Everyone seems to be looking for way to make their relationships healthy. Whether it’s listopias detailing how to spot a healthy relationship or as they put it, the one you are going to marry, or the endless memes about “the one”.
So here is my opinion: Do not make them your life.
I’ve been in relationships where slowly but surely they become you, and you become them. Everything from your schedules to your interests merge. But these relationships failed. Why? Because you are not separate people anymore. The person you fell in love with is gone and vis versa.
Lord Geekus and I moved to Ireland and knew nobody. Nada. Even when we developed a couple of friendships our circle was very limited and social life almost void. We relied completely on each other; for our relationship needs, friendship, support, just everything. It was awful!
I don’t mind keeping in touch with friends online but it cannot replace an all night blether with a good friend!
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with him. There are reasons why we are in a relationship but he is not my everything.
Slowly I began to feel like less of a person, and he did too. As though we were two halves of a whole and not in that romantic kinda way. Our relationship began to suffer. We were dismantling some of the core reasons we fell in love.
Going to parties, events, hanging out with friends, board game nights, movie-thons. Developing interests with friends who complement you. Life.
I found myself repeating myself over and over to him just because I needed to talk. It was infuriating to both of us.
We’ve been back home for a month and already our relationship is better than it’s been in the whole last year! We have friends again, we socialise without each other, we are pursuing interests independently of the other. He has taken up rock climbing with a friend of ours, I have got back to being politically engaged, we can enjoy being together again!
All this got me thinking about the importance of “self”. Having a life of your own independent of your partner. We obviously share a huge amount of mutual friends but within those groups we develop friendships differently and spend time with those friends together and separately.
It seems really simple thinking about it now, but then our society seems to think it’s a sign of a really good relationship if you want to be together all the time, have all shared interests etc. I don’t. It’s been wonderful realising we haven’t talked much for a couple of days and having a good catch up! I enjoy the time we spend together, it’s wonderful. I am me, and he is his own. We have different opinions, different activities, different wants and needs. We don’t need to be the sole provider to each other for those.
We aren’t our grandparents, we aren’t even our parents. Society has changed rapidly.
It’s a lot more the norm to put off having children till later, if at all. Two of my closest female friends outrightly do not want children. So this means our lives as a whole are going to be quite different to the generations before. We have very few role models to guide our lives which are filled with so many options, so much debt, more flexible relationships and the never ending quest for fulfilment.
Its amazing to look at my family, parents, grandparents and see how much having children has shaped their lives, even just on a yearly basis. Holiday, traditions, and so on are child centric. But I still want them. Just because we don’t have close family with lots of children doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a big, friends-christmas. Birthday parties are becoming less and less, it’s no fun.
Anyway! that’s for another blog 🙂
Fill your life. Be the person your partner fell in love with. Be yourself if your relationship is meant to be it will be a happy one 🙂