For the last few years, I have spent time focusing on myself, my career, and my non-profit organization.
The last few years have gone beautifully, and I have been more than okay with focusing on myself. However, there were times in my life where I used to constantly rely on relationships, both romantic relationships and friendships, to get me through the day. Eventually, I learned to thrive on my own. I also learned what a healthy relationship and ‘perfect partner’ should look like.
1. Your Partner Does Not Define Who You Are
I used to think of being single as an extremely negative thing. In fact, I thought there was something wrong with me. Growing up, I constantly forced myself into relationships, simply for the sake of fitting in. As my friends told me stories about their relationships, I constantly felt like I was not “good enough” because I did not have a relationship to talk about.
I soon realized that my worth was not defined by whether or not I was in a relationship. My worth came from my strength, courage, and personal development.
2. Your Partner Gives You Room To Grow
The “perfect partner” will not only encourage you, but also give you the needed space to grow, learn, and make mistakes. By focusing on myself instead of on a relationship, I’ve truly realized that self-development and self-improvement are things individuals should constantly strive for. In a healthy relationship, it is important to allow your partner to make their own mistakes and decisions.
Of course, your partner should always be there to support you. However, it is important that they give you some distance to grow into the best version of yourself.
3. Your Partner Loves You at Your Best and Worst
While being single, I learned to truly love myself. I have slowly learned to love everything from my best moments to my flaws. This self-love has helped me realize my worth. When I find a partner, I need to know that they will also realize my worth.
In a relationship, it is never healthy to focus on mistakes, point out flaws, and make your partner feel bad about themselves. However, couples often do this without even realizing it. For this reason, I think it is extremely important to know your worth in a relationship, and find a partner who also sees that worth.
4. Your Partner Encourages You to Try New Things
Being single gave me the time to explore things I never thought I would be interested in. A few years ago, I had a terrible fear of public speaking. Today, I travel all around the country sharing my story. Being on a stage and speaking to crowds has become one of my favorite things to do, and I am so grateful for the exploration that brought me to public speaking.
Your partner should encourage this exploration. When one individual in a relationship changes and develops new interests, problems often arise. However, if partners build their relationship on the knowledge that change will happen, these problems can be avoided. Trying new things and making lifestyle changes should be looked at as a positive thing, and it is important that partners support each other through these changes.
5. Your “Perfect Partner” is Imperfect… And That is Okay
The biggest thing I realized about myself from being single is that it is important to embrace imperfection. I have learned to embrace each of my flaws. I have learned to make mistakes and forgive myself. Most importantly, I have learned that there is no such thing as “perfect.” Life is beautifully imperfect, and that is more than okay.
The “Perfect Partner” will also be imperfect. There will be good days and bad days. It is important to try and find a relationship that you believe is worth fighting for.
Being single is something I am no longer ashamed of. I am proud that I am constantly growing and learning about relationships, life, and myself.
Cover image courtesy of Getty Images