the kinds of things that actually define you.
  7. When you let your relationship define you, it means you’re depending on it to never end.Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned though. If you let your relationship dictate your life, then what do think would happen if it unexpectedly ended for some reason? You can’t always rely on a happy ending, and you shouldn’t just wait for things to happen. Instead, do what they say, and live like there’s no tomorrow.
  8. Your relationship doesn’t define you.Your relationship wasn’t just sitting around, waiting for you and your future boyfriend to come along so that it could create meaning for you guys. Instead, you’re the ones who created it, and you can do what you want with it. You can end it, continue it, make it stronger, or take it to new heights. You’re really in control of how your relationship goes – not the other way around.
Chelsey is a freelance writer in NYC. She's pretty normal by today's standards, or at least that's what her mother tells her.