Hello lovely people. Thank you for your ideas and suggestions on what you want to read on the Relationship 101 series. You guys have given me plenty of food for thought 💕 Let’s kick off this string of blog posts with the first topic: How to maintain a sense of self in a relationship.
New relationships can be whirlwind romances. One minute you’re on a dating app or going out and meeting new guys and then POOF. You are in this all encompassing relationship. You go from being single to a couple. From ‘X’ to ‘X and Y’. This is all totally normal and really exciting. Life is way too short…but how can you maintain a sense of self in a relationship?
- You Time
Now you have this other person who means so much to you, naturally you want to spend all your time with them. But guess what? You were perfectly fine alone, single and independent before you entered into this relationship. Making time for yourself without your significant other is so important. Go out shopping, grab a coffee, read a magazine or go for a walk. As I have gotten older, I really enjoy my own company. Trust me. This is key to a successful relationship. However, if you and your partner are enjoying spending more time apart than together, maybe you need to have that chat.
2. Don’t Forget Your Friends
Raise your hand if you are guilty of blowing your friends off to spend a night in with your other half watching Netflix and pigging out on junk food. 🙋 Listen, I get it (to a certain extent) but seriously? When I was researching for this blog post I came across so many articles and threads where friends have just been tossed to the side all because of a new squeeze. Good friends – the ones you don’t have to text for agggeesss and you know it will be like no time has passed when you see them next – want you to be happy. Of course they do! But they also want to spend time with you! Your friends are such an important part of your life and you should not have to sacrifice that time with them for your new partner. If you are, again, I think you might need to reassess your relationship.
3. Talk Talk Talk
Recently I have realised the importance of communication and talking to your other half. Opening that dishwasher and expecting them to unload it does not work. If you are feeling sad, stressed or anxious about something that is going on in your life then share it. If for whatever reason you feel like you can’t open up to your partner, then go to a friend or family member first. Be sure to check in with your self and how you are feeling on a regular basis. Your feelings are important and should be voiced.
4. Don’t Forget…
Before you met this wonderful person who has hopefully enhanced and enriched your life, you most likely had plans and life goals that you wanted to achieve. Just because you are now in a partnership does not mean that you take a step back from your hopes and aspirations. If the person you are with truly loves you, words like ‘encouraging’ and ‘support’ spring to mind. Sharing your dreams and finding out if they are alike is very important. Compromise is also key but compromising ones self for another is not OK.
5. Don’t Change
We have all pretended to be into a certain band or fad along the way in our dating life to please our new love interest. I know I have been guilty of this in the past. However, after being in a relationship for six years that ended in a broken engagement with someone I do not recognise now and a me I also didn’t recognise at the end of it all, I literally lay it all out on the line for my now current boyfriend. Flaws and all. Don’t change your values, your morals and your beliefs for someone else. Being true to who you are is one of the most important things you need to do in order to have an authentic and honest relationship.
So why is it really so important to maintain a sense of self in a relationship? Surely, if you are in love and you want to be with someone it’s fine to just be ‘X and Y’. Unfortunately, in my experience, it never is fine. Healthy dependence on someone involves both parties trusting and supporting each other. Couples need time together but they also need time apart. Your relationship should never cloud who you are. 💗