Relationships Only Work If You Still Have Your Own Life

You probably know by now that all relationships require some level of sacrifice. People give up their Friday nights, bad habits and even hometowns all in the name of love, as they should. Finding someone special in this world is hard and you should do whatever you can do make it work — but that doesn’t mean you have to give yourself up entirely. In fact, having your own life makes your relationship better because:

  1. You’ll never run out of things to talk about. I once knew a couple who lived together, worked together and went to school together. As suffocating as that sounds, I always wondered exactly what it was they talked about when they were alone together. Obviously, they knew everything that happened during each other’s day because they were side-by-side 24/7. Spoiler alert: they didn’t last, and I think a big reason is because their conversations were probably super boring.
  2. It’ll make life more interesting. Because you’re making an effort to have your own, separate lives, you’ll have more stuff to experience — different friends groups and hobbies and birthday parties to attend. Rather than trying to mesh each other into one person, try celebrating what makes you both different. Encourage the weirdness and the quirks and you’ll be much happier with the fun life that comes with it.
  3. It’ll keep you confident. When you learn how to make yourself happy regardless of what anyone else is doing or saying, you gain an insane amount of confidence. Being in control of what makes your life good and not depending on another person to always make you feel secure is so empowering. You’ll stop worrying about girls who like his Instagram posts or how late he stays out with his friends. You’ve got your own things going on, and you won’t waste all your time worrying about him.
  4. You won’t get tired of each other… Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? While you’re obviously going to want to spend more time with your significant other than with anyone else (especially in the beginning), a little separation is necessary. If every waking second is with that other person, you’re going to get annoyed really fast. It’s just human nature. Some time apart makes you miss them and enjoy the time you have that much more.
  5. … Or sick of seeing each other. If I could give advice to anyone in the beginning stages of a relationship, it would be this: don’t get into the routine of seeing each other every single day right away. It will happen eventually on its own, but it’s better if you let the “dating” part of dating go on as long as possible. Make it something special when you see each other and avoid acting like you live together for as long as you can.
  6. You won’t lose yourself. When you’re in a relationship, it takes up a good portion of your life. If you don’t consciously do things without your S.O., you could lose yourself without even realizing. Of course, we all change naturally over time, but you don’t want to get a year or three down the line and realize you haven’t put time into one of your hobbies in way too long. Keep doing the things you like, and then go try other things you think you might like. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, as long as you’ve got things in your life that are just for you.
  7. It’ll put less pressure on the other person. No one should be in charge of your happiness but you. When you’re spending all your time with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you subconsciously start to rely on them to make you feel good. And when they stopping meet your expectations 24/7 — because they’re people and they will — you get upset. Learning how to take that pressure off of the other person is a gift for both you and them. You stop sweating the small stuff, and they make you happy in unexpected ways that surprise you. It’s a win-win.
  8. You’ll have more fun. Couples who have fun together, stay together. Being able to have a good time no matter what the situation is, is the secret ingredient in what makes relationships work. And you’re way more likely to have fun together if you have your own stuff going on. 
  9. It’ll keep you from going insane. I think it’s pretty much a known fact that if the only good thing you have in your life is a guy, you will go crazy. Stop the madness and get a hobby. It really is better for everyone that way.
  10. It’ll make you a happier couple. Period. Do you want the truth? You can’t be happy with someone else until you learn how to be happy with yourself, so stop complaining about his boys night out and find some fun ways you can make your life your own again.
Emily is a writer, dog mom, and occasional narcissist living in what her mom refers to as “a bubble.” Geographically speaking, it’s more like Daytona Beach, Florida. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, she is a community editor for a local newspaper and spends most of her time trying to convince her dog to cuddle.