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I have an app on my phone that sends me an inspirational message every morning. I like it because it’s the first thing I see when I wake up so it sets me up to have a good day. One day it gave me a quote from Albert Einstein that said:” If you want to live a happy life, tie it to the goal, not to people or objects.”

Living your best life is the ultimate goal for everyone. And we all have different wants and needs that we think will make that life happy. But above all, everyone wants to feel loved, have a nice place to live, good food to eat, supportive and loving family/friends — and to be able to satisfy some of those non-essential wants we have as well. Fortunately, for women of this generation, unlike others, we feel like we can have our cake and eat it to, which might have a lot to do with social media. You can’t log on to any platform without seeing #goals in some form or another. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter expose you to so many inspiring images of women who seem to be “all the things” when it comes to careers, raising families, starting businesses, being good sister-friends, daughters, wives and girlfriends, all the while making it look easy. But for those of us who haven’t achieved this picture-perfect image of success, sometimes we swap out our innate desires to satisfy the ones society says we should have.

See while our ability to multi-task is impressive, it’s sometimes done at the expense of neglecting ourselves, our wants, and our needs, especially for those of us who are in relationships. Despite how accomplished a woman is she is still often judged on whether she is in a relationship and if that relationship is successful. That added pressure can cause many women to forgo some of their dreams at the expense of making sure their relationship successful. I know this first hand. I recently decided to start my own HR Consulting company and when I told some people about it, their first response was asking how my boyfriend was handling everything. Not a congrats, not questions about my business, they wanted to know how I was going to start a business and keep my man (insert eye roll here).

It’s extremely important not to let these societal expectations get in the way of your dreams. Life is not a romantic movie where the woman gives up everything for love and lives happily ever after. Compromise in a relationship is normal, but both people should be making sacrifices and both people should be supporting each other’s dreams.

Here are a few things you should never let go of when in a relationship:

Your career

Whether you work in a call-center, the fashion industry or a coffee shop, if you love your job and your partner is pressuring you to quit, you may want to consider leaving your partner before you consider leaving your job.

Your friends/family

When you’re in a relationship, you need to spend quality time together, but you don’t need to spend all of your time together. There is nothing wrong with having girl time and nothing wrong with being around family. Anyone who tries dominant all of your time is being controlling and unreasonable.

Your dreams

If your dream is to move out of state, adopt a child or start a llama farm you should not have to give that up because you’re in a relationship. Your special someone should want the same type of future as you. If they don’t, perhaps they’re simply not the one.

Your hobbies

Roller skating, bowling, fishing or gardening. As long as your hobby is not causing a huge financial strain or hurting anyone there is no reason you need to give it up for bae.

Your style

When you met your special someone you had your own style; it’s what makes you unique and it’s a reflection of your personality. If he’s trying to change that, he’s trying to change you.

Your self-respect

You got yourself a boo, not a boss. If you’re being ordered around, being talked down to, not taken seriously or find yourself bending over backwards with no reciprocation you need to get some self-esteem and a new boo.

Your morals

Something as strong as your beliefs or behaviors and what is or isn’t acceptable shouldn’t be up for negotiation. If you’re celibate until marriage, a non-drinker, vegan, religious, whatever the case, you shouldn’t have to give up your beliefs to support your significant other’s.

Being in a relationship with the right person can be a wonderful thing but accomplishing dreams and being your true unique self is wonderful as well. Women have so many options and the access to things our ancestors literally died trying to have. A real loving partner will support you and your dreams. If you find yourself putting everything you want on the back burner to please your partner remember that you have other options and it’s not giving up on your dreams.

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