Falling in love is truly bliss. But bliss fades and real life sets in. If you want to extend your happiness, follow these tips
to romantic joy.
1. Slow down and go slow
We are always rushing to control the outcome of our romantic desires. From rushing into sex to saying "I love you" too soon. We want, so badly, to get to the next step that we lose sight of ourselves. Let things unravel in their own time. If the relationship takes one year to evolve or five, does it really matter?
2. Speak up for your needs
This is important because it sets the tone for the relationship going forward. If you need a night for some alone time, or to catch up with friends, family or work, whatever it is, say so. Even if you don't really feel like you need it, it is important to take it. You cannot give up the things that are important to you for love. You'll lose yourself.
3. Don’t forget your friends. Don’t forget your family. Don’t forget your work. Don’t forget your hobbies
In the beginning, it is easy to let your love consume your entire life. You may want to spend ever single moment with this person but it isn't the best thing. No matter how badly you want to stay in and cuddle, go out with your friends when they call, pop in on your folks for dinner. Keep showing up for your Ultimate Frisbee games. Just because you're happy together, doesn't mean you are joined at the hip. Don't neglect yourself.
4. Spend time alone
Keep doing some of the things you did as a single person. Go to the gym alone, take yourself out for coffee. You don't have to do these things alone all of the time, just some of the time. Being alone is the only real way to stay in touch with yourself and your feelings. Understanding and nourishing yourself is the key to establishing healthy relationship patterns going forward.
5. Learn to say no
If your partner is inviting you every where or always wanting to tag along, say no sometimes. It is a bad habit to always say yes and neglect yourself. It might seem like a little thing in the beginning but it will go along way to helping you maintain your independence and autonomy. We need to be connected to our partners but we can't really do that without being connected to ourselves. Do the math, one plus one is two which is greater than two halves making one whole.
What do you do to hold onto yourself in a relationship? We'd love to hear from you.