When you’re in a relationship and you’re head over heels in love, it can be easy to let it become so all-encompassing that your beau seems like the whole world. However, a successful, happy relationship depends upon both parties still maintaining some independence.
Especially in those first loved-up weeks, it’s natural for you and your partner to be joined at the hip, and rather oblivious of everything else around you, but this first flush of heady romance can’t be sustained without developing a rather unhealthy and co-dependent relationship.
So, here are a few tips on maintaining your independent streak.
Keep a Busy Social Calendar
If you have a weekly class or made regular appointments for girls’ nights out, don’t give any of this up for a new boyfriend. This is good for both you and the future of your relationship, because, chances are, he doesn’t want you to be clingy. Men tend to admire a woman who has her own life, who is interesting and busy. Just make sure that you’re making time for him, too.
Remember to be a Good Friend
I know it’s simply not within the realms of possibility as far as you’re concerned, but there is a chance that your new relationship may not go the distance. Your friends are going to be the ones who are there to help you pick up the pieces, so don’t neglect them now. And even if you end up blissfully married to your boyfriend, there’ll still be times when you need your friends.
If your new boyfriend is jealous of the time you spend with your friends, then you might want to rethink your relationship. After all, if in the early days he’s manipulating who you see and how you spend your time, it does not bode well for the future.
Project an Independent Demeanor
When you’re talking with friends or relative don’t constantly refer to yourself as “we”. Also, make sure that you’re expressing your point of view, even if it conflicts with his. And, never, ever, let him speak for you! If he feels the need to do this and persists, even when you make it clear that you have your own voice, it’s a bad sign.
If you feel nervous about doing certain things, try to force yourself to do them anyway. For example, if you usually leave him to challenge a rude waiter or make a phone call to book an event, make sure you’re not becoming a silent partner in the relationship. Some women might think it’s the more ladylike approach, but modern men don’t really want a woman who is unable to assert herself.
Spend Time Apart
Make sure that you’re not living in your lover’s pocket. It’s a great idea to leave your boyfriend home, while you spend a weekend away with friends or family. Likewise, he should spend time away independently of you. This, of course, requires a good dose of trust. If you, or your partner, don’t trust each other to spend this time apart, then you might want to rethink the relationship.
Above all, remember, independence is good. It’s healthy to have aspects of your life that don’t involve your boyfriend and, usually, it’s the recipe to keep him interested!