How do you balance your time in a relationship and still maintain your own individual life with your own friends? Personally, I don’t see it as an option—it’s a must in a healthy relationship and I always make sure I do my own thing.
- My partner and I are very independent people. My husband and I have always been very independent people. We’re both business owners, we travel a lot and are very social. We’ve always been this way even before we met each other. We both agree that we’re allowed to live individual lives, and we can balance that with going through life together. I don’t think it’s healthy to have no individuality outside of your relationship.
- We respect each other’s friends. I’m the most important person in his life now, just like he’s the most important person in mine, but we still respect that our friends were here first. My biggest pet peeve is when a friend gets into a relationship and cuts everyone off—it’s not healthy to live an isolated life with your significant other. Our friends help bring balance to our lives and support us when we need an extra hand.
- We combine friend groups when we can. We get along with each other’s friends and our friends all mesh together very well. When we get a chance, we love to invite everyone over to our house to get together—it’s so fun to have big group nights. The best feeling ever is when your friends all love each other’s company, and we take advantage of the fact that we have so much fun as a group. It’s not always a “your friends, my friends” type of night.
- Sometimes we just need to be with our people. On the other hand, sometimes we just need to spend time with our friends separately. Sometimes those old friendships are the missing key to figuring out a problem or having the right shoulder to cry on. Our friends help lift us up and keep us accountable to each other. They know us better than anyone else, and sometimes you just need to talk with your best friend from middle school to find the answers. There’s totally nothing wrong with that.
- We still have date night every week. We dedicate time to our friends on the weekends but that doesn’t mean we neglect our relationship to do it. We set aside time for a date night every week and respect that time set aside to connect with each other. I look forward to our dates every weekend and know I can count on them no matter how busy our schedules get during the week. It’s that little bit of reassurance that we’ll find each other even when our lives are in a whirlwind.
- We both know our relationship has to come first. No matter how many house guests we entertain on the weekend or how many conference calls we’re on during the week, we value our relationship above everything else going on. Without that strong connection and respect, relationships go down in flames so fast. We live a fast-paced life but we know where our priorities are when it comes down to what really matters.
- We value balance in our lives. We have a theory that everything in life should come in balance other than love and kindness. I don’t expect my husband to dote on me all day long an ignore other relationships or responsibilities, and the same goes for him. We love having time as a couple, with our friends, doing our work and spending time alone too. Too much of one thing can mess up the whole flow of your lives together.
- We don’t have to be together every second of the day. Couples who are attached at the hip freak me out a little bit. There’s a difference between loving someone with your whole heart and having someone BE your whole heart. My heart’s filled with all kinds of interests, passions, and adventures—my husband just happens to be an important one. I want to pursue other things too without being caught in a box of being JUST a wife.
- A strong relationship takes trust. At the end of the day, no matter how you decide to spend your time in life, your relationships are going to take trust. I don’t have to be at my husband’s side every day to know I’m his number one and I’m not insecure if he wants to spend a night with his friends. It’s so important to value time to yourself, time with others and time together. I love him with all my heart, but it’s the small things we do that remind him of that, not me cutting out wine nights with my favorite girlfriends.