Going into my relationship, I wasn't aware of how much loving my significant other would change my life; it has been all good things, even the times I had to look at myself. Naturally, I've learned how to love myself in ways I didn't know were possible; I thought that I would only be able to grow on my own.
Before he and I became more serious, we both had the "I can make it on my own", "I don't need someone else to make me happy" mindset. We were both our own number one priorities for a while, but without even questioning things too much, and as our relationship started to solidify, we put each other first. It felt as if we didn't even have an option.
I believe that the time we had to focus on ourselves for a while was super healthy and beneficial. For me, creating my own happiness and being independent in college was crucial in my journey; it allowed me to use my energy upon myself, and with that, I found freedom. It enabled me to learn about my quirks.
When it came time to loving him, I didn't have to pour from an empty cup. My happiness was amplified, not found. I started to give him the same energy as I would give myself, and we both did that because putting someone else came instinctively for the both of us.
There are times when I do have to give myself time to recharge and find my inner peace again, but at the end of the day, we are each other's peace. We don't rely on one another to fill in any holes because we're aware that we each have to put in the self-work to enhance what we have. It's also nice because, for once, we both don't have to "raise" the person we're with; we're both well-rounded, content individuals who are willing to compromise our wants and needs for the other person's well-being.
Taking care of one another has become something that we both want; we strive to make each other happier, even if it means losing sleep to watch their favorite movie. When the person you're with cares about the quality of your day, and they continuously want to make sure you wake up feeling loved and appreciated, it means a lot. When both people in a relationship focus on giving to their other half, both receive an abundant amount of love, joy, and healthy attention.
I've found myself giving him the larger half of whatever food I fail to evenly split, my favorite pillow, the first and last bite. I do this because I want to see him live his best life. Every night before we go to sleep, we're indescribably secure with where we are in our journey together and we never feel underappreciated; we know there's always unconditional support.
Spending time with him enlightens my life entirely, and by loving him, I also choose myself.