Being in a relationship can be great, but it can also be a bit of a balancing act. We all lead such busy lives, and between work, study, family, friends and partners it can be stressful trying to meet all the demands put on us. Getting the right formula can be tricky especially when it comes to friend time vs love life!
New relationships are exciting and fun! When we meet someone new, it can be tempting to want to spend all our time getting to know them. It’s hard to leave the bubble but remember, friendship is a two-way street. Our friendships are important, and we need to invest time in them to keep them fading. Also, surfacing from a new relationship bubble every now and then can make us appreciate it all the more.
Find the right balance for you
Everyone is different; we all need different amounts of down time and time to spend with our friends and partners. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the ‘correct’ amount of time to spend with a significant other and it’s OK to want to spend some time apart. If you are finding it hard to figure out the right balance for you, writing it all out can help you organise your thoughts, or talk to a trusted friend about it.
Being your own person
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and for many couples this can be true. Having your own hobbies or spending some time with your own friends can be good for your relationship. You don’t have to be joined at the hip all the time and it’s not healthy to become reliant on one person for all your happiness and entertainment. Having hobbies, interests and friends outside of the relationship will lead to a more balanced life and relationship.
It can be hard when one partner has different expectations to the other. If your significant other wants to spend way more time together or way more time apart it can lead to hurt feelings (and arguments!). People have different wants, needs and expectations from a relationship and that is OK. Sure, isn’t that the point of dating to find out whether they are the one for you?
It’s normal to want to be a good partner and make your partner happy, but if you are compromising on anything to the extent that it is affecting your happiness then it is time for a serious talk. Your romantic relationship should not be having a negative impact on your work, study or friendships. It’s OK to be your own person and spend some time apart. Your partner should understand that and be working just as hard to make you happy.
Getting on the same page
Communication is key here. Find a time when you are both calm and have a chat with your partner about both of your expectations, needs and wants from the relationship. Identify the real issue and get your problem-solving hats on. Is there a compromise that can be reached? Perhaps spending more quality time together rather than length of time? The most important thing is to talk it out before the problem gets worse.
You can find more advice on ReachOut.
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