Nine Tips for Being Yourself in Your Relationship

Stylized 9 on envelope with three red roses

Most of us have fallen head over heels in love with someone we believed was our soul mate. But as we moved further into the relationship, we realized that we were not on the same page; our love was not being reciprocated. At that point, we launched a personal campaign to win over this person’s heart, no matter what the cost. The relationship persisted a while longer, but nothing we did or said really made a difference. Our “soul mate” may have enjoyed being doted on, but the more we upped the ante, the further this person withdrew and then one day, he or she was gone.

Does this scenario seem familiar? You then probably tried to figure out what you did wrong so that you could avoid failure in any future relationships. You may have completely given yourself over to this other person. What you didn’t yet know was that when one gives to a relationship, it does not mean giving up “me”. The realization that you sacrificed much of your life for this person then dawned on you. You had become too available.

Let’s call this the “availability factor”. Both women and men can make themselves too available. Although women are not as “hard wired” toward the “thrill of the hunt” as most guys, they still prefer that their mate have a life of his own outside the relationship. A person who is too willing to ignore his or her own life for the sake of someone else may have little or nothing to offer. Being too available and accommodating may be a sign that a person is needy or clingy or even desperate.

Women may have more difficulty overcoming the “availability factor” than men. Women will ask, “How come he just can’t love me back?” or “Why can’t he tell me how he feels?” They will then try to do whatever they think will bring them the love they want. Many are more than willing to make the man the priority, almost to the exclusion of themselves. However, most men find this quality a turn-off. Perhaps a genetic throwback drives a primitive urge to conquer. The greater men find the challenge, the greater the thrill and the more they invest in the pursuit. Whatever the case, do not give up your individuality!

So how do you put yourself into the relationship without compromising who you are? It might take a little work on changing old behavior patterns but here are a few tips:

  1. Love Yourself

    What you feel about yourself is what you show to others. When you like yourself, you radiate confidence and self-esteem. People who like themselves generally like their lives. This is very appealing. In social settings they will be the ones who easily attract others.

  2. Look for Contentment and Happiness in Your Own Being

    Find and cultivate at least one thing about yourself that you can take pride in. It could be a talent, a hobby, a skill you have mastered or a quality in your personality.

  3. If You Are a Single Parent, Focus on Your Children

    Too often, single moms and dads say they are a better parent when in a relationship. This way of thinking spells problems, not only for the person you are interested in, but for your children as well.

  4. Be Thankful for Alone Time

    Be grateful for the time you have for yourself outside a relationship. The universe loves gratitude.

  5. Catch Yourself at the First Signs of Attraction

    If you have already attracted a significant other and are in the beginning stages of the relationship, curb that eagerness to make that person the center of your existence. A relationship is just one area of your life, not your entire reason for living.

  6. Do Not Give Up Your Other Social Relationships and Activities

    Making time for friends and regular activities gives you perspective and levels the relationship field. Most men and women respect this in a potential partner. It frees them from the worry that they will be suffocated in the relationship; it also reveals this person’s stability. Question your potential partner’s dependability if he or she suddenly terminates friendships and usual activities just to spend more time with you. If he or she is more than willing to throw friends and interests under the bus, he or she might eventually do the same with you.

  7. If You Don’t Feel Like Answering a Call or Email, Don’t!

    At some point, even the most available people go through a period where they don’t feel like answering that phone call or email from their significant other right that minute. But they pick up the phone or jot off a reply anyway out of worry that their partner will respond negatively and end the relationship. Don’t buy into it! Honor your own feelings and needs.

  8. Respect Your Partner’s Personal Space

    Just because your significant other has to work overtime, wants to play golf on Saturday, or hang out with the girls does not mean he or she is losing interest. Being supportive of other life areas and pursuits allows your partner the freedom to be himself or herself. This consequently strengthens the relationship.

  9. Sometimes It Is What It Is

    Resist the temptation to read meaning into something that isn’t there. You can drive yourself nuts overanalyzing everything your partner says or does. And even though love does not have a set timetable for growth, if you find yourself exhausted after years of investing in a relationship that hasn’t gone anywhere, chances are it will never go where you desire. It might be time to get out!

Transform the “availability factor” into being available for yourself and invest in your own interests, friendships and goals and your life will be great with or without a current love relationship.

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