Romantic comedies, romance novels, and pop culture often portray two people in love as inseparable and completely enamored with one another. Some struggle and become disappointed when they realize that the experience of real life can be quite different. The truth is that almost everyone in a relationship needs a little personal space and even time away. But how can you get a breather while still maintaining your relationship? Here are some reasons why space is important and 5 ways to create boundaries and still keep your romantic connection strong:
1. Get In Touch With Your Feelings
The first step is to acknowledge that you’re feeling a bit smothered. Perhaps you’re noticing that you’ve been a little distant with other people or maybe you’ve been neglecting your relationships with friends and family. This may be a sign that you need to take a step back and regroup. Some may be inclined to ignore such feelings or consider them “bad” but it is important that you admit and accept that you are wanting a breather from your significant other. Remember, feelings are neither bad or good, they’re just feelings. You owe it to yourself to get in tune with what you’re feeling.
2. Communicate Your Needs to Your Partner
It may be a bit tricky, but tactfully communicate that you would like to branch out a bit. Be careful to let the other person know that you are not ending the relationship, but just want to find ways to enrich your life and experience. Express how you are feeling and listen to your partner’s response. It’s possible that he or she is wanting the same thing!
3. Pursue Your Individual Passions
Take time to “get to know yourself” and do something that you enjoy (but perhaps have been neglecting). Go ahead and sign up for that pottery class or recommit yourself to your exercise regimen that has suffered a bit. Encourage the other person to also engage in activities that he or she enjoys.
4. Nourish Your Friendships
Although your spouse or significant other is likely your “number one” remember that no single person can fulfill all of your needs. We as humans are wired to connect and we have something to learn from different people in our lives. Keep in mind that there is likely someone in your circle of influence who needs you, so take a break for a day or two and spend an evening with a friend.
5. Come Back Together Stronger Than Before
When you acknowledge that you need some space and then give yourself permission to take it, you are practicing self-care. When you care for yourself first, you can be more mentally, physically, and emotionally available for your partner. Famous German psychologist Erik Erikson explained that “identity precedes intimacy”. Ironically, your relationship can be strengthened by developing your SELF first and then creating and maintaining space.
Relationships need a lot to thrive: time, love, honesty, and connection. However, it is crucial that each person take time for themselves in order to create and maintain a strong, healthy, and balanced relationship. Tune in to your feelings, communicate, spend time with your friends, and spend time doing what you like and you may just come back together stronger than before. I’d love to hear how you plan to create and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationship. Comment Below!
Cheers to some much-needed space,