It was a new relationship. Everything was butterflies and date nights and stolen kisses whenever we could get them. It was great, it was exciting…it was just us.
Just us. And that was the problem.
It’s easy in the heat of a new relationship to get lost in each other and forget the world around you. News flash: the outside world still exists. So do your friends. So does your work. And that exam you have coming up at the end of the week. And that party you promised you’d stop by. Have you even called your parents lately?
It happened to me, before I realized it was “happening to me.” Of course I still loved my family and friends. But, all of a sudden, they weren’t really my top priority. I wasn’t really my top priority.
This is the biggest faux pas you can commit in your romantic relationship: making each other your entire life.
All that stuff you loved before you met your significant other, keep loving it. There’s a reason why your S.O. fell in love with you, so don’t lose yourself in the process of falling in love with them. Throw yourself into your studies. Dedicate yourself to that internship. Plan a trashy girls’ night – no makeup, wine, and rom-coms galore. The rest of your life doesn’t stop when your new beau pops into the picture.
Don’t let your boyfriend or girlfriend fundamentally change who you are. No one should have that power over you. You two are allowed – and should – have your own interests. Every second of every single day can’t be spent staring longingly into your S.O.’s eyes; do your own thing. Don’t feel like you have to see him or her tonight if you’d rather just stay in and read a book. Don’t feel bad for making plans with your friends on a Friday night. If your significant other has a problem with these things, it’s probably a red flag right there.
Who knows, this relationship might be ‘it‘. But, it also might not be. So don’t toss your friends aside and your hobbies to the back burner. A partner should add something positive to your life, not take anything away from it.
Let me reiterate: it is so easy to commit this relationship faux pas. You are you before you’re anyone else’s significant other. I am a nerdy, overly-emotional, hopeless romantic who has a much-too-large sweet tooth. I write mediocre poetry from time to time and enjoy myself a good HGTV marathon. I don’t want any guy to take that away from me – in fact, I’d hope he’d love me for those things, just as I’d love him for his interests and passions.
Life is best enjoyed when filled with love. Not just the love that comes from a romantic relationship, but the love that comes from family time, from late nights with your best friends, from doing whatever it is that makes your heart happy. While there’s no true secret to a “happy and healthy relationship,” a good start is this: don’t allow your S.O. to be your whole world. Let him or her be a part of what makes life so sweet.