Have you ever had a friend who got a boyfriend and disappeared out of your life, as if she no longer had time for her friendships? She poured everything she had – including every waking moment of her spare time – into her relationship with her boyfriend, and when things came tumbling down, she was left all alone, without any friends to comfort her broken heart.
Every girl has – at some point in their lives – either had this friend, been this friend, or both. But the question we often forget to ask is: Why did the relationship tumble down when she (or I) put everything into it?
Often the answer is also ironically a part of the question; the answer to why the relationship crumbled when you put everything into it is because you put everything into it.
The absolutely crucial element to a healthy relationship? Balance. Balance with everything from love, respect, open-mindedness, sharing, and compassion, but most importantly, balance with your time.
When we jump into a relationship head first, it can be very easy to become consumed by all the wonderful things the new relationship has to offer. We often end up spending every day with this person, and it becomes painful to be apart from them. We stop making time for our friends, families, and ourselves, and before we know it, we’ve not only cut all our ties with our other loved ones, we’ve also sabotaged a relationship that could have otherwise been a lasting and satisfying one.
As a partnership grows, and starts evolving into a healthy relationship, trust levels begin to rise, excitement and anxieties settle, and routine life begins to roll. Once you’ve gotten over that intoxicating and consuming first plunge into the relationship, you can hopefully begin to create a balance with your time.
A few things I’ve learned to do – since I absolutely need my alone time to do nerdy things like read and write – is to schedule your alone time. Communicate your needs to your partner, and hold your ground. It can be really easy and tempting to be persuaded out of your alone time and into his arms, but don’t do it. The hug will be sweeter tomorrow.
Another thing is to, of course, plan with your friends and family members and make an effort to be in their lives. The more time you spend with them, the happier you will feel when you’re back with your guy, and the more he will respect you for having your own life and your own people.
Vacation together, and alone. When your man wants to go on a boys’ trip, let him. And when your friends are bugging you to go to Vegas, go! Don’t let your commitment in your relationship hold you back from enjoying life or cause you to suck the joy out of your partner’s. You’re in a relationship, you’re not dead. So vacation, vacation, vacation!
But most importantly, realize how important and beneficial time apart is to your relationship. Time apart gives each partner a moment to realize what they have back home, and remember why they fell in love with their companion to begin with.
We’re all human after all, and our memories just aren’t that good. So take a moment away to remember, and make the present that much sweeter.