1. Learn To Recognize Your Own Emotions
Learning how to establish a sense of self is vital to helping you grow as an individual. You want to learn how to recognize your own emotions for situations where you need to stand up for yourself and make quick decisions when your partner isn’t available.
“Learning to recognize your own emotions, and how to regulate yourself when your partner seems unreasonable, or is unavailable. Good ways to do this include a daily practice of meditation, calming breathing exercises, yoga, running, swimming or any other physical exercise that reliably produces a calming effect on your body.”
– Gracie LandesLicensed marriage and family therapist.
2. Do Something By Yourself
While it’s always fun to share experiences with your partner, you want to strive to have some solo ones, too.
“Get time on a regular basis to do something on your own that you enjoy and that give you energy. Have hobbies or interests you can bring back to share with your partner. This keeps the relationship fresh and allows you both to keep growing.”
– GRACIE LANDES
3. Understand & Accept Your Partner’s Point Of View
It’s normal for couples to have a different point of view from each other, and these differences are a great way to establish independence.
“Learning to recognize and understand and accept the other person’s point of view, especially when it’s different from your own.”
– GRACIE LANDES
4. Learn To Be Interdependent, Not Codependent
“Being interdependent in a relationship means you and your partner are good together, but you’re good on your own, too. When someone is codependent, he/she tends to think that he/she is not OK on his/her own and he/she loses parts of herself/himself because he/she fears she/he might lose the relationship.”
– Megan Fleming
5. Think Of Your Core Values
You never want to change your values to please your SO. While it’s normal for someone to change them on their own, you don’t want to just because your SO is forcing you to.
“Don’t give up your core values to be in a relationship. Figure out what’s most important to you and don’t lose sight of that.”
– MEGAN FLEMING
6. Maintain Your Own Passions
Continue to do what you love so you can grow a life outside of your relationship.
“You can have your own passions and your own life, but from time to time it’s nice to share these things with your partner.”
7. Learn To Love Yourself
Honestly, one of the most important relationships you have to continue to nurture is the one you have with yourself. Normally, no other relationship will work out if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself.
“Don’t forget to love yourself. You need to take care of yourself and your needs.”
8. Hang Out With Your Friends Without Your SO
Before you and your SO got together, you probably surrounded yourself with friends and family. It’s important to maintain those relationships even when you’re in a romantic relationship. You don’t want all of your happiness to depend on just one person.
“You should also plan nights to hang out with your own friends and go out separately.”
9. Find A New Hobby
It’s always fun to share a hobby with your partner, but it’s also a good idea for each of you to do your own thing once in a while. It will allow you to have new subjects to talk about and help you appreciate the times you do have together.
“Find a new hobby that you enjoy or go out and meet new people and make new friends.”
10. Figure Out What’s Important Aside From Your Relationship
While your SO is a very important element in your life, you should try to make sure that that’s not the only important thing.
“Spend your time thinking about what is important in your life aside from your relationship. Whatever you focus on will help remind you that there are other things in life aside from your SO. You need to happy with or without your partner.”
11. Don’t Place So Much Pressure On Your Relationship
It can be easy to fall into the relationship trap when you have unrealistic expectations. Instead of putting a lot of pressure on your relationship, take the time to focus on your own needs and wants.
“Until people know they can manage on their own, they put too much pressure on a relationship to provide the majority of their needs or to always go well. That’s not a realistic expectation for a sustainable long term relationship. It’s safe to be close to another person to the extent you can tolerate them being a separate individual.”
– GRACIE LANDES
While it feels amazing to be in a stable relationship, you don’t want your whole life to revolve around your SO. Take some time to be alone, find a new hobby, and figure out what’s important aside from your relationship. It’s time to find your independence while you’re dating your SO.