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love blinds us. when we're with someone, we're so caught up in ‘making it work' we don't stop to consider whether this is actually the best path for us. being in a relationship is revered amongst society; being single is not. it's almost a silent marker of success to have someone by your side. yet, how many people in relationships are genuinely fulfilled? are living their best lives? are free? and how many are living in fear? in deprivation?

people talk about how relationships require compromise but i've never liked that phrase. i don't think you need to change who you are for your partner. i believe in love being expansive, not restrictive. if a partner has needs that aren't being met, can you fulfill those needs without sacrificing your values or beliefs? or is your partner asking you to compromise these? to choose them over choosing what's right? often we choose them because preserving the relationship appears more important than preserving our integrity and character.

when conflict arises in my life, i check myself. i take a step back and try to understand the other person. to comprehend their behaviours, their words, their attitudes. but in the midst of understanding, i can become accepting of behaviour that really isn't in alignment with who i am and what i believe. it's often not until a relationship is over, until separation has occurred, that i can clearly see how the relationship really didn't bring out the best in me.

and that is what a partnership ought to be - it's not about 'just having someone'. it's about having someone who makes you the best version of yourself. who challenges you to be better. who supports you in becoming better. and who embraces you for all that you are. not someone who asks you to compromise your values and beliefs to appease them. relationships are a partnership requiring mutual comprehension and mutual effort. when only one party is committed to understanding the other, imbalances and a loss of self occurs.

although this relationship might appear to be the most important thing, the relationship with yourself is more important. so take a step back - do you like the person you’re becoming?

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