Most of us at one time or another have come dangerously close to losing ourselves in love. Whether we unconsciously changed to become more appealing to our partner or simply lost sight of ourselves somewhere along the way, we know love has tremendous power to change us. If the healthiest relationships celebrate the authenticity of its characters, finding someone to love us for who we are seems like a good place to start. Check out these 8 tips for loving with your whole heart without losing yourself!
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1. Love yourself:
A vital part of learning to love yourself is valuing your worth. Flock to the things that lift you higher and flee from that which brings you down, especially in love.
2. Be Honest:
We aren't doing ourselves a favor by pretending to be someone we're not in a relationship. Remain honest with your partner regarding your views on everything from politics to musical preferences to religion. You're filled with personal truths developed from years of experience; honor yourself by sharing your truth.
3. Maintain personal interests:
While building a history with a lover is incredibly fun, take the time to engage in activities that bring you personal joy. If you can share your passion with your partner, wonderful! Just remember, there's no substitute for joyful solitude.
Related: 11 mistakes I made that nearly ended my marriage
4. Show off:
Allow your partner to get to know the real you. Bring them in on your life's journey, from your childhood and awkward adolescence, to your family life and most valued friendships. Your partner can't truly appreciate the person you are without understanding the history that brought you here.
5. Be yourself:
While it's only natural to be on your best behavior when meeting your partner's friends and family, don't miss out on the opportunity to be yourself. Your authentic self is worth knowing. Shine on!
6. Make other plans:
Maintain personal relationships outside of your romance. You are a child, sibling, friend, employee, and perhaps a parent. You're more than just your partner's half, you're whole to many other people in your life.
Related: Take time for yourself...and 9 other marriage tips worth listening to
7. Know what works for you:
You've been around the block long enough to know what works for you in life and love. Speak up if you don't like the direction your relationship is headed. Listen to your gut when it's sounding alarms. Take inventory of your happiness. Above all, have the courage to know your own heart.
8. Better or worse:
Quite simply, are you a better or worse person in this relationship? Since it can be hard to draw a line between the person you were before your relationship and the person you've become as a result of it, listen to the things your friends and family are saying about the person you've become. Remember, these are the people who knew and loved you when you were single.
By Lori Garcia
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