I have this theory that you should be whole on your own first before seeking out a relationship. Why? Because this makes it less likely for toxic behaviors to happen in the relationship. Also, if you're whole on your own, you won't be so dependent on your partner to "complete" you. You won't have to rely on them for your overall happiness. I think people get so overly invested in relationships that they forget that they're still their own individual person. When you're in a relationship, you tend to make everything about you AND your partner when not everything in your life has to include your partner. You literally make your partner part of who you are and it's just excessive and unnecessary. So many people are convinced they can't be happy unless they have a partner and that's why I'm writing this. Now I've talked about why being single isn't a bad thing before and you can click here if you want to view that because it ties in with this post too.
So how should you look at relationships then? In my opinion, a good relationship is someone who doesn't take away from your identity, not someone who creates your identity. Again, think of being your own individual person with your own thoughts, ideas, beliefs, preferences, personality traits, etc. Not to say you can't share any of things with your partner because that would help your compatibility, but you shouldn't feel under pressure to change any of those things about you if they're not harmful. You should be able to be yourself around your partner without them making you feel uncomfortable. You should still be able to work on your goals and ambitions while you're in a relationship. I don't get "I'm really gonna focus on me now" or "I'm gonna focus on school for real" after a breakup. Why weren't you doing that while in the relationship? You can have a partner and still focus on bettering yourself. You can still work hard for yourself regardless. A partner shouldn't ever get in the way of that.
Now my other take is that a partner can help you become a better person and help you with motivation but your partner shouldn't be the only reason you're trying to be better. You should have motivation on your own, otherwise you're in this cycle of becoming overdependent on your partner and if the relationship fails, you risk throwing everything away because you've convinced yourself that you absolutely need them in order for you to amount to anything. This is what I mean when I say you need to be whole already. Stop relying on someone else for your whole happiness and your outcome in life. So instead of telling yourself you need to find your other half, tell yourself you need to find someone who won't take away from your wholeness. If you feel like there's a hole in your heart or a void that can't be filled, a partner won't fix that. Maybe temporarily it might, but eventually that feeling comes back because you never sought out how to fix that hole or void on your own. That was something for you to do, not for someone else.
In conclusion, I hope that more people can learn how to be their own person by themselves because they risk fusing their identity and their partner's identity into one and that's how people lose sight of themselves and feel so lost when the relationship ends.