How to co-exist with your other human
Netflix & chill season is over.
Now that we’re entering the Season of Love, and people are starting to see the sunlight once again, it’s easy to get caught up in your significant other (ha-ha). It’s the time of wine tastings & picnics & exploring new areas of your city all with your other human.
Most of the time, Love takes you by surprise, and whittles down your last bit of what you thought was Strong Independence.
And, most of the time, that’s okay. Perfect, even.
But, Love also makes you want to spend every waking moment with that person…and then some. And sometimes, it even makes you question your sanity [If you don’t know what I’m talking about — then I hate to break it to you, but you haven’t experienced Love yet. And, that’s okay. We’re still Young.]
But, for those of you who fall into this crazy can’t-eat-can’t-sleep camp, you know that finding balance between your other Human, and yourself is a hard thing to do.
So, how do you make It work? How do you not sacrifice your own Life for your other half?
1. FIND ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN SHARE
You fell in love with this person for a reason. There must be things that you both enjoy doing. So, why not do them together?
And, I’m not talking about laying on the couch watching Netflix. Or drinking wine. Those are give-ins.
What are (real) hobbies of yours that you could see your better half also enjoying? Do you like to run, or do yoga? Do you love to travel?
Encourage them to join you. Even if they think they may hate it.
Prime example: My boyfriend was never a runner. But, when I started to train for the NYC Marathon last year, we decided to do it together. It was great to look forward to those long runs where we could catch up about our busy week, or just spend quiet, quality time together.
When you see someone you love doing something they love — it makes everything worth it.
2. TALK ABOUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU
Be clear with your Person about what’s important to you. This is Relationship 101. It’s an easy conversation to avoid, but one that can make or break what you have together.
If it’s vital for you to have a lot of alone time to be your Best Self — tell them. Or if you really hate how they leave their shit all over your room, be honest. Being passive-aggressive is so college.
As We get older, having these real, honest conversations is key. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s with your roommate or your boyfriend — being mature leads to Happiness. I promise.
So first, figure out what you need or what’s really bothering you. And then, in an open & honest way — Share it. Clear communication can only lead to somewhere good.
3. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
We’ve all heard this before, but you can only bring your Best Self into a relationship if you feel comfortable with You.
Everyone is on different paths through this weird transition into Adulthood, and figuring themselves out. You need time to understand who You are.
Make sure that you cut out time for You. Whether it’s writing, or spending time with friends, or watching Netflix (I know this is my boyfriend’s first choice) — do something on your own at least once a week. It’s okay to spend some time without them.
Actually, it’s highly encouraged.
Relationships are so easy to get lost in. You become so used to That Person, that you don’t even remember what you were like before you met them.
Don’t lose yourself.
4. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN BE DIFFERENT
Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you need to be the same person. Actually, that would be quite boring.
And, that wasn’t the reason you fell in love with your Human.
Remember what attracted you to them in the first place. Of course, in relationships we expect to grow — and even become a better person. But, sometimes you become so immersed in each other that you want them to be Just Like You. And think Just Like You.
And you get frustrated when they don’t.
Well, whenever you get that rising frustration in your chest because they are disagreeing with You (i.e. where you want to go to dinner), just remember — that’s the reason you fell in love with them.
Take a little advice from the good old Serenity Prayer — Accept what you Can’t Change. And, take a little breather.
5. REALIZE THAT IT’S OKAY TO BE TOGETHER AND ALONE AT THE SAME TIME
I think this one was the hardest thing for me to realize. So, shout out to the world’s best boyfriend for reminding me of it all the time:
“A sign of a strong relationship is being able to sit next to each other, and not have to say a word.”
Most of the time, I’m so excited to see him, I want to talk and cuddle and kiss and tell him Every Single Thing About My Day.
But hey, when you have forever — it’s okay to just be silent for a little bit. You can feel each other’s presence and not be doing the Same Exact Thing.
So, you can read while he watches TV, and all is good in the world. You can be separate people and still be in love.
Life is all about Balance.