Relationships are nice, but they aren’t the be all, end all to life either. You are every bit as important as your new relationship. After all, before there was a we, there is and always will be a me. Here are some quick tips for not losing yourself in a relationship. Let these be a reminder of why your partner chose to date you — and keep dating you.
Spend time alone regularly. We all need our “me” time. Consider carving out a special place in the world just for you. Let men have their man caves while the ladies get their own she sheds (the female equivalent to a man cave, in case you didn’t know).
Indulge in your favorite solo activities. There are dozens of ways to have fun by yourself. Learn a new skill. Read a book. Take up scrapbooking. Play golf. Try out a new cooking recipe. Listen to your favorite music album or podcast. Complete a crossword puzzle. Start a journal. Be alone.
Keep doing your own thing. Don’t you just hate it when your friends start dropping like dead flies the minute they get into a relationship? Don’t be that friend. You had a life before your relationship. Keep it that way if you want to keep your new bae (definition: before anyone else).
Schedule a monthly night out with friends. Speaking of friends, do you even know what’s going on in their lives anymore? Make it a point to catch up or reconnect with old friends at least once a month. And welcome new friends with open arms. Good friends are hard to come by. Cherish them!
Mind your personal priorities. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that your life suddenly revolves around that person. Keep dedicating time to your personal dreams, goals and projects that were important to you before your relationship came along.
Go on vacation, but leave your partner at home. Traveling together is fun, but so is traveling solo. The beauty of relationships is being able to learn and grow from each other as a direct result of having your own separate experiences you can later share with each other when you’re together.
Turn your phone off for a few hours. Do you know how liberating it is not to be a slave to the constant dinging notifications that pop up on the average person’s mobile device? I implore you to take this a step further by turning off ALL your app notifications. Now that’s independence!
Buy yourself a gift for being awesome. Forget dropping hints to your partner about something you really want, hoping to get it as a birthday or anniversary gift. Treat yourself to whatever indulgences tickle your fancy and love your partner freely without all the unnecessary expectations.
Honor your feelings and opinions. Stand up for yourself when you feel like your partner isn’t treating you the way you want to be treated. Keep the lines of communication open and share your heartfelt thoughts with compassion. Consider where your partner is coming from and speak up.
Maintain a separate bank account. The third leading cause of divorce is finances. If you don’t share the same money values, it may be a good idea to keep your own separate bank account to avoid potential disagreements over how you manage your personal finances.
Create win-win solutions when conflicts arise. Disagreements will surface, but the key to a successful relationship is all in how you manage problems as they come up. Propose solutions that you’ll both be satisfied with so neither one of you feels like you’re getting the short end of the stick.
Take up a new hobby you don’t share. While it’s certainly valuable to share a few common interests with your partner for maximum compatibility, it’s also really valuable to have a hobby neither of your share together. Enjoy your latest guilty pleasure while he gets lost in fantasy football.
Pursue a long-held dream. Your dreams don’t die when you get into a relationship. If anything, they become more alive. Let your new relationship inspire you to be the best version of you so you can achieve your wildest dreams with your favorite person in the world by your side.
Is your love life non-existent? Ready to make some serious changes so you can find your ideal partner? As a relationship hypnotherapist and wellbeing coach, I can help you break free from the heartbreaks of your past and start writing yourself a new love story. Contact me to learn more.
Originally published on July 12, 2016 via Medium.