More often than I like to see, I get people commenting on my articles and Facebook page(s) referencing some sort of negative stigmas towards relationships in general. Just earlier today one woman was saying that she has new-found freedom and self love since she has become single.

While, of course, the single life lends it to a certain air of carefree whimsy, I certainly do not think that being single is the only way to obtain such freedom. Furthermore, I do not think being in a relationship requires you to lose it.

I find this to be a widespread issue both among my peers in my generation, and spread over multiple age groups. There is a negative stigma that surrounds the idea of a relationship in general.

Relationships hold you back from your dreams. Relationships keep you from pursuing your goals. Relationships derail you from your career path. Relationships take away your freedom.

Stop it. Just…stop it right now.

What we should be doing is inserting “The wrong” before each one of those sentences. Because the truth is that the right relationship with the right person will do the exact opposite.

The right relationship will never dim your light – but fuel it to shine brighter. You will laugh louder, love deeper, smile bigger, and feel as though you are being lifted by balloons, not weighted by an anchor.

I believe that if you are with the right person, you should never feel as though you lose yourself or your identity. Sure, we can be motivated to change and improve and become better, but this is not the same thing as forgetting who you are in order to constantly appease someone or keep them happy. Often times people do this because they are afraid of losing their partner. In reality, the real tragedy is losing themselves by trying to keep someone else around who doesn’t truly appreciate who you are.

Someone who loves you will never try to change you. They will not weigh you down, discourage you, or make you feel as though you do not deserve the world. They will stand in front of you when you need protection, beside you when you need a teammate, and behind you when you need support. They will never leave you hanging in a time of need and they will never drain your morale or spirit.

If you do find that the person you are giving your time to is having these negative effects on your life, then it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate exactly why you are with them. Are you consistently giving and putting in effort, but notice that they are not? Are you always adjusting and making sacrifices while their opinions and desires run rampant? These are not only clear warning signs of a one sided relationship, but one that may be toxic as well.

So, what is this “one easy” way to tell you’re with the right person that I promised in the title of this article? All of these points amount to one thing:

The right person will enhance your life, not complicate your life.

Your thoughts should be happier, your smiles should last longer, your pains should be lessened because you now have someone who is willing to share your burdens to lighten the load.

If you are in a relationship or seeing someone new and do not feel like their presence in your life brings you these joys, they are likely not for you. This does not mean they are a bad person, simply that it is just not a match. But what we can’t do, is experience this a few times and therefore conclude that all relationships will bring you down. It takes time, resilience, and effort to find the right person.

Perhaps the most cliche statement of them all holds true when it comes to finding the right person for you: When you know, you just know.

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