The importance of maintaining your individuality in a relationship Post written by Guest Blogger Jess May
“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.” ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
When you’re on a plane, the cabin crew will tell you that in the case of an emergency put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. Save yourself so that you can save others. You can apply this to anything, but relationships especially. How can someone love the amazing, genuine you if you’re not even sure who that is anymore? If you’re enjoying yourself, you’re happier. If you’re happier, it will reflect wildly in your relationship.
You don’t notice it at first. You spend more and more time together, you meld and mesh and what seems sudden has actually been ramping up for some time. What used to complement has now combined.
It’s not wrong to want to better yourself and stand alone. It’s not selfish or detrimental to your connection. Fall in love with yourself and share that love with someone who appreciates you for it.
There’s nothing more attractive than being self-assured.
We forget that before it was “we” it was “me”. We were flying solo. Before your partner, you were rockin’ being you and that’s what attracted them to you.
In starting my relationship coaching business, I’ve found my passion and it’s both exhilarating and exhausting. If you’d asked me six months ago if I had a passion, I would have shrugged and maybe mumbled something about chocolate or infinity pools with views. I’d forgotten what passion really was, because for so long I hadn’t felt it. Just the other day, my man looked at me with a fire in his eyes I haven’t seen for a little while. I read it like a book, the story there. He knew that finally I was ‘me’ again. I was validating my own dreams, my own goals and I was winning and taking numbers. I oozed confidence and a sense of accomplishment. I was me again.
The differences between you are what will grow and expand you.
They say opposites attract, and while I don’t doubt that my soft and smooth partner levels out my pedantic tendencies, there are things about him that used to drive me crazy – because they were traits I didn’t have. Don’t try and avoid seeing their flaws. Have you ever considered embracing those things? You might just find that you need a bit of that spontaneity that your spouse has that you don’t. Maybe you should take a leaf out of their chilled-out book and sit down with them to relax instead of juggling all the balls like you usually do.
You can still grow and learn from a person regardless of the amount of time you’ve been together. There is always more to learn about someone else and most importantly, about yourself.
It’s a ton of pressure to feel responsible for someone else’s happiness.
You’re probably doing it right now. You’re thinking about what it must feel like for your partner to have to be your pillar. What about you? If you’re not catering for your own needs, your own wants and seriously chasing down your happiness, you’re essentially leaving that up to your partner to do for you.
If you had to take your pick – team member or team leader – I bet I could guess which one you’d choose. Pedestals are dangerous, and when all comes falling down, it’s going to hurt.
Know what you want and how you want it.
Why do you want what you want? Why do you feel what you feel? You need love differently to the way your spouse does, but you can’t expect to get it if you don’t know how it looks, how it feels or how it sounds. Loving is a language,and you’re not always speaking the same dialect. By taking the time to assess what you desire and what it means to you to have it delivered that particular way, you’re doing your spouse a favour. You’re giving them the manual on how to love you completely.
It’s a balance that isn’t always easy to find, being assertive about what you want without making the other person feel like they’re opinions are irrelevant and boring.
Do you, and that’s it. You’re in a partnership, not a mentorship.
Do you, and that’s it. Support each other, but don’t do it for them.
Do you, and that’s it. It’s sexy as hell to do what you love.
Jess May is a relationship coach for women in long-term relationships who want to tap into their heart smarts and create the relationship they desire with the person they already love. A born and bred Aussie, she’s edgy and rowdy, swears a little too much, loves a stiff drink and heavy electric guitar. You can catch Jess rockin’ & rollin’ over at The Fire Stokers.