Iâ€™ve become a firm believer in the concept that a person cannot be happy with someone else until they are happy alone. Happiness comes from within. And while being in a relationship has its emotional benefits, itâ€™s important to remember that two individuals make up a couple. So wouldnâ€™t it be smart and healthy to always keep self-improvement in mind, not just for you but for your relationship?
Some college couples remind each other to call their families back home more or maybe quit smoking together. Others study together and help each other improve academically. Another common thing that college couples do is go to the gym together, whether theyâ€™re trying to stay healthy or get healthy after eating one too many burgers.
â€œI think itâ€™s a great idea because you have someone there to motivate you and do it with you,â€ said Lauren Sanchez, a junior at Trinity University. â€œThe only thing that might be bad is if you spend too much time togetherâ€¦ But as long as you balance the time right you should be good.â€
Ideally, couples function as a team like the symbiotic relationships you learn about in Biology I. You make each other happy and the benefits are mutual. And depending on how long youâ€™ve been together, overcoming things as a couple might be something youâ€™ve already gotten used to.
â€œI think that couples that work together on improving themselves can be a very positive thing. It all would depend on the dynamics of the relationship and what they are tackling to improve,â€ said Maddie Fabbro, a junior at Pratt Institute. â€œIf the couple is trying to adapt a new healthy lifestyle or something like that then it would help if they worked on it together.â€
Taking steps to better yourself with someone else requires a certain amount of comfort â€” you have to look at your flaws openly and canâ€™t be preoccupied with saving face. Itâ€™s sort of like how the first step is admitting you have a problem. Couples that comfortable with one another often know how to push each other and motivate â€” especially after the relationship has hit and survived a few bumps in the road.
But other times it takes work â€” times when dynamics are off and one half of the pair has more room for improvement. You may have experienced this yourself, an ex that was emotionally needy or friends who were more than a little paranoid about their boyfriend/girlfriend cheating. Maybe thatâ€™s because they were insecure and didnâ€™t feel confident enough in their relationship.
â€œUltimately the couple working together one way or another to have a happy healthy life together is the most important thing,â€ Fabbro added.
So whatever your situation may be, keep yourself in mind. It isnâ€™t a selfish thing to do, itâ€™s healthy. And whether you work on yourself alone through meditation or hit up the gym with your sweetheart, your relationship will see the benefits. It may sound like hippie nonsense to some of you, but it doesnâ€™t take aÂ psych major to know that everyone, single or taken, is responsible for their own happiness.
Photo taken from defendernetwork.com