by Gil Crowley
We all have our own individual interests, hobbies, habits and personality traits that make us the person we are. Every one of us is different, but very often when we get into a new relationship, we can start to lose our individuality and begin to fall in with our new partners ways and end up doing the things they like instead of our own things.
In the early stages of a relationship you obviously want to learn all about your new partner and his interests in order to bond with him and spend as much time as possible together.
As time goes by however you may find that you have stopped doing the things you enjoy and only do what he wants to do. It is easy to stop seeing your friends, going to classes or spending time with family as you just want to be with him.
Obviously you do have to learn to make compromises when you are in a relationship and make some changes to your lifestyle, but you don’t have to give up everything that you personally enjoy, even if he’s not keen. It is important that you both keep your own interests and friends as well as the things you do together as a couple.
You can keep your individuality in a relationship without compromising it, in fact it should strengthen it. If you give up everything you used to do before you met, then you are not you any more. You lose your sense of your own identity and run the risk of your relationship going stale.
The other thing to bear in mind is what would happen if you eventually split up. You would have no friends to turn to, no interests of your own and you would have lost a complete way of life which would be very hard to deal with.
So how do you keep your individuality in a relationship?
Learn how to say no sometimes.
You do not always have to say yes to everything your partner wants. Yes, it’s good to do things together and you obviously should try new things, but don’t agree to everything. It’s perfectly OK to say no occasionally.
Keep in regular touch with your friends and family.
These are the people who helped to shape you into the person you are today, so losing touch with them could put you at risk of losing touch with yourself as well. Try and meet up with your friends regularly on your own. You can of course also introduce them to your partner and meet up together, but try and make time for girly times as well.
Set aside some time just for you.
A good relationship isn’t all about spending every waking hour together, you each need some space to do your own thing. Agree this between you and make time in your schedule for pursuing individual interests.
Maintain some independence.
Don’t allow yourself to become dependent on your partner for everything. It is easy to fall into his shadow and become reliant on him for socialising, money or driving you around. Keep a sense of your own worth and be able to function on your own.
Keep hold of your dreams.
If there was always something you longed to do in your life, don’t forget it. There is no reason why you should not pursue your dreams now that you are in a relationship. If you are lucky and your partner truly loves you he will help you to fulfil them.
It is possible with a bit of work and mutual understanding to keep your individuality in a relationship. If your relationship is destined to last, your partner will realise this and work with you so that you both remain as separate people with your own identities.
Gill Crowley has been running her own dating agency in the UK for the past 20 years and has helped thousands of people to find love over the years. She has recently sold the business so that she can concentrate on writing.
She contributes to a number of newsletter as well as her own blog. She is currently working on a number of ebooks, two of which are now available on Amazon Kindle. You can find details of these on her website and also learn more about Gill and her projects. Please visit www.howtomeetagoodman.com or follow her on twitter @tlcdating.