How To Maintain Your Independence In A Relationship
We all know those people who lose themselves in a relationship. Don’t be one of them! Here are the Dos and Don’ts for staying yourself in a relationship:
· Hang out with your friends. Don’t stop spending time with your friends the way you always have just because you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Spending all your time with your partner and ditching your friends is a surefire way to lose who you really are.
· Keep your own plans. Spend every Sunday with your cousins? Is Friday night movie night with your friends? Don’t change that! Keep your existing plans going even if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and find other time to hang out with them rather than bumping your normal plans to the back burner.
· Take turns choosing activities. Don’t let him or her always pick the restaurant or movie. Take turns to make sure you both get to do what you want. You’ll learn to compromise and it will ensure that you don’t become a doormat.
· Encourage them to be independent too. While you’re off hanging out with your friends and doing your own thing, encourage them to do the same. If their tendency is to sit at home waiting for you to finish what you’re doing you’ll just feel pressured or resentful. If they’re out having their own life too you’ll both feel a sense of freedom and appreciate the time that you’re together even more.
· Talk and share what you’re up to. After spending time apart reconnect by sharing what you’ve been up to and what’s going on in your own life. One of the great things about spending time apart and having our own life is that it gives you tons to talk about when you are together.
· Become each other’s clones. You don’t have to listen to all the same music, watch the same TV shows, take the same classes, apply to the same colleges and finish each other’s sentences. Variety is the spice of life and you’ll get bored fast if you stop doing what you love in order to become their twin.
· Merge your lives. While you want to maximize your time together it’s not necessary to merge your friends into one giant group or coordinate your work and social schedules so that you can spend every minute together. Do your own thing and you’ll still find plenty of time to hang out after.
· Stop doing your extra curricular activities. It’s tempting to cut out anything in your life that isn’t essential to make more time to spend together, but resist the urge if you want to maintain your independence. Keep up the activities you love, even if they take time away from your relationship.
· Be available at all times. If they have a packed schedule and you’re always waiting by the phone for any chance to see them you will start to feel like their personal assistant rather than their boyfriend/girlfriend.
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