Guest post: loving yourself in a relationship or footloose and fancy free

Today we’d like to welcome our first guest blog by Harriet Kempton! A natural red-head who has recently gone blonde just to find out if they really do have more fun, Harriet is currently studying at Monash University for her Honours in Management researching Gen Y and work-life balance (we’d all like a little more insight into that, right?). Self confessed iPhone, twitter and pinterest addict, Harriet shares with us her thoughts on loving yourself.

Recently I had dinner with my lovely friend, B and as the girls reading this will know, any catch up amongst girlfriends will see the conversation inevitably turning to boys at some stage. It happens, always. Both of us have been footloose and fancy free (read: single) for some time and as the night wore on the conversation turned into what that meant and in particular what it meant to do things on your own. I am not saying that girls with partners never do things on their own but from what I have seen it becomes less and less once they are coupled up. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after all don’t we all like to share new experiences with someone!? But if we become so reliant on always having someone always there when do we ever live our own lives? When do we have the opportunity to grow? To bring something new into the relationship? To be accepting of ourselves as an individual?

Some of my friends are in the most gorgeous relationships and are more than happy to do things on their own, to catch up with their friends by themselves while others are in relationships where they cannot do anything on their own. Ever. I used to be friends with a couple who in order to avoid letting go of each other’s hands in a lecture, they would do this awkward move so he could turn her page and then his own. One of them even dropped their second degree so that they could have every class together. Seriously, this can’t be healthy. Other couples I know have no intimacy, never show or say ‘I love you’, take various substances to keep their partner happy, always make excuses to avoid spending time together, some always have to study together, some ensure they always get the same work shifts, one friend ditched the rest of us for two years and once the relationship ended expected we would be free to hang out with her all the time and could not understand when we had other commitments, she no longer had anything else because people had given up inviting her as she would never come, some girls I know are unhappy in their relationships yet refuse to break up because “I don’t know how to be single”. Would you seriously rather be unhappy in a loveless relationship than single with the opportunity to be happy?!

This post might sound judging but please do not take it as criticism but rather as an opportunity to think about what you want out of life, out of your relationship. Having the ability to be yourself, to have other friends, sports, passions, interests and hobbies that do not involve your partner are the best way that you can grow, that you can both grow. Individual growth is so important to a relationship but more importantly, to yourself. No one should give up their right to live their dreams, to achieve their goals, to do what they want to do, not because of their partner but because of themselves. Everyone has so much to offer and this should not be sacrificed because it doesn’t fit in with your partner’s plans. While I am no relationship expert, mine have all been fleeting flings – blink & you’ll miss it – I have learnt a lot from watching my friends go in and out of relationships. If nothing else the lack of a long term relationship in my life has given me the space to grow, to learn about who I am and what I want out of life, to make sure I do everything I want to do before I settle down which I hope will eventually happen but not just yet. I still have so much I want to achieve, so much I want to learn and see.

Go out and live your life – you are the only one that can make yourself happy, your dreams a reality and your goals a success.

Follow Harriet on Facebook and Twitter or check out her blog.

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

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