Whether you are dating, in a committed relationship or married, it is easy to forget the most important part of the equation: YOU.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in working on getting a significant other through dating or making sure you maintain your relationship so that it can last.
Losing yourself in any type of relationship can happen fast but most times you won’t notice at first. Especially if you have a nurturing personality or if you are a goal oriented person. We can be so eager to be accommodating that often times we mute our desires and needs in the process. This is a dangerous trend that can result in resentment or sadness.
Try not to think of it as a setback instead look at it as an opportunity to take a step back and regroup.
If You Are In The Dating Loop
This can be exhausting especially if you are on the active hunt to find someone. It is important to push that desire to find someone right now to the back of your mind once you start to feel burnt out.
Instead of looking for fun activities for two or date night places, make it a date night for you. I find that being with nature is the perfect way to redirect your energy and reflect on yourself.
A picnic for one, while the sun sets can give you space and scene you need to reflect. If being active is a better fit for you then try a new spin class or go for a long run while listening to your favorite uplifting songs.
The idea is to take away the pressure of finding someone and reminding yourself that you are enough.
If You Are In A Committed Relationship
Long term committed relationships can become tricky.
I find that this area in a relationship can be a serious limbo for a lot of couples. In many instances, couples have just been letting the time pass while they are together, as long as they FEEL committed. Unless you and your partner have sat down and discussed long term goals as a couple you are only operating off feeling.
Long term goals are anything you want in the future, it may be marriage, it may mean children or it could just mean moving in together. This can create a lot of pressure for one person or both people. Many people would say “if you cannot tell your partner how you feel then maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship” but I disagree. Finding the right words to say takes time and consideration.
Time apart is often the best-case scenario. I am not suggesting a “break” or break up. If you live with your partner, spend the night somewhere else for a night or two, while you find the words to say how and what you feel.
If spending time apart feels like it’s too drastic then spend a day with yourself, away from your partner. During this time, it’s best to think about what direction you would like your relationship to go. Write it down if you need to but you should be ready to discuss those things with your partner by the end of your time apart. Vocalizing the things you want are important to maintain your voice in the relationship.
If You Are Married:
(with/without children and/or pets)
You’ve made it past the third date ideas phase and into the married couples lane. A lot of couples have made in past the first two phases (dating and long-term relationship) without ever considering what they want. When you add children and/or pets into the mix, it can become a lot harder to create a pause moment in your life. You can spend a lot of time just trying to get through the day like the rinse and repeat.
Younger children may need a lot of your time and attention so you may need to schedule “me time” while they are napping or taking a breather while their favorite movie has demanded their attention. Use this time to do something for you: if that means napping, then go for it. If that means catching up with your favorite food channel show, binge it, unapologetically. If you have older children in the pre-teen or teen stages, you should start becoming comfortable with the idea that they can spend a few hours at home alone while you spend a few hours out and about with you. During this time, you should try and do things you’ve always wanted to try or start a new hobby. The point is to have a time and space for you and only you.
If you feel more comfortable with your child being with someone while they are home, you and your spouse should also rotate free time as often as possible too. Make a schedule if you have to and make sure it is honored.
Even if you do not have children you can still lose yourself in your marriage. You should always try and make time for yourself to discover new things. You should do the things you like that your spouse may not enjoy during your free time.
If you sense that you are sad or overwhelmed because of how lost you feel you should seek professional help. Someone like a life-coach, therapist or pastor/priest can help you navigate through these hard feelings. It is important to get the help that you need because you should help yourself before you can help anyone else.
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