This post is by Kayla Albert of ConfessionsofaPerfectionist.
When it comes to relationships, each of us carries our fair share of misconceptions. One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that the bond we share with out partner is most easily cemented by spending more time together.
This may be true on some levels. After all, studies have shown that sharing unique experiences with someone else makes us feel a deeper and stronger connection to them. But, given that we are separate and unique individuals, I would suggest that spending time apart is just as important.
Once we’ve been with someone for a significant amount of time, it becomes easy to meld into them, to make their happiness our goal, to take on their hobbies, and rely on them when it comes to making decisions. We seek comfort and once we’ve found it, we become fearful of losing it.
Unfortunately, this can easily lead to resentment and a loss of self down the road. So how can this situation be remedied or avoided altogether? By staying committed to our own personal growth and spending time with ourselves.
Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Have separate hobbies
Having hobbies you participate in as a couple is a great way to relate to your partner on another level, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your individual hobbies all together. In fact, participating in activities on your own, without your partner, gives you something to talk about when you do come back together.
In addition, these outside interests can boost your self-esteem by leaps and bounds, which can change the way you show up in your relationship.
Spend time with your friends
If you’re lucky enough to have a few great friendships, then most likely the connections you have with these individuals is extremely different than what you have with your significant other—and all are extremely important for your peace of mind.
Abandoning your friends once you start a relationship can make you feel isolated and alone—even if your relationship is spectacular.
Learn to love being alone
A significant portion of the population loathes being alone. Unfortunately, being uncomfortable with being alone can lead you to make relationship decisions based on the fear of being left. If you can learn to appreciate the time you spend with just yourself, you are essentially bringing a more whole version of yourself to your relationship.
Learn to do things alone that you would have never imagined doing before. Go eat in an upscale restaurant. Go walk around a museum. After working through being uncomfortable, you’ll feel liberated—I promise.
Take time to reflect
When you’re constantly on the go, you likely aren’t taking the time you need to check in with yourself. Reflect over your life, and notice what’s working and what isn’t. Create a list of what you’d like to see in your life and come up with goals to make it happen.
If you’re taking time out to tend to your own personal happiness, you might inspire your partner to do the same, resulting in a better relationship for both of you.
What tips can you add to the list? I’d love to hear them!
Kayla Albert is a freelance writer, blogger, and firm believer in living life deliberately. You can find her at: http://confessionsofaperfectionist.wordpress.com