It is easy to get so caught up in the rush of a new relationship that you temporarily forget your priorities. However, maintaining your identity as you become a couple is important for your long-term happiness. While you will naturally take on a few of your partner’s interests, you also must make time for your own. Following these relationship tips from our experts allows you to still maintain that beautiful closeness with your partner while still carving out time for yourself.
Maintain Your Prior Friendships
Before your partner came along, your friends and family were your main source of support. Avoid letting your other close relationships fall apart by making it a point to maintain your connections. From planning a night out with your favorite friends to calling a colleague for advice about work, it is important to remember the people that have always been there for you since those relationships remind you of who you are as an individual.
Invest In Personal Growth
Many times, a fear of losing your identity in a close relationship contributes to your inability to commit. Eliminate these concerns by finding opportunities that stimulate personal growth. For instance, you could go back to school or choose to volunteer for a cause that you care about. Knowing that you are on a continuous path toward becoming a better person increases your self-esteem while making it easier to merge your life with someone else’s.
Value Your Alone Time
Spending all of your time with your partner leaves you little time to think about yourself. Set regular dates for times when you can indulge in some self-pampering. For instance, you could make your nightly jog a solo run when you can reflect upon your day. Alternatively, you might enjoy going out for dinner by yourself where you can dive into a novel and just relax. Either way, making time alone a priority gives you a chance to explore what truly makes you happy.
Accept Your Differences
Being compatible does not always mean being exactly the same. It is okay if you hate your partner’s favorite music and prefer to opt out of an upcoming concert that they are planning to attend. Alternatively, you shouldn’t feel like you have to miss seeing your favorite comedian just because your partner doesn’t share the same sense of humor. Learning to embrace your differences reminds you that both of you are unique individuals with interests that deserve to be nurtured.
Ask For What You Need
Your partner may think that constantly being by your side is the best way to show affection, yet you may bristle at the thought of having them ask, yet again, what you are thinking. Since everyone has different feelings about what a close relationship involves, it is important to communicate your preferences. If you need some time to yourself, then just ask nicely. A partner who loves you will work to find a compromise regarding how much time you spend together.
Check In With Yourself
Over time, your identity changes as well as your relationship. Make an effort to do self-checks every now and then to make sure that you are happy with how your relationship builds your identity. For example, feeling restless or unfulfilled may mean that you need to invest more time in pursuing your passion, or you may be feeling lonely and want to skip that weekend away. Remember that maintaining your identity does not have to follow any specific rules, but you will need to clue your partner into what you need to improve how you feel.
A close relationship should make you grow as a person, and you should never feel like you are losing your identity. Instead, your partnership should make you feel more comfortable pursuing your dreams since you know that you have support. As your relationship deepens, remember that two strong individuals make a healthy couple, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help defining your priorities.