The search for “the one” is a quest on which most of us will embark in an effort to fulfill the fairy tale fantasies fueling our romantic dreams. However, a relationship with even the most charming prince or the most perfect princess won’t succeed if we aren’t first in a fabulous relationship with ourselves. Despite what many romance movies may have you believe, no one can fill you up or make you more complete. That is your job, and expecting anyone to make you whole is a recipe for romantic disaster. The healthiest relationships consist of two people who love themselves and meet their own needs first.
Let’s say you’ve finally found Mr. Right or Mrs. Dream Woman. Now, the tricky part is keeping him. The answer may be surprisingly simple. Take care of yourself first. If you make your own self care the highest priority, chances are you will be much better equipped to meet the needs of your partner, and the relationship. So, how does one take care of herself? The good news is only you know what you need, and that means it’s your responsibility to figure out how to get it.
Take care of your body
Let’s start with the basics. Honor your body. This means getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. The better you feel physically, the more likely you will able to be your best self in a relationship.
Remember the things you love
When you are in a new relationship, it’s normal to want to spend every waking moment with your new love interest. Nevertheless, making time for your interests and hobbies is crucial to helping you be you, and it will only make you more interesting to your partner. So, if you love skydiving, yoga, or rollerblading, for the benefit of both you and your partner keep jumping, stretching, and pasting.
Spend time with your friends
It may be easy to put your friendships on the back burner when you become part of a new relationship. However, it’s essential for both your happiness and the health of your relationship that you have some alone time with your friends. If you played poker every Thursday with the boys before you met your new love – keep playing. If you went for margaritas with the girls every Monday – keep drinking (but not too much – remember you are responsible for honoring your body).
Fix your own problems
One of the best things about being in a relationship is having someone by your side as you weather the inevitable highs and lows in life. However, it’s imperative you don’t depend on your mate to fix your problems. Remember, that’s your job. If you need some help working through a major issue, it’s best to see a therapist so you don’t turn your partner into your personal on-call shrink.
A quality relationship can be one of life’s most rewarding blessings. If you remember to take responsibility for you own care, you and your partner have the potential for a storybook romance. How’s that for a happy ending?