There’s no better feeling that when you’ve found someone to share life’s experiences with, who makes those experiences twice as good. But when you find love, you also have to make sure that you’ve found yourself, and can hold on to your own pre-relationship identity. Holding your own and staying independent is vital – here are some tips that will enhance that ability, and ultimately, your relationship.
1. Spend quality time with your friends and families. Nurture the other relationships in your life, because they’ve been there all along, and a new person you’re giddy about romantically shouldn’t change that.
2. Focus on alone time and have your own hobbies. finding common interests is important, but maintaining a sense of self through other interests can be even more important.
3. Don’t freak out if your significant other doesn’t answer text or call immediately. And don’t constantly be texting or calling each other when you’re apart. Checking in 24/7 can be a bit irritating.
4. Don’t get super jealous. If you feel concerned or worries what the other person is doing, it will breed envy and paranoia. Simple eye contact with a waitress will turn into confrontation and you wanting to be his secret service all the time. No trust issues = better independence.
5. Nurture the solidarity of sisterhood and girl power. go on trips and girls’ nights out, girls’ trips with you friends. Spending time away makes the heart grow fonder.
6. Stand up for yourself! In your relationship and about things that are important to your identity that you don’t want to sacrifice. Speaking up about limits and wants can be a turn-on – staking your ground is always better than just being an agreeable blob.
7. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel like you aren’t getting enough alone time, phrasing with “I” statements so your partner doesn’t fee blamed for things or get on the defensive.
8. On a related note, make sure to keep your own opinion. Nothing worse than a couple who has a singular opinion. Holding on to your own unique perspective will keep things exciting between you two, and will also enhance communication.
9. Don’t move in prematurely. Having your own space equals alone time, equals the flame keep on burnin’. Things can fizzle out if you make a serious commitment too early, like moving in, without a serious commitment such as engagement or at least conversations about it. This should involve serious discussion and consideration.
10. Don’t just travel with each other. Traveling alone is an experience that takes you out of your comfort zone (your relationship) and forces you to self expand without dependence on your partner.
11. Work out regularly and focus on activities that enhance you health and mindfulness. Keeping a sharp figure won’t just keep your partner around, it’ll keep your self confidence up. Often in a relationship it’s easy to fall into a lazy slump, ordering takeout and staying in bed together. But keeping a focus on your health will better you and your partner, and maintain independence (and a hot bod).
12. Hold on to your own dreams. You had them before you met bae, and giving everything up to make them happy or drop your own dreams to follow theirs, will never be good for your relationship. Sacrificing your own dreams for someone else’s is never a positive mood. Compromise, but don’t sacrifice.
13. Don’t be afraid to talk a lot. Don’t talk yourself in circles about the same thing, but talk frequently enough that it’s not scary when one of you brings up something that they want to talk about, and tension is diffused quickly. This way, when one of you feel like your independence is being compromised
14. Never work together! Even if you feel tempted to work on a project because it means spending more time together, work and play are two different areas that should be honored different. As they say, don’t *&^% where you eat!
15. Keep your own bank accounts and independent financial situations until you have a serious commitment like an engagement. You can feel really insecure when you start relying on your partner for financial help, or vice versa.
16. You guys don’t need to share every single banal moment of your day. Leave a little mystery to it! Cataloging behavior is weird and obsessive, but keeping a bit of mystery is sexy and helps you learn new things about each other every day into old age (without annoyingly oversharing)