Experts Say This Is the Most Important Thing to Remember in a Relationship

hint: it has nothing to do with your significant other.

Life is about balance — the ability to dedicate a proportionate amount of time to the people, things, and activities that matter to you. But in between growing your side hustle, waking up early enough to make your morning smoothie, and maintaining your relationships, this idea can can become overwhelming.

Amongst this chaos is your significant other. He or she gives you feelings that your family and workout class don’t — and that’s why it becomes difficult to concentrate on other parts of our lives. Out goes our plans to attend the calligraphy class we’ve been promising ourselves to, and in comes the familiarity of spending that time with our significant other instead.

Although being in a relationship is an important part of your life, it shouldn’t include neglecting other parts. Managing your time is challenging, but it could be exactly what you need to maximize every aspect of your life. Continue reading to see the five tips we’ve listed on how to not lose yourself while with someone else.


1. Plan your dates with loved ones.

After working 40+ hours this past week, a Friday night with Netflix and your significant other takes a lot less effort than dressing up to see your best friends for dinner. To avoid the potential cancellation, planning dates in advance is the perfect solution. It not only gives you the time to prepare for the event, but also the opportunity to suggest what you want to do. If you know you’ll be too lazy to put make-up on (yes, mascara counts) that day, you can offer a movie night at your place. Or maybe you’re trying to spend less at restaurants this month — suggesting a coffee date is another option. Making the conscious effort to see those closest to you is a foolproof way to keep your word while taking control of your life.


2. Schedule time to enjoy a hobby (on your own).

Along with focusing on loved ones, you should also make time for the things that you love. Whether you enjoy painting on a canvas or day-dreaming on a park bench, alone time is the perfect way to refresh yourself. We all know how hectic life can get, so who better to work through your own thoughts and stress than you? Not only will this time alone benefit your mind, but it’ll also give you the chance to re-focus and truly enjoy spending time with the most important person you know — yourself.


3. Spend time apart from your partner.

If you’re taking this route, keep in mind that constantly texting him or her while apart is defeating the purpose. You don’t have to ignore your partner’s existence during this time, but you also don’t have be glued to your phone either. There’s truly no better way to miss someone than to not be around him or her 24/7. Additionally, this time apart is a helpful way to once again concentrate on your thoughts. Use it however you want — brunch with your girlfriends, calling your sister, or shopping by yourself. Of course it’s understandable that you want to see your partner, but taking a couple free hours out of the day without your significant other will make it that much more heartwarming when you do spend time with him or her.


4. Make a weekly to-do list.

Similar to creating a schedule, making a to-do list is only half the battle — the real test is actually checking things off the list. Your list is up to your discretion and can be comprised of anything you want to accomplish for the week. From ordering a book you’ve been wanting to read to researching new podcasts to listen to, keep your tasks realistic to the time you have and stay positive. Through doing this, you’ll hold yourself responsible to finishing these tasks in addition to reminding yourself of the things that matter to you (besides your relationship with your significant other).


5. Communicate with your partner about it.

The key to every relationship? Communication. Telling your significant other that you’re striving to grow together as individuals instead of grow together into one person is fundamental — and the solution to stopping any argument where he or she assumes you’re simply trying to avoid the relationship. Regardless of your partner’s opinion on it, a healthy relationship indicates that he or she will respect and appreciate what you’re saying. Who knows — it could also shed light for your partner and inspire him or her to join you in balancing responsibilities and loved ones.


How do you manage the balance between a relationship and other priorities? Share your own tips in the comments!