When you enter into a relationship, it does not mean that your personal life stops. Your life does not totally change because you are with another person. You have to maintain your own individuality. You need to maintain the friendships, hobbies, interests and goals that you had before you met your partner. If you give these up for the sake of your relationship, you are giving up your life. When your partner first met you, they were attracted to you as an individual. It’s important that you keep your individuality– that’s what attracted your partner in the first place. Maintaining your individuality will enable you and your partner to build a mature loving relationship.
Many relationships fail today because one partner has given up too much of themselves for the other. You have to love yourself first, before you can love another.
It’s important not to confuse identity and individuality with flexibility in your relationship.
Individuality: is about the things that make you who you are.
Flexibility: is about compromise.
Compromise will always be necessary in any relationship that you have. In order to compromise, you have to be committed to honest communication of your feelings and needs at all times. In building a life together, problems will arise.
Problem solving through honest communication is the key to building a mature, loving relationship. Neither you nor your partner should give up anything that makes you the unique person that you are. It’s up to you and your partner to find the balance that you both need to succeed in a rising loving relationship.
by Paul Mauchline – “The Art of Loving”