The saying goes, “There’s somebody for everybody.” While this may be true, the question everyone needs to ask themselves is, “Is my somebody the right somebody?” This question is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship that nurtures both you and your partner in positive ways. Every relationship goes through hard times, but when hard times hit, the way we respond says a lot about who we truly are. Here are some ways your partner could be helping or hurting your well-being.
The way you think about yourself is your self-concept or self-image. Being in a relationship is sure to change your self-concept in some way. The size of your self-image can undergo a size shift, either expanding or shrinking. If you put yourself in the background in order to focus on your mate, then you may find that your self-concept is shrinking. For instance, a woman who is always being criticized by her partner for her looks may start to believe that she isn’t attractive. But a woman who is often reassured and complemented may find her self-esteem and confidence increasing. If a man has to put all of his attention on working with a sexual crimes attorney, he may find his own self-concept negatively changing, but a supportive partner may be just the thing to keep him positive.
Some of us are more reluctant to change than others, but being in a relationship will undoubtedly change you. In many ways, we become different versions of ourselves. The main reason for this is integrating parts and ideals of your partner into your own psyche. Change always starts in the mind before manifesting into action. We tend to perceive our partner’s losses and successes as our own. This has the potential to create a positive or negative change. Anxious individuals tend to experience self-change more dramatically than others.
Being in a relationship can sometimes change your habits and lifestyle for the better or worse. If your partner exercises regularly, you may be encouraged to start your own exercise regimen. You may even start exercising together. Being moderately active for a little more than two hours every week is all you need to improve your health and your sleep while reducing stress and improving your weight. When you have a partner who promotes healthy eating, especially if they’re the one who prepares meals, you may find yourself eating more healthily or mindfully. Adversely, a partner who is a substance abuser, alcoholic, or smoker may do the exact opposite and encourage you to lead a more sedentary and dangerous lifestyle. Even if you don’t engage in unhealthy habits, being around bad habits can adversely affect your health and wellbeing.
It’s important to pay attention to the signals that come up in your relationship. If you notice any red flags, it’s best to address them before things get out of hand. Therapy is an option and having an open mind is always necessary. When both partners are committed to creating and nurturing a healthy relationship, everyone in the family wins. And sometimes it’s best for everyone to just walk away.