It may seem selfish at first, writes Chris Riotta.
Isn’t it easy to become lost in a soul?
When we fall in love, it can seem like our partners’ happiness and the dedication we give to them jumps the line of becoming one of our top priorities.
Still, it’s so important to remember the other areas of our lives that fill us with meaning, happiness and love.
If you lose or let go of those parts of your life, you may become dependent on the happiness that your partner provides, which is a dangerously unhealthy situation that often develops in relationships.
The most successful relationships occur when two people form a bond that allows them to grow independently by each other’s side, finding new passions and dreams while admiring and encouraging each other’s individual pursuits. Here’s why:
1. Independence is the most important trait in a lifelong partnership.
Communication, trust, honesty, loyalty: These are some of the common answers people have when asked about the most important part of any relationship.
It is true that all of these things are necessary in a healthy partnership, but independence is one of the most underrated traits in a love that spans decades and lasts lifetimes.
Individuality is crucial in life; if you do not experience your own love, happiness and success, you are never truly alive. Any relationship we develop with any person on this Earth — even the love of our lives — will end before the relationship we have with ourselves.
It’s necessary to make the relationship we have with ourselves more important than the ones we develop with our loves.
2. You have more to contribute to someone else when you are whole.
The feeling of being whole — feeling comfortable as your own unique self — is an incredible, beautiful and powerful tool we can use to improve our lives, as well as the lives of our loved ones.
Think of it like this: You have a beautiful, full pitcher of homemade lemonade. You pour a tall, ice-cold glass for yourself and the sweet drink reaches the brim. Now, you’re able to share this with others.
It may seem selfish at first, but by ensuring your own happiness and doing whatever is necessary to make yourself happy, you will then be able to do the same for the people around you.
You’ll be able to boost someone else’s happiness because your underlying positivity will glow on the people you love and support.
3. Exploring your own interests keeps relationships flourishing.
When we try out new hobbies, like picking up new instruments or trying new sports, an immediate sense of excitement and adrenaline take over.
Trying new things on your own can be nerve-racking and uncomfortable, especially if you are used to doing everything with your partner or a friend.
However, when you remove yourself from your comfort zone and engage in a completely new task, you are left to your own devices. It feels amazing to know that you’re capable of constantly learning new things and perfecting them.
The surprise of getting good at something out of nowhere — dancing, writing or any interests you may develop –, will be sure to turn your partner onto you, as you are continuing to pick up new talents and improving yourself.
4. Focusing on yourself helps you and your partner go further in life.
Becoming dependent on each other also means we are less dependent on ourselves. It becomes more difficult to engage in our own daily activities with confidence and assertion.
Sometimes, we lose our own direction because we are so focused on someone else’s. This is a pitfall for both partners because they are then bound to each other for all the wrong reasons, and other areas of their lives will begin to show this degradation.
However, everything is different for people who put themselves as priorities before anything else. These people remain go-getters, even in very serious, time-consuming relationships. They remember to devote time to their careers, their own personal friendships and their own interests.
When two of these kinds of people come together in a relationship, the union only enhances their lives as they continue to grow in their paths.
5. Relying less on others and having zero expectations equates to happiness.
If we are able to completely depend on ourselves, we can focus more on creating happiness and self-love.
With no scapegoats to blame for issues that occur in our lives, we shift our concentration from getting angry or sad to improving our lives and finding our passions.
If two people can independently head into a relationship, prepared to handle life’s many obstacles by themselves, having a partner is not a necessity; rather, it is a gift. Your partner is supposed to support you, encourage you and watch you grow — not do it for you.
6. You are the director of your emotions.
The most important thing to remember in order to be happy every single day is to maintain your core happiness — the part of yourself nobody can touch except for you.
There should always be a deeper part of your consciousness that understands most of the negative feelings we experience daily are temporary. Nobody should be able to alter our inner cores.
We can maintain this core happiness by devoting time to our own interests, exploring new passions and hobbies and also protecting it from outside influence.
Not even our partners should be able to affect this part of ourselves because it allows us to remove the negative feelings and remember that, above all else, we are capable of being happy.
Remembering and maintaining your own happiness will make fights with your partner less extreme and easier to handle — not to mention, other situations you will experience inside or outside of your relationship.
7. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Self-love is vital before loving anyone else.
We’ve all heard the saying before: “You can’t love anyone before you love yourself.” Well, the reason we’ve heard it from parents, friends and bad Lifetime movies is because it is incredibly true.
Outward love is much more difficult to achieve if you don’t love your life inwardly. We can’t commit to a relationship before the relationship we have with ourselves is strong and flourishing.
And, just like a relationship with your beau, you may not think you know yourself 100 percent.
Sometimes, we can feel confused about who we are, where we’re headed or whom we’re becoming. But, that is the whole point of life, isn’t it? To experience each moment, to create ourselves and to live each day as if it could be the last? These are the things that will foster love within ourselves.
When you never live the same day twice, your mind is happy and constantly expanding.
Originally published on Elite Daily.
Photo: epsos / flickr