I’m looking for some advice on transitioning into a new relationship. My last boyfriend and I were together for four years, we lived together for three of those. I’m just starting a new relationship and I don’t want to mess it up because I’m used to a relationship where we were involved in every aspect of each other’s lives. Are there any tips you have for me? I’m excited and really want to make this work!
I can totally relate to what you’re going through. The best way to make sure you keep your independence in a relationship is to tell your partner how important that is. Talk about how you want to make sure you each get your own personal time. Discuss that it’s totally OK if you don’t do everything together. Talking about this first will make it so much easier to actually execute because no one will get offended if the other person wants some alone time or wants to do something on their own. If you both agree that having independence is only going to make your relationship stronger, then you’re both more likely to make it a priority.
You also need to make sure you are listening to your gut and aware of what you truly want as much as possible. For example, if he wants to go to a bar on Saturday night and you’re “indifferent” about it, chances are you probably have an opinion deep down, so you need to go with it. If you’d prefer to stay in, then speak up. If you’re cool with him going and you staying in, that’s fine too. Just be honest with yourself about what you want and then voice that to your partner. Listening to your gut and being decisive is something you can work on all the time, not just in situations with your boyfriend. Strengthening that skill will only make you happier and your relationships stronger.