“Follow your dreams, not your boyfriends,” the actress Gillian Anderson once said and I couldn’t agree more.
I may lack an experience with relationship, but this quote reminded me of some relationships I have witnessed in the past. They usually involve a girl or a guy who loses herself or himself in a relationship, forsaking their dreams for their significant other. I’m aware that everyone is and should be free to choose their own path, but I wonder, is losing oneself in a relationship really worth it? If your significant other really loves you, shouldn’t he or she support your dreams?
I know that being in love feels good. It makes your body produce endorphin that makes you want to squeal and jump in your room as you listen to Taylor Swift’s songs. You’re glowing. You’re happy and you’re willing to give everything to that one person. You may even start to plan out your wedding. We’ve all been there. The thing is when people lose themselves in their relationships, they may not realize it when they are in a toxic one.
Let’s say Laura loves her boyfriend so much, but the same boyfriend also threatens to kill himself if she’s not around him. Or, maybe, Sarah is dating an attractive guy who accepts her for who she is, but she does not really know what she really wants out of the relationship. And Adam has to let go of his dream of becoming a guitarist because his girlfriend told him to. This can happen to any relationship, no matter how perfect it seems on the surface.
These types of relationship exists because of a lack of self-love. We live in a society that tends to romanticize things and place romantic love over anything. When it comes to love, people hardly think about family, friends, or even the person who needs it the most: themselves. We’re too busy searching for the right person. We hold on to fairytales, believing that a prince charming will come and sweep us off our feet. We allow ourselves to fall for the wrong person and even let them treat us as nothing less than human which leads us to a toxic relationship.
We break our own hearts. We lose ourselves. We’re hurt. but then what do we do? We blame ourselves for not being good enough. Is it because of my looks? Or because I’m not rich? Am I not smart enough? Am I not pretty enough?
We are burdened to think that we’ll die alone but, surprise! whether you’re single or married, we are all going to die alone. No matter what, we are going to walk alone through that dark tunnel at the end of our lives. So, why do we keep wasting our time searching for that one person when we could use it to follow our other dreams instead? I’m sure that being in love is not the only goal in life you want to achieve. Why don’t we work on ourselves first? Why do we treat others with so much love, but not so much when it comes to ourselves?
I’m not saying that loving someone is wrong. It is our nature as human to love and respect others. But when you think you’re ready for a romantic relationship, you have to make sure that you love yourself before you love your significant other.
When you love yourself, you will be aware of what you deserve in and out of relationship. You will sort out toxic people out of your life because you will realize your worth. I can’t guarantee that it will save you from heartbreak, but I can guarantee that if someone breaks your heart, your self-love could put it back together for you easily.
At the end of the day, the longest relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. So make peace with yourself, take care of yourself and love yourself. It’s a good kind of selfish anyway. I mean, what’s more selfish: loving yourself or expecting others to fit your standard of “The One”?
Dina Puti (@deenaputi) is a 20-year-old Food Technology student who finds comfort in writing and tweeting about social issues.