There is nothing so discombobulating as dating someone new. You just can’t get enough of one another and, like the flip of a switch, the way you manage your day-to-day life completely changes. When we are in a relationship, it can be easy to put dates, hanging out with his friends, and his schedule over self-care, our own friends, and our own schedule. But even when you are on cloud nine in love, losing yourself like this can put you at risk of relationship burnout, oftentimes resulting from a depletion of emotional energy.
When you expend your emotions persistently for your beau, you squander the emotional reserve you need for yourself. Instead of feeling like you are making him happy all the time, you feel exhausted—like you are less of yourself.
So here are 3 reasons to stay grounded while you are falling in love:
01. You love others best when you love yourself.
Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential. You can’t love to your fullest potential if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. Licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Josh Klapow, tells Verily that “Without self-care, which includes space and individual growth, we begin to atrophy as an individual.” When you’re working overtime to keep love alive, you’re depleting yourself of the things you need to keep those very relationships alive. “As a result we bring less to the relationship.”
Being in a relationship is gratifying and wonderful. It’s fun to go on dates and feel appreciated and share experiences with someone you love. But it’s easy to get caught up in the intimacy that you lose sight of yourself. “Being yourselves is what attracted you to each other in the first place,” couples consultant and coach Lesli Doarese suggests, “so it’s important to continue to give each other individual space so you can stay attracted to each other.” Taking care of yourself—physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally—allows you to love more completely. The key to avoid losing yourself is to make sure you are taking care of you just as much—if not more—than you are taking care of him.
02. You need physical space to grow.
“Space is critical to let a person think, figure out how to grow as an individual, learn how to be strong and enriched as an individual,” says Dr. Klapow. “Without space we become emotionally—and in some cases—socially hindered and weak.”
When was the last time you went on a date with yourself? Back when I was single, I would go and see a movie by myself. I used to go grab lunch with nothing but the company of a good book (and good food, of course). Looking back on it, I realize that I actually enjoyed spending this kind of quality time with myself. It was necessary time for me to understand who I was as a person and do things that made me feel most alive.
When you’re in a relationship, you'd usually much rather do things together than alone, and that’s okay. That is the beauty of relationships. But consider whether you’re giving yourself enough “you time”—time in which you can reconnect with yourself. You have to be able to give yourself permission to be alone sometimes. Whether it’s going to the spin class you keep putting off, or even just texting your girlfriends more often, you give yourself the necessary time to grow on your own.
03. He needs his alone time, too.
As women, we have to take time and lend special attention to our own lives. But we also need to realize that he does too. By respecting the fact that he needs his alone time just as much as you, you create an environment of trust and acceptance. Sometimes it isn’t easy to let him go and do things without you, but know that it is keeping him, him. He needs the time and space to be himself. As John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus, puts it: “If a man needs to pull away like a rubber band, when he returns he will be back with a lot more love.” This elasticity allows a man to grow on his own. In this case, a little distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
Life and wellness coach Alexis Meads writes for the Huffington Post that people in healthy relationships understand the balance of being alone and being together. When you give him the freedom to recharge his batteries, you have the chance to do so for yourself. You’ll find that the more you become comfortable with trusting him to do things without you, that he’ll do the same for you.
Taking care of yourself is an essential part of any relationship. It isn’t fair to you or him to throw yourself under the bus. By making sure you are mentally and emotionally healthy, you’re able to bring that vigor and personality to the relationship.
Photo Credit: Horn Photography