Relationship advice for dating

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Don't use relationships as an excuse to never focus on yourself, your flaws or your personal growth.

It sounds schlocky, but liking who you are is important.

Don't compromise or undermine your own desires just because a) you want to give the other person everything they want or b) you're scared that you'll lose him or her if you need something different.

A functional relationship makes room for what both of you need, and your partner can't know what you need if you don't voice it.

You genuinely like striving to be the perfect partner. But while you're submerging yourself in the life of this other person, you may not be making your own the priority it should be.

How do you find the balance between giving to your partner and holding onto yourself in the process?

It's great when your significant other and your friends like one another, but your friends don't always want your other half around when they are trying to spend time with you. 2) Identify hobbies and interests that you don't share -- and keep doing them.

The way you interact with your friends when your boyfriend or girlfriend tags along is necessarily different -- and less intimate -- than when you show up solo. So plan -- and show up for -- a standing after-work happy hour or weekend brunch that's just for you and the people who were there for you before Mr. You and your significant other are not going to enjoy all the same activities.

We all know that person who never seems to take any time for herself between breakups to grieve, mend and remember who she is independent of the person who was such a huge part of their lives for however long.

Leave some topics for when you meet up for dinner or come back home to each other or talk on the phone at night.

Also, you can't live your own life if you're always talking to someone else.

The less you let what's going on in your relationship affect your work, friendships and interaction with family, the better. In reality, your partner should make you happy, not make you whole. Don't resist success, a promotion or making more money than your partner to boost his or her ego or spare his or her feelings.

If the state of your relationship entirely determines your mood, then you are probably too consumed by it. If you have plans with family or your best friends, don't flake last minute to stay in with your significant other. Someone who truly loves you and who is worth loving is secure enough to cheer you on.

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