How do I keep my independence in a relationship?
It’s easy to fall into the ‘I want to please my partner’ bubble, but this can become a runaway train and then suddenly, you’re lost wondering how the hell you got here! You have to be in a good relationship with yourself first and then in a relationship with someone else second. It’s not a bad thing to be in a love bubble. It’s exciting being in a relationship, learning new things about someone and wanting to make them happy.
But it’s easy to start cancelling plans with friends because a candle lit dinner and sex sounds better – but you don’t just want to be in a relationship with your partner. The most important one is the relationship you have with yourself and your friends and family still want to see you even if you’re loved up.
So how do you find nougats of time for yourself and your friends and family without feeling like you’re not spending enough time on your relationship.
Six ways to build a relationship with yourself whilst keeping your independence in a relationship:
1. Spend Quality Time with Yourself – Take yourself on a day trip or to the cinema, grab some lunch or have a movie marathon by yourself and learn to love your own company as well as theirs. NETFLIX, FACE MASK, TEA!
2. Spend Time on a Hobby (Or Find a New One) – Develop your skills or learn something new. I love having different hobbies or things that can fill my attention other than tv and I especially love that I can do these things by myself, they’re not dependent on others. I love music, badly playing the guitar, to read and write, take pictures and as a new hobby I’m learning the craft of adobe creative cloud…my God it’s a bastard. I’m not necessarily a master of these things but it brings me joy being able to dip in and out and discover new things.
3. Spend Time with Friends & Family On Your Own – This is super important, even if your friends and family love your partner, sometimes they want some quality time with you on your own. Its fun to make memories with those who were there before the partner, as well as make those memories with them.
4. Adopt Some Self-Care Rituals – Run yourself a bubble bath, light some candles and pour yourself a glass of wine once in a while. Pop on a face mask, pamper yourself. You have to fill your own cup up before you can attend to someone else’s.
5. Speak Up for Yourself – Find your voice, if you don’t like something or how you’ve been treated or if you simply don’t agree…then speak up. Staying quiet lets things fester or you might feel inferior for not saying something. When you don’t say how you feel, the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Communication in relationships is the winning ticket for success.
6. Check in With Yourself – How are you feeling? Do you need some me time? Are you getting what you need and deserve? It’s always good to evaluate and reassess. It’s easy to get stuck on auto-pilot, say yes when you mean no and eventually it can lead to contempt. Checking in with yourself is good for your mental wellbeing, it’s healthy to notice how you’re feeling.
Taking time for yourself in a relationship isn’t selfish and it certainly doesn’t mean that you don’t like your partner. If anything it strengthens relationships, it creates independence – it is easy to slowly loose this in a relationship because you want to do everything with them. Distance makes the heart grown fonder an evening apart or an afternoon spent with friends creates a desire for you both and keeps the spark a bit more alive.
Strengthening the relationship with yourself, makes it highly likelier that you’ll bring your best self to your relationship – WIN WIN! – bubble bath, kindle, candles and a glass of wine – I’ll take that to show up better and a night with the girls whilst I’m at it…if I have to!