BY REBECCA COOPER
I know you’ve heard ‘You don’t have to be perfect to be in a relationship,’ but you and your partner do have to be capable of the same level of maturity and moving in the same direction with your relationship. If you’ve got a new love and are thinking, ‘This is fun, but when real issues or problems arise, will we address them on the same maturity level?’ I’m so glad you asked!
What is Maturity?
Maturity isn’t perfection; it is being ready and capable of doing what grown people have to do to make a relationship work for a lifetime and not just during the fun times. No one gets through life unscathed, so choose a partner who will be by your side in good and bad times. It’s easy to enjoy vacations and celebrations together, but when push comes to shove, knowing your partner will hold your hand and see you through in the difficult times is important.
Hang On to You
Often in relationships, we let go of ourselves completely. We adapt and change so much that we forget our true self and identity, and when that relationship is over, we are left thinking, how were we before this relationship? When you’re in a relationship, you may pick up on what your partner wants or has wanted in the past that they didn’t receive in a previous relationship, and conform to a behavior or a belief that at your true core you don’t believe or hold dear. In our lives, after a few experiences, we finally realize how much exactly we would change to keep the relationship healthy; you both should try and do things equally for each other. It’s always best to hang on to the real you, so if the relationship should end, you can find yourself. Never forget the importance of self-worth.
Working On Vs. Embracing
Once you realize your true self-worth and value, you know the things that you may need to work on and the things about yourself that you should embrace, whether your partner likes those characteristics or not. You are mature enough to accept the reality of life, meaning, when someone gives their opinion of you, you take it positively; if it’s negative in nature and not true from your perspective, you are comfortable enough to avoid it or not let it affect you at all. If it is something that you agree with, you start to work on it and are truly thankful for that person who helps you discover this about yourself.
Never, Ever, Compromise on Your Beliefs
In our 20s, we have a tendency to be a bit wishy-washy in our beliefs and can let others sway us one way or another. I remember dating guys who didn’t share the same religious beliefs that I shared when I was in my early 20s. Because I wasn’t firmly grounded, I researched their beliefs and even attended religious services with them to see if their ideas were close to mine or if I could co-exist in theirs. I have to admit, all those relationships came to an end, because I was more mature in my faith than I realized. I wished them well, and we parted ways. As you age, you realize that your beliefs and opinions matter, if not for others, for you. In order to stay true to yourself, you need to hold on to those beliefs and not let your beliefs wobble just because someone challenges them. Your beliefs make you who you are.
When you set out on life’s journey with someone, it helps to share as much in common as you can. It is true that opposites attract, but at your cores, sharing a maturity level and a belief system is as important as being physically attracted to someone. The more you have in common at a deep level, the stronger the bond when times get tough.