We’ve all been there, or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to keep a healthy relationship with yourself while being able to start becoming a part of someone else. For those of us who come from a lot of loss, lack of confidence, or just downright struggle with abandonment issues, love tends to become something we get completely lost in.
Here are five things to keep in mind when it comes to entering a relationship so you don’t get consumed entirely by the arms of another.
1. Don’t lose your hobbies.
Whether you are just entering a new relationship or you have formed a serious one, don’t lose interest in your hobbies. Put aside time weekly for moments with yourself and do what you love. Once we lose interest in the things that make us happy, we fall into a pattern of putting someone else’s needs before our own. Take at least 30 minutes a day to dive into something that stimulates your mind. In doing that, you’re demonstrating self-love by showing yourself you’re worth that time. It’s okay to take time by yourself, doing things that make you happy.
2. Be okay with saying “no.”
One of the main reasons we fall out of touch with ourselves in relationships is our fear of conflict. Sometimes we let our partner’s decisions overshadow our own. We become too scared of confrontation or letting them down, and as a result, we tend to sacrifice our wants and needs. Once we allow ourselves to learn how to say no to decisions that don’t suit us, we are creating healthy boundaries. If your partner loves and respects you, they will understand and honor these boundaries. It’s okay to make decisions about what’s best for you even if that may hold conflict. Remember, it’s about compromise, not sacrifice.
3. Communicate your triggers.
I know this sounds like a given, but those of us that have lost ourselves in relationships before have a hard time expressing our traumas and triggers. Once we neglect how we feel, we start neglecting how we see ourselves in the relationship, which can usually become nonexistent. We start believing our partner’s past, present, and future are more important than our own, which leads to becoming a caretaker in the relationship. Once we do that, we are back on our way to losing touch with ourselves and embracing that same neglect.
Learning how to communicate with our partners about what triggers our emotions awakens a healing process. Once we allow ourselves to heal, we can stop our self-sabotaging behavior. Expressing our triggers and trauma helps create a healthy relationship with open communication that is no longer built one-sided.
4. Stick with your routines.
We all have our day-to-day and weekly routines that help us stay structured and satisfied, but sometimes we get so wrapped up in our relationship that it takes us out of line. It becomes so easy to blow off the gym once or twice because we want to spend time with our partner, but sometimes we completely fall off track altogether. That then causes us not to appreciate the things we do for ourselves daily. We must remember that even though we are now giving ourselves to another person, we still have to make sure we give enough to ourselves. Don’t call off a girl’s night out, or your daily yoga workout. These things, though they may seem small, are acts of self-care that must remain important to us. You are worth the time, so don’t let anything take that away!
5. Take yourself on a date.
One thing we know for sure is that there is nothing better than a night out with your partner. Maybe you indulge in a fancy dinner or just keep it simple with popcorn and a movie. Nothing beats being able to treat your relationship with something you both enjoy doing. But have you ever taken yourself out alone? When was the last time you grabbed a book and curled up in the corner at your local coffee shop? When we treat ourselves with things we don’t typically get to do, we show ourselves that we are worth the time and luxury. By allowing time for yourself, you are proving that you deserve it. Putting ourselves first leads to being able to maintain the healthy habits and boundaries we use in our relationship. Remember, if we can’t show up for ourselves, we can’t be the best version for others. So next time you feel self-neglected, take yourself out and feed your soul the self-love you’ve been starving for!