Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash
Managing a relationship is tough work. Sometimes you find yourself looking in the mirror one day and you've suddenly become someone else. Someone different. Relationships change us, but they shouldn't change who you are fundamentally or physically unless those are changes that you want for yourself.
Here are some parts of you that you should NEVER change because of someone else, and how to tell if you already, so you can stop.
1. Your style.
If you find yourself standing in the dressing room, looking in the mirror and wondering if your partner will like what they see, you're doing it wrong. Unless you are out shopping for a special occasion, buy what makes you happy. While it's nice to feel "noticed," it's also nice to feel like your style matches your personality.
2. Your friends.
When you start cutting friends out because of your partner, it's a sure-fire indicator that something isn't right here. No one that loves you would expect you to cut people that have been supportive of you out of your life. Watch out for this serious red flag.
3. Your relationship with your family.
Similar with friends, your family is your blood. If you are finding yourself spending less time with your family because they don't get along with your partner, or your partner doesn't like them... RUN. And find yourself someone you can enjoy with the people you love.
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4. Your individuality.
The early stages of a relationship can turn you into a meshed ball of love and lust where one of you ends and the other begins. You do everything together, you can't live without each other, and you certainly can't (and don't want to) be alone. But those days should fade over time as you settle into your relationship, and finding your individuality again should be top priority. You can't love someone else fully if you literally cannot be without them.
5. Your religious beliefs.
If you feel strongly about science, but your new beau is a devout Christian, there should be boundaries. There is no reason why anyone should have to change the core pieces of them to match someone else just because they are together. You can have different views and still love each other for those views, respectfully. But if you find yourself missing church every Sunday because your boyfriend doesn't appreciate your religion, you either need to have a serious convo about those boundaries, or you need to find someone with the same devotion to your church as you.
6. Your body.
If you are with someone who wants to change the way you look... GET OUT. Unless you are making a vow to get healthy or lose a few pounds because it's something you want to do for YOU, then there is no reason why you should have to change your physical appearance to match what someone else has in mind. It's your body. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. And if you are? The people who love you should not be trying to change you.
7. Your quirks.
Do you have a weird pillow you sleep with at night? Do you need to check the garage door twice before you leave the house? Whatever it is, it's part of YOU. It makes you more comfortable and it's one of your "things." If the person you are with wants you to stop doing something not because it's unhealthy or dangerous but because it bothers them? Then you have some serious thinking to do. What other things will they want to see you change later?
8. Your relationship expectations.
If you have #relationshipgoals and the person you are with fits very few of them, keep looking. Don't settle for less than what you feel you deserve, because you absolutely do deserve it all. And you're only doing yourself a disservice by sticking it out in a relationship that doesn't meet your realistic expectations of what your partner should be.
It's easy to get lost in "love," especially in the beginning when everything is new, fresh and exciting. But eventually you find your way back to you. And if you don't, it might be time to find yourself someone to spend your life with that doesn't make you change who you are fundamentally. It's hard enough work trying to make a relationship work. Doing it while trying to become someone you're not is exhausting and unfair.