Lost in a relationship
To be truly in a relationship, you must be selfish. Contrary to how I’ve been living my life so far. Let me explain. I’m the big sister in my family (aka my mother’s assistant). Has the oldest girl, I’ve always taken care of my younger siblings. Hence, being selfish is not in my DNA nor my nature. I was not raised to be self-centered. This trait is innate in my relationships.
I will do anything for my partner when I’m in a relationship. I give everything I have to the person whom I love. I’m not sure where I got the idea that I could make someone else happy. Maybe it’s from raising my siblings or from being my mothers rock. The problem with wanting to be everything for some else is that you can’t keep it up for too long.
By trying to make my partner content, I wasn’t taking care of myself. Hence, when that person eventually tells me that they’re unhappy in the relationship; I saw it as disappointment within myself. I felt as if my efforts were wasted. Beating myself up. Why did I spend so much time giving when the person didn’t appreciate my labors?
I probably got the notion that “when you fall in love the person because your everything” from many 90’s R&B songs. Hence, leaving no room in my heart for self-love. My pattern was find someone who was broken and fix them, the sad part was that I was broken myself. How could I show some else love when I didn’t even take the time to get to know and love myself?
I committed the same mistakes repeatedly. Never once taking the time out to see what was wrong with me. Each time losing myself more and more. Fixing others when I was the broken one. I had to stop and find my own happiness. Finding my true passions so that I could love again, true love but in a selfish way.
When your partner is looking for you to make them happy or vice versa, know that you can’t and they can’t. True happiness comes from within.
You cannot make someone happy
You can be generous and kind to somebody but you cannot keep them happy. They will eventually want more than you can give. Helping does not mean that you give up own your dreams. Since doing so only leads to resentment towards your partner. Helping means giving the person you love guidance without compromising who you are as a person.
Get to know yourself
You must get to know yourself before you try and love someone else. Find out what you enjoy doing, how you would like to live your life. Learning about yourself will take some time and a lot of soul searching, but it’s all worth it. Hence creating boundaries within your relationships. You’ll know which traits you can live within a person and the ones you can’t.
No one can make you happy
I’m not saying that you cannot find happiness within a relationship. What I’m saying is that if you yourself are broken, then maybe you should take some time to heal. If you’re unhappy in your own life, no one can bring you joy. A relationship can only keep you content for so long. The truth will always come out. People around you can help to heal your wounds but that’s all. I found guidance in my faith and my family. You must find your guidance to happiness from a loving place.
Don’t loose yourself in your relationship
For example – before you stated dating this person you used to go dancing, took time out of your life for friendships and family. But once you got with this person you no longer have time for these things or people. When you find that you are losing identity, then your needs are not being fulfilled. Within the right relationship your hobbies, friendships and family will never be neglected. Since they’re a part of you and your partner will appreciate them.
Loving yourself doesn’t make you a selfish person, it completes you as a person. So many people believe that a boyfriend or a girlfriend will complete them, that magically being in a relationship will make them happy. All their worries will disappear once they have someone. That’s not true! You will then become unhappy within your relationship since you never took the time to fall in love with yourself. Love yourself means loving who you are even without someone by your side.
I’m still working on getting to know myself. There are moments in my life where I still get lonely; but the prospect of not being myself within a relationship would be like slaughtering my soul.