When you’re madly in love, sometimes there’s a tendency to give a lot more than you should in a relationship. All you do and all you think about revolves around your partner. This laser-sharp focus can sometimes consume you to the point where you lose yourself and begin to lower your once tightly held standards.
Here are 10 areas you must keep guard of when in a relationship.
Don’t remain in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself.
Therapist Mark Tyrell says you shouldn’t completely base your identity on how others see you, but you should be aware of how the people in your inner circle make you feel. “Your self-esteem shouldn’t be totally dependent on the person with whom you happen to be in a relationship. But the fact is, relationships do have a big impact on the way you feel. And that includes the way you feel about yourself. … How’s your self-esteem? How’s your relationship? The two can be more intertwined than we realize,” Tyrell writes on his website.
2. Personal beliefs
No matter how in love you are, backing down when it comes to your personal beliefs should not be an option.
Margret Paul, psychologist and co-author of Do I Have to Give up Me to Be Loved by You? says some compromise is healthy, but it’s important not to compromise to the point where you begin to lose yourself. In a piece for HuffPost, Paul writes:
Most relationships require us to bend to a certain extent, but how much can we bend without a loss of self? There is an inherent paradox in these questions: A truly loving relationship is a relationship where each person accepts and even values the differences between them. If you have to excessively bend your values to preserve the relationship, what are you preserving?
3. Dreams and goals
Your partner should support your dreams and goals. Don’t give up your hope of achieving something just because your partner (or anyone, for that matter), says you’re not talented enough. Even if your dream seems unattainable, your partner should stand by your side instead of tearing you down. If you hope to one day own your own business or run for office, for example, you need someone who is going to offer a word of encouragement so you can get up the nerve to get started or stay motivated as you pursue your dream.
If your partner tries to isolate you from your family or turn you against them, this is something to be concerned about. Possessiveness might make you feel special at first, but when it’s overdone to the point that you’re being kept away from family, something is wrong.
5. Time alone
No matter how much you love each other, it’s important to spend some time apart. You could stay home and catch up on your favorite TV shows or hang out with friends. It’s nice that your partner wants to be with you, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your “me time.” Couples generally need time apart to recharge. Besides, if you’re always together, you won’t have an opportunity to miss each other, and you may start to take one another for granted.
6. Close friendships
Everyone needs good friends in their life. Quality friendships make life richer and can help you get through the unexpected rough patches that come along. If you have a group of trustworthy people in your life, do your best to keep them close.
Theresa DiDonato says friends can be helpful when it comes to making decisions about your relationship. “Find ways to stay connected with your friends when you start a new relationship. Integrating your new partner into your friend group is a great way to remain connected with your friends, while giving your relationship a new context in which to grow and develop,” DiDonato said in the same article from Psychology Today.
Your partner should always treat you with respect. Even if you’re having an argument and you’re both angry with each other, he or she should still speak to you respectfully. This respect should also extend to your loved ones and even strangers. If your partner disrespects your family, close friends, or people providing a service (such as waiters or waitresses), this is a sign he or she has some character issues to work on. Don’t make excuses for the behavior.
8. Your deal breakers
Most people have a list of things they will and won’t tolerate in a relationship. If there are certain things you must have or can’t stand, don’t back down. For example, if you love animals, you’d be miserable living with someone who hates pets and tries to convince you to get rid of your furry friend. Stay true to yourself by not bending on the issues that would be absolute deal breakers for you.
9. Your personality
Young teens who are new to relationships are known to sometimes behave a certain way so their love interest will like them, but adults are also guilty of exhibiting this behavior. Don’t change the way you act or what you like in an attempt to make someone love or like you. Eventually, the real you will come out, as it will be become exhausting to pretend you’re someone you’re not. Allow yourself to let the real you shine through.
You should feel loved and safe around your partner. If your partner puts you in situations where you feel like your life is in danger, you need to find a way to safely break free from the relationship. One of the first places you should go to seek help is The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-799-7233.
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