Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (2/18/17)

Relationships are tricky. They are either beautiful and romantic, or harsh and rough when you’re in them. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, we can all agree as soon as we started to notice the opposite sex and be attracted to them, our want or desire is to be in relationships. I mean, I had friends be in relationships just so they can be in a relationship… but that’s a different story.

Relationships is a form of commitment that take a lot of time and effort to keep healthy and stable from both parties involved. Because of that, people tend to not take care of themselves while putting their time and energy into another person.

Personally, I had to find a healthy balance between taking care of myself and being available for my partner. Being involved with someone means you’re putting in yourself, time, and dedication in someone else.

And let’s be honest, it could be draining for oneself.

Relationships deal with one of the strongest emotions we feel as people: love. If you’ve ever been in love before, you know how crazy it makes you feel, think, and behave. I guess this is where I talk about the different stages of thought in a relationship and all that and how to prevent the crazy that comes along with them.

The type of relationship you are in:

It’s 2017. Just how sexual orientation is more diverse (in a sense where you can identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, asexual, etc.) Relationships are also being changed in terms of identification. There’s monogamous relationships, polygamous relationships, exclusive relationships, and open relationships labeled/unlabeled relationships, and probably even more than that. What all that matters is that you and your partner know what you guys are and compromise the type of relationship you want to identify with. Remember, many people aren’t receptive of the fact that relationships are beginning to be more flexible and solely seeing anything that’s not a monogamous relationship as “not a real relationship.” Tell them to go fuck themselves. Personally for me, I’ve dealt with people, especially people who didn’t know anything about the type of relationship I have with my partner, telling me that just because my relationship isn’t officially labeled, it wasn’t real.

But what defines a real relationship? Love and affection? Dates? Support? Mutual feelings? Consistent sex with just one person? Trust and Loyalty? What if me and my partner do all of the things above? Is it still not real because it’s not labeled? You and your partner should know where you two stand and respect each other’s wishes. Knowing what you guys are is essential; you’re not left in the dark thinking that you’re one thing but it’s really something else. Just talk to your partner. Ask them what’s the deal and talk to them. It’s the only thing that’s going to give you your answer.

Toxic Relationships vs. Healthy Relationships:

Love is definitely blind, whether they are healthy or toxic for you. You may not know the differences between the two once you’re head over heels for your partner, but your intuition always knows. If something in your relationship doesn’t feel right (maybe you can’t communicate to them without feeling guilt, or see them acting weird towards you without no explanation, or whatever the case may be), then something is not right. Healthy relationships don’t have the constant doubts and worries that toxic ones do, obviously. When healthy relationships do have concerns or doubts, they are communicated with each other to work things out. Healthy relationships allow you to still be yourself, while toxic ones make you feel like you’re restricted and robotic, only doing things to please your partner or make them happy instead of making yourself happy. If you’re able to distinguish what kind of relationship you are experiencing with your partner, then you can take the next step into either bettering your relationship, or bettering yourself. In my personal experience with a toxic-relationship-esque in my past, I know just how difficult it is to let your mind take the shots without your heart influencing any say of your decision. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if the person you’re involved with helping you become a better person, or preventing you from doing so?

Self-Care while in a Relationship:

Even if you are in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you stop taking care of yourself (and I don’t mean in a physical sense like weight or looks). Like I said previously, relationships are a commitment that involves you giving at least half of your time, love, and dedication to someone else, which can open up a lot of vulnerability. In other words, relationships can show you just how flawed you may be. I know that time and time again, I can see that the flaw of not being able to cook being immensely more important with the person I am with rather than it just being myself. By myself, I find that cooking for myself isn’t high on my list of things to do because I still live at home and eat whatever my mom decides to make. When I’m with my partner, I know that my lack of cooking skills makes me feel bad because he cooks for me, and I never could cook for him. It’ll change though. Someday. But some other people discover even bigger flaws in themselves; I know my baddest flaw I used to have was that I needed validation from my partner 24/7 or else I wouldn’t feel good about myself. Just because you are now in a relationship, doesn’t mean that other person completely owns you now. You still have to take care of yourself and keep your mind healthy in order to help keep your relationship healthy. If you’re not able to think for yourself or feel appreciated without your partner telling you so, then you have to think about if you’re ready to be in a relationship. Your partner isn’t going to want someone who can’t think for themselves or constantly needs them to baby them. You are a grown ass adult who should be thinking for your grown ass self! That babying thing was so high-school.

Consistency in a Relationship:

One thing that I learned with my partner is that consistency is key. If your partner is consistently holding you down, consistently making time to see you in person, consistently tells you what’s going on in their life, then your partner is going to put their trust in you. A partner who randomly pops in and out of your life isn’t consistent, and that’s when you start thinking about all the possibilities of why they are moving the way they are moving (especially us women). Consistency also eases your mind; instead of questioning is every Snapchat post and where they’re going and what they’re doing, you’re putting trust in your partner because their actions add up. If you have a partner who tells you they love you to the moon and back, but their actions lack of it, then something is not clicking and you will begin to question every little thing. If your partner says what they mean and mean what they say, then you don’t have to always keep tabs on them, and you can live on with your day. Putting your absolute trust in someone else is extremely risky, but you have to know the person you are dealing with and the things that they do. I know for a fact that my partner was once a party-goer. He went to every party he was invited to and stayed out for the entire night. Now that he’s older, he’s more of a home-body that stays in his room and invites a couple of his closest guy friends over to smoke and hangout and be dudes. If he does go out, he goes to the bar with the same group of friends and goes straight home when he is ready. I never have to worry about him trying to pick up other girls or hooking up with them, because his words match his actions and vice versa. Being consistent is just as important as honesty, trust, and loyalty; in a way I feel like all those things come when you and your partner are being consistent. Being consistent allows you to still be yourself and maintain a relationship, because you’re being honest with yourself and your partner, doing the normal things you usually do.

Some people are luckier than others when maintaining themselves and being themselves in relationships. Relationships are never black and white and they differ for everyone, but what’s universal is the fact that it is important to take care of yourself just as much as the person you are involved with. Relationships are just an extension of you; they don’t define who you are as a person and what your interests or hobbies are. You’re still your own person, so make sure to take care of it not just for your partner, but for you absolutely first.

-Liz (:

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