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Beyonce Said It Best: One plus One Equals… Two. (Not One!)

There aren’t many feelings comparable to being in love. The beauty, richness, comfort and just pure fun it adds to life are undeniably fulfilling. You have someone who understands you, your partner in crime that you can do anything with. That said, I think there is one ironically important component necessary to grow and sustain love: having and maintaining a strong individual life. 
 
In a relationship, it can be difficult to continuously grow as an individual when you become such a huge part of someone else’s life; and likewise, encompass someone else’s life into your own. Falling in love is an amazing, life-changing experience and sometimes it’s hard not to devote all of your time, energy and thoughts to that one person. However – especially as a young collegiette – I urge you to keep learning about yourself on your own individual path. 
 
 
I’m not saying you should neglect the person you’re with, but rather to be careful not to forget your sense of self either. Falling in love is exciting and you should be crazy about the person who is making you so happy. However, when your healthy obsession turns into that person becoming your only source of happiness, it’s a problem. A relationship with two strong, independent people will ultimately enrich your life as a couple together. 
 
Before my boyfriend and I started dating, we were 18 years in the making. That’s 18 years of having crushes, gaining and losing friends, failing, succeeding and changing. And just because we’ve spent the past two years falling in love, that doesn’t mean that those 18 years went out of the window. I still make time for my girlfriends and he still has his nights with the guys. He spends hours reading and researching nutrition, and I spend hours reading interviews and researching people. We still cultivate our personal interests and hobbies, and then sometimes we share what we’ve learned with each other. It’s important to continue doing things that made you happy on your own before you were together, and to make time for the other important people in your life.
 
 
It’s vital that your significant other inspires you and makes you the best version of you that you can be. But, in order for that to happen, you have to already know who you are. Oftentimes, couples grow into each other instead of alongside each other and come to a point where they don’t know who they are without that person by their side. 
 
I do think some people take this mindset too far, suggesting that you avoid being attached to your partner at all. While there are those couples that can go a week or two with hardly any communication, not only is that not fun, but I think it’s a little unnecessary and unrealistic. Therefore, I’m proposing a less harsh suggestion.
 
Set individual goals for yourself and make it a point to meet them. Go out with your friends and family without your partner sometimes. Set aside time to spend alone every now and then. Step away from your phone and avoid being in constant conversations through text. If you occasionally give each other a chance to truly miss the other person, it makes the time you spend together so much better. 
 
So, keep creating and growing your own unique life and find someone else who’s doing the same. And when you live those lives hand in hand, you’ll have the perfect recipe for a beautiful life together.
 
 
 
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