This is all you ever wanted and you have it now. You are in a loving relationship.
You feel awesome. You feel on top of the world. The world looks mighty good to you.
Things are going great in your life. But is that so?
In the thrill of being in a relationship, aren’t you missing something? Yourself, for example?
At times, even in the most perfect of relations, this can happen. You and your individuality are getting lost somewhere along the way. Until it is too late, you are not even aware of it as you were celebrating the togetherness and did not have time to think about it.
When that feeling sinks in, you are brought back down to earth with a thud that can hurt a lot. It would require a lot of effort to bring back your focus on yourself without it damaging your relationship status.
How you wish you had not let it slide from the beginning itself! How you wish to rewind the clock and start all over again!
Not all is lost. You can still find yourself while in a relationship.
This article explores what it means by focusing on yourself and how to love yourself in a relationship.
6 ways to focus on yourself while in a relationship
1. Make space for some me-time
Being together with someone doesn’t mean you have to forget yourself and adapt to the lifestyle of your partner. It is not mandatory to follow specific rules to conform to the ideals set by society for perfect couples.
Just as each person is unique, each relationship is also unique and different. You can make your own rules as long as your partner is also comfortable with them. The two of you need to have an agreement on what is right and what is wrong, preferably from the beginning itself.
One of the important points to consider is me-time or alone time. Finding time for yourself is vital to make togetherness stronger and healthier.
People are good at making rules for others and look down upon those who do not follow them. But when you are together with someone, all it matters is the opinion of your partner and yourself. Nothing else matters.
It is a misconception that couples need to spend as much time together as possible to strengthen their bond. In fact, it is the other around. You can easily get on each other’s nerves by doing that. Spending some apart is the perfect antidote to this situation.
Your need to reach a consensus on how long the me-time would be and how frequently it should happen with your partner.
Alone time can help in bringing balance to a relationship. Don’t pay attention to what others think or say. Do what makes you happy.
2. Cherish your old friendships
In the initial flush of being a couple, you may allow yourself to get lost in the union. The casualty, in this case, would be the bond with your old friends. As you spend more and more with your partner, you will start missing getting together with friends.
Once the excitement of the new relationship wears off, and you settle down as a couple, you must reconnect with old friends and revive the friendships. And by old friends, the inference is your own friends before you met your partner and not the friends you made as a couple.
The time with old friends applies to both of you. Maintaining contact with old friendships can help in keeping your sense of identity alive. Without spending time apart, there is always the threat of too much togetherness. When you spend all your time with each other, in no time the best of relationships can go stale and turn sour.
Time spent in the company of old friends can provide the much-needed space in the union as well as fill you with happiness, excitement, and energy.
3. Have a hobby
Maybe you had one before you met your partner. If not, take up one that you have always wanted to do. It can be playing a game with friends, reading, listening to music, cooking exotic dishes, or gardening. Take your pick and stick with it no matter what.
If you had a hobby earlier, it is all the more important to continue pursuing it. Giving up your favorite leisure time activity will come back to haunt you later. At that point, you would regret giving it up for the sake of spending more time together. And you won’t be able to turn the clock back and retrieve the lost time.
Even though this is a fun and leisure activity, refrain from doing it together as a couple. If you have enough time for couples activities, go right ahead and do that as well. But don’t sacrifice your me-time leisure activity for couples time.
This doesn’t mean you should not support your partner in their leisure activity or vice versa. Cheering for each other is a chance for bonding and there is no reason why you should let it pass. However, you should remember that your hobby is yours alone and yours only.
4. Get yourself moving
Working out is one of those things in life that has so many positives that it is easy to lose count of them. The most obvious one being it can keep you in good health and help your body stay fit. Good health and a fit, good-looking body can boost your self-esteem sky high. And this can work wonders in a relationship.
Exercising is a natural mood booster and it can help in maintaining your relations on a good plane. Just the fact that you are taking good care of your body adds positivity to the mix.
You may work out alone, as a couple, with friends, or join a group. If your partner is equally interested in it, there is no harm in doing it together. Neither should you feel forced to exercise, nor your companion. However, do not do it together as a way to spend more time together. The focus should be on working out rather than being together or alone.
5. Pursue your personal goals
Under no circumstances, abandon your own goals for the sake of your relationship. Whatever difficulties and hurdles you may come across, find a way to overcome them rather than surrender.
The excitement of being a couple may set you off daydreaming about your future together. About creating a home together, raising a family, and growing old together. This no doubt makes your heart overflow with happiness and expectations. That is all well and good.
In the melee, don’t forget about the personal goals that you had dreamed of and pursued from before you became a couple. It is easy to set it aside, ignore, and forget about them when you are euphoric about your new status.
Personal goals are important to retain your identity and make you feel happy and balanced. Even in the event of a breakup, you will always have your goals and achievements to fall back on. You won’t collapse and crumble.
6. Don’t shy away from communication
Communication between partners is the key to the success of a relationship. And this is true on so many fronts. Be it talking it out about the issues you are facing or letting the other person know how you feel, or about your dreams and goals.
Good communication can clear most of the misapprehensions and misunderstandings. The freedom to talk about anything and everything at any point in time without second thoughts is a sign of a healthy bond.
There is no hard and fast rule on how to go about this. Whatever is comfortable and agreeable to the both of you is the right thing.
Is it selfish to focus on yourself?
The idea of focusing on yourself may sound a bit selfish and self-centered. Especially if you are in a relationship. There is no need to get defensive about this. It just means you are taking good care of yourself and your needs. And that cannot harm anyone or anything. It is a good thing for all concerned.
To help you find yourself and bring the focus back on you, you should be better acquainted with yourself, know who you are, what you want, and should have an action plan to carry it out. Self-love, self-esteem, and self-confidence are key elements of a self-assured person. And only if you are taking good care of yourself, you will have something positive to contribute to your relationship.
Relationships have an amazing way of bringing together two individuals for life. Wonderful as they are, they are also full of traps and pitfalls that may catch you unawares. One such snare you will find in your relationships is getting so lost in them that you forget your identity. This can harm yourself as well as the relationship itself.
In the intoxicating initial days, you may forget about the world around you, including yourself, and drown yourself in the happiness of togetherness. That is understandable in a way. At least as the relationship stabilizes, you should be able to find your feet and get some of your focus back onto yourself. Getting yourself lost in the togetherness can neither help strengthen the bond nor make you happy.
Bring the focus back onto yourself with the suggestions listed above. Being yourself and retaining your individuality can help in keeping you happy, focused, centered, and grounded. Ultimately this will help your relationship.