We’ve all seen the memes: A picture of a few luxury cars, all of a different model, with a caption reading something like, “hers and his, ours.” We use money, status, “success” and wealth to try to set goals and to measure the success and value of our own intimate relationships.

Additionally, you might refer to the meme with the man bowing to the woman while holding the earth on his back to offer her. I wonder, why is it more important for someone else to give us the world than it is for us to give ourselves the world?

Photo: mirror
Photo: mirror

Picture perfect example

Jay-Z and Beyoncè were Shawn and Bey long before they were Mr. and Mrs. Carter. They were ambitious, talented, outgoing and performance-savvy as individuals before they became a team. In fact, many of us watched as spectators while their relationship blossomed through the lens of what the media fed us. Still, we tend to think of their union as a goal rather than individual entities.

Sign of the times

In June of 2015, Buzzfeed published an article entitled, “22 Relationship Goals Actually Worth Achieving.” There is a bevy of articles like this floating around the internet. But none of them ever mention the most important relationship: the one that we cultivate with ourselves. In a culture where “ghosting” is becoming the norm for how we deal with personal conflict in friendships or romantic endeavors, the question is raised as to why we intentionally ignore self-reflection and growth.

It ultimately comes down to this common misconception that happiness is tangible, something you can buy or earn from someone else. You’ve done it! You’ve said, “If I could just get a better job.” “If he would just stop messing with his baby mama.” “If she would just wear heels instead of Timbs all the time.” “If I just had $500,000 to start my own business.” Thinking that if any of these things were to happen in our favor, poof! We’d be happy.

You determine your happiness

Photo: ffffound
Photo: ffffound

Groucho Marx once said, “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.” I, too, believe we choose to build a strong personal relationship with ourselves that determines our happiness and well-being. Do you reflect on your poor habits? Do you know your weaknesses as well as you know your strengths? Do you truly know what it means to appreciate yourself?

It’s a process that’s different for everyone. When deciding to reevaluate your relationship with yourself, here are five questions to begin with to best set your own #relationshipgoals:

  1. What are three personality traits that I like about myself? (Always begin positively)
  2. What are some less flattering personality traits that I think could I work on? (Be honest)
  3. If I were asked to do something for free for the rest of my life, what would I choose? (Narrow in on your life purpose)
  4. What kind of friend am I to myself? Does that differ from the kind of friend that I am to others? (You are your first and last friend in this life)
  5. What’s one thing that I’ve always been afraid to change about myself? If I changed it, what positive things could occur? (Be fearless)

Ultimately, we have to shift the paradigm that says that happiness is only attainable if we’re validated by another. I believe that happiness is a choice. A choice that I make every day when I’m accomplishing the “relationship goals” I set for myself.


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