The Secret to Relationships

Disclaimer: I am not an expert by any means. I’ve been in a relationship (for the first time) for two and a half months. But the one good thing about being single for so long is that I have gained knowledge from seeing others go through their issues. I also have the most amazing role models as parents who will be married for 23 years this May. Perhaps this opinion of mine has come from being single for so long and being surrounded by friends in happy relationships. Nevertheless, I believe the secret to the most successful relationships is to have your own life outside of the relationship. I know there is some kind of sociological theory that supports my theory. I remember my professor saying last year that everyone is looking for someone to complete them, when, in reality, you should be looking for something who is a part of you.


The truth is, YOU are in a relationship. Without you, there’s no relationship at all. I will stand firm in the belief that you cannot change for the person you are with. Of course, things are going to change. Maybe you’ll start watching sports or drinking beer or getting into nerdy things (true story). None of these little habits should be changing who you are as a person. Don’t lose who you are just because you’re in a relationship. In December 2014 edition of Glamour magazine, Lisa Kudrow says “I think people get in trouble [when they assume they’re] supposed to be one unit, in sync about everything. [Marriage] is like being on a team. Each teammate is different, but you have the same goal” (p. 86). To continue with this metaphor, each teammate has different skills and strengths. If they’re expected to play the way the others do, then the team as a whole will be a lot less successful. I find it sad when I see a friend in a relationship start to become more like their partner then themselves.

 What’s my solution? You do you. Make sure you have a life outside of your relationship. Don’t stop hanging out with your friends. If you have a Friday night habit of knitting or painting your nails or watching a movie, don’t stop. Stay in tune with yourself. If you’re not married, you have no reason to base your life off of your partner. You have the rest of your life to do that. Get to know who you are as a person. Do what makes you happy. Learn new things to cultivate your character. Bring those strengths to your relationship. If you’re looking for a relationship, Reese Witherspoon says you should “find someone who’s taking care of their side of street – their own happiness – for themselves” (Glamour, November 2014, p. 97). It is so important for both parties involved to do this. If you have your own life, this is what will get you through difficult moments. This is what will keep you strong. This is also what you will be bringing to your relationship.
What do you think is the secret to relationships?

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