It's easy to look to your partner to shelter you from the world and distract you when everything else makes you want to crawl into a hole, but continue to fight your own battles.

4) Let the status of your relationship affect your whole outlook.

It's never fun or easy when you and your partner fight, but do your best to compartmentalize.

Make sure you're aware of what you won't give up for anyone. Spending time "apart" while constantly chatting and texting with your partner isn't really taking time for yourself.

To retain your sense of who you are, you need to set aside time to do your thing -- work, exercise, read, journal, pursue personal projects, whatever -- without checking in with your partner every five minutes.

If you're well matched, both of you feel free -- and encouraged -- to reach your full potential. Part of maintaining your sense of self is knowing you can try something new without sacrificing your core values and tastes.

Give your partner's hobbies and interests a shot at least once. If not, don't do them again, and be confident in that choice. Being in a relationship doesn't mean you're off the hook when it comes to taking care of yourself and your own feelings.

Leave some topics for when you meet up for dinner or come back home to each other or talk on the phone at night.

Also, you can't live your own life if you're always talking to someone else.

It's fine to make plans with your partner and even discuss a possible future together, but it's just as important to establish for yourself what you want out of your career and work toward the things you want in your personal life.