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Why it's important to stay true to yourself in a relationship

Ah, relationships! Nothing but fun-filled, romantic dates and exciting adventures with your significant other, right? Well, yes and no. They're fun, but they're also a lot more work than that. And sometimes we feel we should compromise just to please our sweetie and keep a relationship alive, but that can leave us feeling uncomfortable or unsatisfied with our relationship. Here are some tips for dealing with it all.

1. You'll find balance
If you only do stuff your S.O. likes, you’ll end up bored when you hang out with them. It’s okay to go to a convention or concert just to be with them, but pretending you like something just to relate isn’t any fun. Find a healthy balance between your interests and theirs. That way you both can have a good time.

2. You'll build trust
Do you feel like pulling away when they put their arm around you in class? Tell your sweetie about it. If they genuinely care about you and your feelings, they’ll understand if some things make you uncomfortable. If they don't respect you, take some time to consider next steps.

3. You'll set boundaries
Make sure you’re balancing family, friends and your new boo. Cancelling on your friends to hang with your someone special or hanging up on your weekly calls with grandma to chat with them instead isn’t cool. After all, your family and friends have been there since the beginning. Being excited about your new relationship is totally OK, just remember to take time to appreciate *all* of your loved ones.

4. You'll keep things interesting
Teenage-hood is a big time for discovery. You’re growing up, learning new things and trying to figure out what your values are. Chances are, your sweetie is doing the same thing. You two won’t always agree, but that doesn’t mean you and your cutie should break up or change your own opinions.

5. You'll sustain friendships
Neither of you should be dropping your friends to spend all your time together. Set aside time for you and your pals, and encourage them to do the same!

6. You'll try new things
Their friends are important to them, so it’s not a bad idea to get to know their core crew. Maybe laser tag isn’t your ideal choice for Saturday afternoon (you’d rather binge reruns of Pretty Little Liars) but if they ask you to tag along, you should give it a try. You'll get to know their friends and, who knows, maybe you’ll have fun!

7. You'll learn to compromise
This Friday, y'all are seeing an animated movie instead of Ansel Elgort's new flick—but that’s okay! Little things like what movie to see or where to have dinner aren’t a big deal. Take turns choosing activities, that way you both feel validated in the relationship.

8. You'll reach goals
When it comes to big life choices, stand your ground. Don’t move to Utah just because your boyfriend or girlfriend kinda, sorta wants to go to college there. Focus on yourself and your own goals. If they happen to align with your sweetheart’s, then that’s great! But make a plan for getting you to where you want to go before you plan for anyone else.

9. You'll focus on you
Alone time is important, especially when you have a busy schedule. Set aside some time to make yourself a cup of tea or read a book. Do your nails, slather on a face mask and just relax. After all, a girl’s gotta take care of herself.

What are your tips for healthily balancing relationships? Let us know in the comments!

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by Julia Bonney | 3/5/2018
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