Many people love being in relationships. Indeed, that “new relationship” energy or limerence is one of the best feelings in the world! But as the puppy love phase of your relationship fades, it’s important to re-establish your identity to avoid being overwhelmed or consumed by your new love. Indeed, you must know how to love yourself while in a relationship if you are to be a well-rounded, mature individual and bring the best of yourself to your significant other.
Let’s break down how you can love yourself while in a relationship while balancing other relational and emotional priorities.
What Are the Flaws of Focusing Too Much on a Relationship?
Simply put, it is indeed possible to have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to a new relationship. We get it – when you get together with someone you’ve been crushing on for a while, it can feel like all you want to do is spend all your time with them and never leave their side. But even as the puppy love feeling goes away, you may fall into habitual or time management traps that cause you to focus too much on your relationship and not enough on yourself.
This is a common fear that many friends have when one of their best buddies gets together with a new beau. They worry that their friend will spend all their time with their new significant other and stop spending time with their original pals. Here’s the thing: looking for a significant other to complete you can be tempting. But the most successful relationships arise from two complete people who stay complete even after getting together. When you focus too much on a relationship, you risk:
- Making yourself and your significant other sick of each other
- Running out of things to talk about, which may make your relationship seem boring
- Becoming too accustomed to your partner, making them seem boring (and vice versa)
On top of those negatives, focusing on a relationship to the exclusion of everything else can make you forget yourself. For example, maybe you stop enjoying your own hobbies or passively begin to take up the opinions and preferences of your partner. This isn’t always bad, but it can lead to problems later down the road. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can love yourself – and reprioritize some of your energy! – when you’re in a relationship, whether you’re at the beginning of new love or several years into a marriage.
Carve Out Some “You” Time
For starters, always remember to carve out some time each week for just you. For example, maybe you really love video games or enjoy reading quietly without anyone present. Whatever the case, have some “you” time each week, preferably on the weekend, to do recreational activities that you like. Note that you must follow this even if your partner likes to do the same things! You have to love yourself by giving your mind time and space away from your partner. This may not seem important in the earliest stages of your relationship, but it will become a very important aspect of your relationship as it goes on.
It’s also a good way to build a habit of spending time away from each other. This may be necessary after a big fight or when you just need a little space to unwind and decompress.
Maintain Your Own Hobbies
By the same token, try to maintain your own hobbies even as your relationship progresses and evolves. Don’t let your partner get you to stop enjoying things you loved doing before you met them. Maintaining your own hobbies is important to love yourself while in a relationship. It reminds you of the things you love best about yourself, lets you cultivate skills you’ve practiced for years already, and allows you to solidify your identity away from your partner. Plus, it gives you the chance to hang out with friends you may have met before your significant other, plus meet new people (a vital part of a thriving social life).
Spend Time With Other Friends
Speaking of friends, be sure to spend some time with them! Don’t let all of your other contacts dry up and don’t skip out on girls’ night or guy time for too long. You want to maintain friends aside from your significant other so you can maintain that element of your identity and enjoy some time with other people, especially those who share your hobby interests. It’s important to have social fun away from the girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife. After all, you’ll want your friends to attend your wedding, help you babysit, and otherwise be a part of your life for years to come, right? But if you want those relationships to last, you have to spend time with those people just like you have to spend time with your romantic partner!
Practice Affirmations in the Mirror
Here’s an underrated tip: give yourself some compliments or affirmations in the mirror right after you wake up or before bed. You might think it’s a bit silly, but it’s really effective! When you practice affirmations in the mirror, you tell yourself what you need to hear daily. Over time, this can build up into true self-confidence, help you overcome insecurities, and remind you of what matters and what you believe. Sure, your significant other can tell you affirmations as well. But sometimes, you need to tell yourself the important truths of life.
Never Let Your Significant Other Put You Down
Maintain a 100% no abuse policy. You should never let your significant other put you down, say mean things, or physically strike you. Staying safe and treating yourself with respect by refusing to put up with disrespect is key to loving yourself while in any relationship, whether it’s romantic, familial, or something else. In fact, a significant other who puts you down shouldn’t be a significant other at all. If your partner puts you down or makes you feel less than what you are, they aren’t worth your time. Remember, there’s definitely someone better for you out there! If you let your significant other make you feel bad, it’s impossible to love yourself in that relationship. Even worse, your self-confidence could diminish until you get out of that toxic emotional situation.
Keep Pursuing Your Goals and Dreams
Above all else, remember to continually pursue your goals and dreams aside from your partner’s. As you develop your relationship, your goals may become more intertwined with them, but it’s important to maintain your own ideas and dreams as time passes. Keep working on your career. Publish that novel. Develop your art skills. Whatever the case happens to be for you, don’t let your relationship become the only thing worthwhile in your life. That’s a recipe for disaster, especially if you aren’t sure whether a given relationship will end in lifelong happiness.
As you can see, being your best self in a relationship also means carving out plenty of time for your hobbies, interests, and personal friends. You have to love yourself while in a relationship just like you do before you find Mister or Miss Right – even though being in a relationship can be great, it’s best to retain your identity and stay a “complete person” as you grow and evolve. Best of all, loving yourself in a relationship will pay dividends for that relationship over time. The happier you are with yourself, the happier you’ll be with your significant other! 1AND1 knows that it can be tough to master this concept, so check out our other guides and wellness tips today!
Spending Too Much Time With Your Partner? How to Fix It | Rewire
7 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone | Forbes
Do Positive Affirmations Work? What Experts Say | Cleveland Clinic