A healthy relationship with your partner is a sign that you both are independent and have mutual recognition of love and support for each other. However, the media’s emphasis on the perfect ideal relationship can lead to unrealistic expectations.
Here are some tips to avoid feeling like you’re being dragged down in a relationship.
1. Have Your Own Space
It’s important to have your own space in a relationship. It could be a separate room in a home that’s just yours or a coffee spot that you go to unwind. What matters is that it needs to be a place where you can think, breathe, or meditate.
Many times, relationships become overbearing because couples assume that everything in their life together needs to be shared. That’s not true. It’s possible to share your lives while having some aspects that remain private to you.
2. Your Partner Isn’t All-In-One
While your partner may be the most special person in your life, they can’t be a replacement for a social life, friends, or a support group. Understanding that can help you see that your partner isn’t an all-in-one-replacement for anyone else in your life.
3. Keep a Support System
Having a support system is important but make sure your support group is different from your partner’s. Having a couple of mutual friends is common but it’s important that you establish friendships for yourself outside the relationship.
4. Have Your Own Interests
Partners don’t always share the same similar interests. It’s okay to have interests that don’t necessarily overlap. This can help you both have your own independence and confidence in a relationship.
5. Have Consistent Dates
In a long-term relationship, it’s normal to stop putting in as much effort. That’s why couples tend to stop dressing up and go out on dates—especially once they start living together. However, research has shown that date nights are more important than you may think. Keep aside a few hours once a week and devote that entire time to your partner without distractions. Cook a meal together, watch a movie, or visit an art gallery; spending quality time with your partner can do wonders for your relationship.
Your relationship should be based on mutual support while keeping your individual identities intact. If you feel like relationship troubles are too much to handle, consider talking to an expert in relationship counselling.
Azizeh Rezaiyan is a therapist with expertise in marriage counseling, couples’ therapy Palo Alto, counseling for depression, and anxiety therapy in Palo Alto. Contact her to book a session, and don’t forget to fill out a pre-appointment form.