As a Leo, I've always been a fan of receiving attention. When I was a little child, I figured I was the Queen of the World who would one day grow up to be rich and famous (thank God for change and existentialism).

Later on, this love for attention prevented me from ever really settling down with one person, one boyfriend. I like attention from multiple sources. Why would I talk to one boy when I could talk to as many as I wanted? That's how I was with friendships, why should it be any different?

It was the Grace show for a long amount of time, and I didn't understand the point in changing that. Then I met a certain someone. A certain someone that wanted me to themselves.

At first, everything in me wanted to run away. A large part of me was very nervous to allow my heart to have feelings, as it could lead to getting hurt. It was with this special person, though, that I realized the art of truly caring for another person romantically. I finally understood putting someone's needs and desires before my own, and not just in a friendship type way.

I was ready for a relationship!

...Or so I thought.

It was as the relationship began and we grew closer that I started to realize some major points that make a romantic relationship healthy or unhealthy.

The largest of these, in my case, being the ability to maintain a sense of independence. Not only would I initially become very annoyed and angry when my boyfriend didn't want to do what I wanted to do, but I thought of his decision to do his own thing as a rejection of me.

It took time for me to finally realize it's incredibly unhealthy to spend all of your time and energy with one person. I learned this from my observation of other couples I knew who spent way too much time together, which ultimately ended in a failed relationship.

I think sometimes as a female (and I know this to be true for my other female friends, as well), I spend way too much time thinking about boys and craving their approval. It took me a summer of self-help and meditation/reflection to understand the only thing I need to be happy is me. In being in a relationship, I figured I would get this constant approval I once so desired.

Therefore, it took even more time for me to understand this is not the case. In order for a relationship to be a healthy one, each partner must be content and busy with their own individual lives. They should have their own dreams, goals, and activities that keep them busy humans. It was when I was most aligned with myself and satisfied with my life that I met my boyfriend. Why should that change once we've started a relationship?

When you realize the answer to this question is that it shouldn't, is when I believe you are truly ready for a mature romantic relationship. When you are happy on your own, whether single or taken, life becomes enjoyable no matter the circumstance, and having someone to look after, but not depend on, makes it even more special.

I'm sure I have much more to learn, as I am quite new to all this, but I felt a calling to share what I personally believe has made my relationship so strong thus far. I hope anyone struggling with this type of stuff can at least take one thing away from my own experiences.