Whether it lasts for a few weeks or most of your life, a great relationship can, and should, make you feel supported, confident and content. On the other hand, a harmful relationship can make you feel insecure, fearful and drained of energy. Keep reading to learn some crucial things you should never give up for any relationship, regardless of if it’s with a romantic partner or a close friend.
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1. Your Independence
If someone expects you to check in and provide updates about what you’re doing whenever the two of you are apart, then gets mad when you don’t, your right to independence is being severely compromised. Over time, such a lack of freedom can cause you to feel resentful towards the other person, not to mention socially stifled.
If you notice it’s difficult or impossible to do things without another person’s oversight, it’s time to have a serious chat with that individual to determine why there’s an apparent lack of trust towards you.
2. Your Personality
It’s often said that if a person really loves you, they’ll gladly accept all your great characteristics, along with those you might wish didn’t exist. No one is perfect, but self-acceptance is an important quality that people must have before they’re able to sustain good relationships.
Unfortunately though, even if you have good self esteem, friends and significant others may be under the impression it’s possible to gradually change the things about you that they don’t like. However, if a person is fortunate enough to have you as a part of his or her life, that means loving your complete personality, not embracing some parts of it and trying to alter others.
Some friends and partners in your life may try and get you to agree to give open access to things that should be kept private and only seen by you. Some examples are your e-mail account, bank records and cell phone logs.
However, like the first point that discussed independence related to your actions, such information should be for your eyes only, and you should never feel forced to allow others to see it.
Privacy can also extend to personal space. For example, if you and your spouse have agreed upon a system that one of you is not to be disturbed when the bedroom door is closed and a special hanger is on the knob, that should be respected without compromise.
4. Your Dreams
Maybe you’ve dreamed of getting your law degree long before you ever got into a serious relationship with a partner, and now that person is strongly urging you to give up on that aspiration altogether. Sometimes, that suggestion is coupled with the tempting possibility that the partner can make enough money for the two of you to live comfortably, so there’s no need for you to engage in work at all.
However, in this common situation, it’s so important to continue striving towards whatever it is you always dreamed of doing. In addition to providing personal satisfaction, it can also create security you can rely on just in case the relationship doesn’t go quite like the two of you had hoped. A relationship may mean it’s necessary to delay your dreams a bit or consider alternative ways of reaching your goal, but no partnership is worth totally casting aside whatever it is you have dreamed of accomplishing through your life.
Although this isn’t a complete list of things you should retain throughout all relationships, it should provide some welcome food for thought and offer perspective whenever you start to feel that perhaps a relationship is so worthwhile it warrants giving up parts of who you are.