Relationship Thermometer

I know this sounds a bit hypocritical since I lost myself a bit in a previous relationship. But trust me, it was a very high price to pay to regain my freedom and happiness, so hopefully you will find this information valuable beforehand, and not in hindsight like me ;-) 

This is just something I got off the internet (Cosmopolitan) before , so I can't take credit for it, but I thought it was the best advice I ever got! 

So with these tips always in mind, happy dating! And if you are in a relationship, read this to check whether you are still on the right track, or losing yourself in an unhealthy relationship.

1. Your independence. Both personal and financial. Make time to see other people which matter to you. Don't feel the need to include your partner in everything, and keep a separate bank account. Independence is healthy and necessary – it makes you feel like you're in a relationship because you want to be, not because you need to be.
2. Your self-esteem and confidence. If your partner makes you feel anything less than great about yourself, the relationship isn't worth it. A healthy relationship shouldn't make you feel unworthy or unsure – in fact, it should make you even more confident in yourself.

3. Your friends. In the beginning stages, you'll probably feel tempted to spend every waking moment with your person – we've all been there. But don't neglect the friends who have been with you for years. In the end, they're the ones you can depend on more than anyone.

4. Your career goals. A relationship shouldn't prevent you from creating a life for yourself. If you have personal goals that involve career growth, you have to go for them. You don't want to be with someone who can't be supportive of your dreams.

5. Your happiness. A relationship should make you happy – end of story. Sometimes our fear of loneliness is bigger than our desire for genuine happiness, so we stay in relationships that don't bring out our best. If you feel unappreciated and miserable, you need to re-evaluate your situation.

6. Your ability to make decisions. The power to think for yourself is invaluable. While your partner's opinion definitely does matter, your decisions on things that impact your life in a big way should be final. Making decisions alone, no matter how big or small, will help you maintain a sense of individuality.

7. Your identity. You are your own person, and you shouldn't have to change for anyone if you don't want to. A good relationship should make you want to improve yourself – not because your partner expects it but because you want to do it for your partner. You shouldn't morph into your partner and lose the real you in the process – your partner should influence you positively but not in every aspect of your personality.