So you’re a hopeless romantic. You throw yourself wholeheartedly into relationships, fully committing yourself to the experience. You know what you’re doing, and you know that compromise is the key to keeping your partner happy as can be.

But in the throes of love, can you tell when you’ve compromised too much?

Nearly everyone finds themselves acting a little differently when they’re swept off their feet by an alluring partner. We style our hair a little differently, buy new clothes, and maybe even hit the gym. As the relationship progresses, we find that we need to compromise on certain things—maybe spend a little less time at work, and a little more time helping around the house.

But this can go too far when we start changing the core values, beliefs, and worldviews that make us unique individuals. Being committed to your relationship doesn’t mean that you have to give up who you are. It doesn’t mean sacrificing the essential You in order to hang on to love.

Your dreams are a vital part of you. They’re slowly formed as you mature, and may even take on different forms as you learn and grow, but they’re always there.

Don’t let your partner pluck them from your sky.

Perhaps your dream is to write a novel. Or maybe you want to produce beautiful art, get a master’s degree in engineering or live a minimalist life. Whatever your dreams are, hold onto them. Cherish them. Let them grow and blossom. They’re an essential part of you.

If either of these situations sounds familiar, it’s time to take back your dreams. Your relationship should support them, never destroy them.

You deserve to be happy. Remember that.

A relationship should encourage that happiness—it shouldn’t be a constant slog. Yes, relationships take work, and it’s normal to go through periods of stress and turmoil, especially in long-term relationships. But our relationships should also bring us joy.

If you’re deeply and consistently unhappy, and can’t quite figure out why, it’s likely that you’ve given up some part of yourself we’ve talked about on this list. In doing so, you also give up your happiness, especially in the long-term.

Your relationship with your partner should bring out the best in you. If it’s not, and if you find yourself being the one who is forced to consistently sacrifice your happiness for the sake of your partner’s, it may be time to have a conversation.

Remember, relationships take work on both sides.  Both partners should work to make one another happy. Make sure that you’re not the only one who is sacrificing. It’s your quirks, values, and identity that your partner was drawn to in the first place, so if you give those up, you’re withholding what they love best!

And if your partner wants you to be someone else and give up any of the traits on this list, well, they’re not looking for you. They’re looking for someone else.

By all means, remain flexible within your relationships and be willing and able to compromise, but never give up what makes you beautifully You. If you did, the world would lose just a little of its brightness.


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