FREE Guide: 3 Self-Care Tools to Make You Truly Shine:

The Secret to Being Happy in Any Relationship

I was a total chameleon in my relationships.

If someone else liked it, I liked it.  Anything they believed, I believed.  Any interest that they had, I would take that up myself.

To top that off, I was completely focused on other people’s experiences.  What they felt.  What they wanted.  What they thought.

It was all about nurturing them and taking care of them.  I had completely forgotten about me because I felt that I mattered less.  My feelings, thoughts, needs, and experiences were less valid and important than that of other peoples’.

The truth is, I had no idea who I was — or, more specifically, I was terrified of being myself. I was afraid to really allow my true self to be seen because I thought that by being myself I would be criticized and rejected.

I thought that if I made myself like them then they couldn’t possibly reject me and end the relationship.  I mean, why would anyone want to breakup with someone who makes them the center of their universe?  Why would a group of friends reject and criticize someone who is always putting everyone else’s needs first?

Needless to say, this method didn’t work too well.  I found myself heartbroken and disappointed over and over again.  I felt drained, unfulfilled, and as if I was giving too much.

I kept wanting more in my relationships.  I wanted something real.  I wanted to be deeply loved and supported while able to be my true self but I had no idea how to get that.

That is, until I came to realize one big life lesson:

That you can’t really have a happy and fulfilling relationship with anyone until you’ve created a happy and fulfilling relationship with yourself.

You have to learn to love you.  You have to learn to care for you.  You have to learn how to put your needs first before you can really genuinely give love to others.


So how can we begin to master the power of our self care so that we can start creating happy, loving and fulfilling relationships in our lives?

Become dedicated to your own self-awareness.

The absolute most vital component to taking care of yourself is to be aware of your own thoughts and feelings.  You have to learn how to be aware of and identify your own emotions.  It is also vital to be aware of your body and how it feels.  Do you feel exhausted or tired?  Are you feeling sad and depressed?

Self-awareness is a life-long journey, so there is no activity that you can do for an X amount of days and you have now become the “master” of self-awareness.  It’s just not realistic.  However, there is one super easy activity that you can start doing today that will help you take leaps in developing self awareness: Make it a regular habit to check-in with your body.  So throughout the day, periodically have “check in with your body” moments, especially during moments of stress.

Establish a self-care routine.

Having a routine for ourselves is more important for our personal well-being than we often realize.  I can definitely tell you from personal experience that during the days where I have steered very far away from my own self-care routine, you definitely don’t want to be around!

There is no one self-care routine that can fit for everyone, so it’s important to establish what kinds of things benefit you the most that this point in your life.  Do you feel a strong need to do yoga regularly each week?  Does starting your day with affirmations feel invigorating?  Does journaling before bed free emotionally soothing?  Does the rule of “no electronics” after 10 PM feel like it could help improve your sleep?

Create some morning and evening self-care practices for yourself and then make the commitment to yourself to sticking to that routine for at least 21 days.

Find moments throughout your day where your objective is to just “be”.

One of the best things I’ve personally discovered for caring for myself and reducing stress is to do something every day where, while doing it, my only goal is to just “be”.  No pushing to do things.  No thinking about all these other things that you should be doing.  Just simply being.

So what does this look like?  Lets say that for example every afternoon you regularly drink green tea.  As you drink this green tea during the afternoon, focus completely on the present moment.  Focus on the taste, the smell, the steam.  Allow yourself to really saturate the present moment and allow yourself to just be in the moment.

By doing these three things, over time you will find yourself with a greater sense of ease.  You’ll feel less stressed and be able to enter in to your relationships feeling completely re-charged and ready to share your own inner happiness and joy with the people around you.  Which, in turn, will make others feel better around you and enhance the joy and love that exists in your relationships.

Take action now!

What can you do for yourself in this very moment?  What can you do right now that will make you feel better?  Share it in the comments below, then go do it!

16 thoughts on “The Secret to Being Happy in Any Relationship

  1. Jennifer I can really relate to this post. That was me too. Always hoping to please my partner and not honouring my true self. It wasn’t until one day I thought to myself, “you know what, if I have to spend my life on my own without a partner, I’d be ok. I like myself enough to be completely fine.” Then BAM there he was! My now husband. 😉 Thanks for the wonderful post.

  2. I love the third point of taking time to ‘just be’. We’re always pushing and striving and the moments of mediation and reflection I take to allow myself to revel in my being-ness are always the most meaningful for me. They also help me be better aware and take care of myself more lovingly.

  3. Lovely, this is great and so true! No one will every truly be happy in life until they are happy with themselves. Making sure you are happy with yourself and your life is an everyday task. When you are happy with your life alone, then you can ultimately be happy with your life with someone else. With any relationship, significance others, friendships, family, you wont be happy in those relationships until you are happy with yourself.
    Great Post.

  4. Jennifer, you bring up such a beautiful point that we often miss when we think of relationships as we’re always looking outside, or thinking that that the word relationship itself is only about connecting with OTHERS.

    I completely agree that we must, must, must get aligned with our “self-relationship” before all others – and that once we do, we become clearer about how we want to connect with everyone else.

    I am honoring my own self-relationship this evening with a barefoot walking meditation under my wise old sycamore tree in the backyard 🙂

  5. I’m glad I learned this lesson before I got married. As did my hubby. I think it’s made the difference for us, completely. What a great reminder, and something that would be great for yonder kids to realize!

  6. I really enjoyed this – and I wish I would have read it maybe 20+ years ago and really taken these lessons to heart. Now I find as I am learning this I am having to navigate finding myself and maintaining the other person in the very real relationships I already have.

  7. This is a great article Jennifer. So poignant and powerful in it’s truths. I particularly loved your recommendation to just be whenever the opportunity arises. As a woman, while I’m excellent at “doing”, I find the re-fuelling happens when I’m simply “being”. I’ll make it a point to be today 🙂 thanks and love xo

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