July 4th long weekend is known for providing some of the best couples-friendly days of the whole year. Three-legged races, Ferris wheels, and fireworks spring to mind…(I could go on..), but now that the surge of self-development that comes along every New Year has likely passed, maybe it’s time to consider putting a new spin on this year’s Independence Day, and the day’s that follow – especially if you’re in a relationship.
Listed below are 5 tips to help you preserve your independence in a relationship, starting this Independence Day:
- Don’t put self-development on hold: Don’t even think about putting down that Rosetta Stone, because although you might be prioritizing your time differently now that you’re in a relationship, you need to remember to consciously dedicate time towards growing as an individual, otherwise you will have nothing new and interesting to bring to the table. Putting time and effort into making your relationship work is recognizably very important too, but you are stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so strive to become someone you would be interested in getting to know. Actively seek out new experiences, new people, and new challenges.
- Put your phone down: Nobody has anything interesting enough to say that will sustain a 24 hour text message conversation, so you should probably consider putting the phone down to avoid meaningless exchanges. This is also pertains to unnecessarily frequent phone calls, emails, smoke signals, etc.
- Speak up for yourself: It’s easy to lose our sense of self a little bit, even in a healthy relationship. We can get complacent and fall into easy routines, and even form a shared-identity of sorts. So instead of heading to the same old restaurant for dinner with your partner, break out of that cycle and suggest a new activity you would like to share with them. If they aren’t interested in participating, revisited tip #1.
- Manage time apart: Even if it means just taking a few weekends apart each year, either solo or with your friends, it’s important. You’ll gain some new perspective, feel refreshed from being around different people, and maybe even miss your partner! If you don’t live together, spend a few nights at your respective apartments each week and enjoy the alone time! You’ll have more to talk about when you reunite.
- Remember your single self: When you were unattached you wouldn’t hesitate to go out for cocktails with your girlfriends, call your mom to catch up, and splurge on fun indulgences every now and then. That person landed you your significant other, so don’t forget some of the things in your life that may have recently fallen by the wayside a little bit. Keep your plans with friends, stay involved in your social life outside of your partner, and hit the gym. And remember when you used to replace your light bulbs and printer cartridges yourself? You don’t need to ask for help now either…