When you’re in a new relationship, it can be tempting to basically abandon the rest of your life in favor of spending all your time and energy with and on your partner. This, of course, is a potentially fatal mistake and a really toxic behavioral pattern. It’s tough to find a balance between independence and connection in your relationship but it’s really important that you do. Here are some tips for how you can achieve this.
1. Invest in quality time with your partner.
It’s important that the time you spend with your partner is quality time. That’s not to say you can’t just sit and do nothing together – that serves its own purpose as well – but when you lead hectic, full lives that mean you have less time together, you want to make your time together count.
2. Maintain your own hobbies and friends outside the relationship.
In order to find a balance in your relationship, you need to make sure you nurture your life outside of it. Keep up with the friends you’ve known all your life and make new ones. Keep pursuing the same hobbies you had before you met your partner, be it hitting the gym, doing a knitting class, attending a book club, etc.
3. Commit to open and honest conversation with your partner.
When you’re with your partner, that time shouldn’t be overshadowed by what’s left unsaid. In order to maintain and nurture your connection, you need to communicate openly and honestly about anything that’s on your mind and in your heart and encourage them to do this same. This will foster a stronger bond and ensure your relationship’s longevity.
4. Set time aside for self-care.
Just because you’re coupled up doesn’t mean you don’t need to spend time on yourself. To find balance in your relationship, you also need to find balance within. You can achieve this by practicing meditation and/or yoga, taking long baths at night, reading for a while before bed, or anything else that makes your soul feel happy and whole.
5. Don’t become dependent on your partner financially, emotionally, or otherwise.
While there’s no shame in caring for your partner and allowing them to care for you in return, you should never become codependent to the point that you’d be screwed if your relationship ended. It’s important to maintain your self-sufficiency in every part of your life. Make sure you can pay your own bills, maintain your self-esteem, and generally live an amazing life with or without them. While you love them, you need to know you’d be okay without them.