It’s so easy to become completely immersed in your relationship. When it’s right, it can feel like your partner is your entire world. But before you give the entirety of your head, heart, and soul to your person, make an effort to not lose touch with who you are as an individual and what has made you the special and unique person your partner fell in love with! Before you start sacrificing pieces of yourself, we’ve gathered some tips for remaining true to you in a relationship.
A huge goal of SheFactor is to help you get to know your inner-self and increase your self awareness so you can create a life you truly love. After putting in the work to foster this sense of self, it would be a shame to lose it amidst a relationship. We enter into relationships as individuals, and then begin the process of building a life with our partner, but you want to be careful about falling into codependency. Being codependent can quickly result in you being so reliant on your partner for the entirety of your happiness that you start to lose your independence. The strongest relationships are those that allow you both to maintain your independence, even while leaning on each other for some of your needs (some, not all).
Think of it this way: as much as you have a commitment to your partner and your relationship, you have a similar commitment to yourself. Which is why, as much as we encourage compromise in relationships, you should never compromise your values, standards, or morals for someone else. These parts of you are a product of your experiences and growth, so it’s really not sustainable for you to try to change those things. If you’re both true to yourselves within your relationship, you will continue to grow together and individually.
We understand how your relationship can feel like your top priority, but don’t let it become your only priority. Doing things apart from time to time will make your time together more special, and often cause you to be more present in those moments. Intentionally set aside time apart to foster the activities, hobbies, and creative outlets that help you reconnect to yourself. Doing things apart will give you both something new to talk about when you come back together, and reignite your excitement for life. Your partner should be supportive of these efforts to maintain your independence, and if they are having difficulty understanding this need, explain that these activities are important for you to maintain a healthy mental state inside your relationship.
When you’re investing time in these interests, give your full attention to them--limiting distractions by putting down your phone. Personal health and self-care rituals are also worthy investments for your “me time.” Both help you stay in touch with your body, a huge part of your sense of self. Now, if you live together, consider dedicating physical space to your independence. Depending on your interests, this might mean a closet that’s all your own, a craft corner in your apartment, or a workout area in your guest room. Having such a space will encourage you to utilize it.
Another aspect of your individuality is goal-setting. We’re all goal-setters here, big or small. So when you’re in a relationship, continue to set goals for yourself. Yes, you should keep sight of where your lives are headed together, but individual dreams and goals propel us all forward in life. Neglecting them may make you feel like you’re in a rut, and that can create problems between you and your partner. It’s your responsibility to hold yourself accountable to these goals. Or, share them with your SheFactor community to get your very own cheerleading squad along your path to progress.
On that note, it’s SO important to maintain a support system outside your partner. Continue to foster your female friendships during your relationship. Your girl gang will continue to be a valuable source of support before, during, and beyond your relationship days. There are going to be times when you need some additional perspective, and your soul sister community is ready to provide! It’s healthy for you both to have friendships outside your partnership, and these relationships make you more well-rounded, stable individuals.
We’re happy you’re happy in your relationship, but you both will benefit from holding on to your individuality all the while. Trust and understand when your partner needs some time to themselves, and hopefully, they’ll give you the grace to do the same. We’re sharing these tips because we want you to be more than happy in your relationship--we want you to THRIVE!