So, you’ve found a great guy/girl and things are looking up for once. Your last several dates have gone well, and now it’s time to make things official. A common mistake that you can make at this point is losing yourself in the relationship. Not only do you become less interesting to your partner, but if the relationship should end, you suffer for having lost your life. Follow these tips to maintain your own individuality, even though you now have another half:
1.Keep your own routine: Do you go to a spin class on Thursdays? Enjoy poker night every Monday? Don’t switch up your entire routine to make room for your partner. Relationships are not about fusing together completely. If you give up the things that you love to do, you often end up feeling less fulfilled and resenting your partner.
2. Continue Contact With Friends: We all know this story, your best friend gets a new boyfriend or girlfriend and proceeds to fall off the face of the earth. Don’t be that person. Your friends are your biggest support system and it is important that you nurture these relationships and have other people besides your significant other to fulfill your emotional needs. It’s a lot of pressure on your partner to be your sole source of “everything”.
3. Meet Them Halfway: Do you like to spend Sundays with your family, but he likes to have football gatherings? And you each would like the other one to be a part of your activity? Compromise. Rigid and inflexible thinking are relationship killers. Divide up the activities and be “all in” when participating in their interests.
4. Continue to Grow: It’s always beneficial to try new things and step outside your comfort zone. Pick up a new hobby or take an one-off class. Don’t make your world small and only focused on your partner. Nothing can grow in the shade.
When you fall for someone, it is natural that you are all about your partner. It is also healthy to share interests, friends, hobbies, and activities. However, when your interests simply mirror those of your boyfriend or girlfriend, you run the risk of damaging your wellbeing and your relationship. Remember, relationships aren’t mergers. They are partnerships.
Written by Christy Booze, Masters of Social Work, Relationup Advisor