Relationships aren’t supposed to strip you of your freedom. You’re not supposed to feel like you’re trapped, like your social life has taken a hit, like everything has changed now that you’re dating someone.
The only thing that has actually changed is your relationship status. You’re still supposed to have friends, a career, hobbies, a life outside of your relationship. You don’t need to sacrifice everything else you love in order to make room for your person. There’s enough room in your heart for everything that matters to you.
If your person is the right one for you, they’ll encourage you to go out with your friends on weekends. They won’t guilt trip you into staying home with them because they want you all to themselves. They won’t get angry at you for leaving the house without them because they’re jealous and insecure. They won’t make you feel like you have to pick them over the friends you’ve known for years, like it’s some sort of competition.
If your person is the right one for you, they’ll encourage you to follow your career aspirations. They won’t get annoyed when you spend a few extra hours working when you could have been spending time with them. They won’t try to convince you to give up on your dreams because it’s a waste of time and you’ll never succeed. They won’t make you feel like you have to choose between having a successful relationship and a successful career.
If your person is the right one for you, they’ll encourage you to wear whatever you want. They’ll want you to feel your most beautiful, your most confident. They won’t make backhanded comments about how you look. They won’t accuse you of cheating on them simply because you chose to wear tight jeans or a low neckline. They won’t shame you based on what you chose to do with your own body.
If your person is the right one for you, they won’t make you choose between them and someone — or something — you love. They won’t ask you to make sacrifices in order to prove your love for them. They won’t expect your entire world to revolve around them and what they want while putting aside what you want.
Just because you’re in a relationship does’t mean you’re supposed to dedicate every waking hour to your person. You’re still supposed to have nights where you go out without them and days where you don’t see them as much. You’re still supposed to have hopes and dreams of your own. You’re still supposed to think for yourself.
Healthy relationships have boundaries, not prison bars. You shouldn’t need permission from your person to leave the house. You shouldn’t need permission from your person to go about your day. They’re supposed to be your teammate, not your boss, not your leader.
Relationships are supposed to broaden your world, not narrow it down, so don’t lose your independence once you get into a relationship. Don’t lose your friendships. Don’t lose your passions. Don’t lose your sense of self.