Know Who You Are
I want to be clear that when I say "relationships" in this post, of course it applies to romantic relationships with significant others, but it can also apply to friendships, partnerships, and any other ships you can think of. So let's get into it…
Many of us get into relationships not knowing who we are at all. We depend on external things to define who we are when we are in a relationship. For romantic relationships especially, we allow the relationship to define us. Who am I? Oh, I am this persons' girlfriend, or I am this persons' boyfriend. We focus on building the relationship all of the time and we never focus on building ourselves. We usually do this because it's easier than working on ourselves. Working on yourself is hard. Have you ever sat in a room alone with yourself? I don't mean watching tv, or playing video games, or whatever. I mean in silence. It's hard, right? It's painful and it's difficult to get to know yourself. It's even more difficult to work on yourself.
The problem is that when we don't know who we are and we enter into a relationship we depend on the other person to complete us. We assume that our only value lies in the other person, and that is a problem. Because there are going to be times where you guys do not get along. There are going to be times where your communication is off, and if you don't have any sort of self dependence or self worth then you are going to feel your value just plummet. That is because you put all of your value on how they feel about you. Or even worse, you put your value on how you assume they feel about you. That's worse because the odds are that you do a bad job interpreting how they feel about you a lot of the time.
Let me tell you something, I believe in being complete, but I believe in coming into the relationship complete. That's not to say that you won't still have things to work on. You will always have things to work on. You will always find ways to improve, but you shouldn't feel that you aren't whole without the other person in your life constantly validating you. You have to have some sense of independent identity or else you will overwhelm your partner. Defining who you are is a big load to bear, and your partner already has to worry about defining themself. They can't worry about defining you along with that. They will fail under the pressure. That job has got to be up to you.
A relationship should add to your completeness. A relationship should add to who you are. When two complete and independent people come together then something really special can happen. When the two of you know who you are separately then you can come together to do life with each other instead of for each other… Find out who you are before jumping into someone else.
It all starts with you.