Part of healthy relationships is growing together and molding each other into a better person; however, there is a line where this can become unhealthy. Some women will adapt their fashion and beauty choices, others will change their lifestyle and interests, all to suit the man they’re dating. Although it’s natural to take an interest in new hobbies, completely changing yourself inside and out is unhealthy, and it’s not what love and relationships are about. So, what are healthy changes you can make in a relationship, and where should you draw the line?
1. Health Habits
Looking good and keeping in shape can often be associated with the single life – and it’s true that many people start to let themselves go when they’re comfortable in a relationship – but equally, you may want to start taking better care of your body. Perhaps you stop mindlessly scrolling on your phone, start exercising more, or begin eating better – these are all great things because they don’t just benefit you, but they benefit your boyfriend or husband too.
When you’re in a long-term relationship, your health also affects that person’s life and vice versa. Choosing to look good for your boyfriend or husband, as well as him choosing to look good for you, will only bring benefits to you, your man, and your overall relationship.
When you’re in a long-term relationship, your health also affects that person’s life and vice versa.
2. Your Interests and Hobbies
Dropping all your interests and adopting your boyfriend’s hobbies as your own isn’t healthy. But when you spend more time with someone, it’s only natural that you’ll become interested in different sports, shows, movies, or books. One of the great things about being in a relationship is that you no longer have to go to the movies or to a concert alone. Instead, you can go along with them and vice versa.
Of course, you don’t need to do everything with them, but showing interest in another person’s favorite band is endearing, at the very least. Plus, you might discover a new genre of music that you genuinely adore.
3. Your Location
Long-distance relationships are difficult, and inevitably, at least one of you will have to move at some point. Firstly, the timing needs to be right, so don’t be too hasty. Secondly, you should consider if you’re going to find a new location together, or if one of you is going to move to the other’s location.
Your career is important, but you’ll need to consider the future when making this decision. For example, if you plan on leaving work and becoming a stay-at-home mom, or even only going back to work part-time, you may need to do what’s best for your future husband’s career and move to his neck of the woods because he’ll be the breadwinner. Equally, being close to family is also important. There’s a lot to consider, but try to remain open to the possibility of moving.
4. How You Argue
A healthy relationship has disagreements. In fact, it’s proven that a healthy relationship should have conflict, but arguing effectively takes work. Maybe you shut down at the first sign of confrontation? Or, are you hot-tempered and direct? You and your boyfriend will have to work together to approach conflict in a healthy way. It’s a necessary compromise and adjustment to make the relationship work.
A healthy relationship should have conflict, but arguing effectively takes work.
5. Your Vision for the Future
If you’re organized and ambitious, it’s likely you have a five-year plan. And while you’re single, you should be creating a life you love so that when someone does come along, it’s almost like “What are you doing here? I was having so much fun on my own, now you’re here, and you’ve ruined all my plans!”
You can’t see into the future and know who this person will be, or when they’ll come into your life, so that five-year plan you’ve made may need a little re-jigging. Of course, that doesn’t mean sacrificing your dreams for love, but it does mean being open to new possibilities and creating a vision for the future with your boyfriend.
6. Your Appearance
Clearly, if you’re dating someone or in a relationship with them, they like how you look and find you attractive, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to change how you do your hair or which clothes you wear. However, it’s still okay to take some direction from your man. In fact, a few of the women at Evie found out the men in their lives have pretty good taste in clothes when they were asked to choose an outfit for them to wear. Maybe you should try it yourself!
We’re not perfect, and neither are our partners. But what’s great about being in a relationship is that we can acknowledge that we’re imperfect and still be loved for our flaws. What’s even better is when we’re with someone who helps us in the areas we need improvement.
Bending yourself like a pretzel into something you’re not will only make you unhappy in the long run. You may feel fine dressing differently initially but imagine five years down the line when you’ve changed your style, your hobbies, and values to fit into what you think he wants. You’ll completely lose yourself, and you won’t be happy. Plus, the relationship may not even work out. It’s so much easier and healthier to just be yourself.
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