How To Be In A Relationship Without Feeling Tied Down
So you caught some feelings. What now?
Right now, we’re in the prime of our lives. We get to travel, learn interesting stuff and work whenever we feel like it. It makes the thought of committing ourselves to someone even more terrifying.
Why on Earth, if we have the entire world at our fingertips, would we bother getting into a relationship? What use is there spending time with one person when we can effectively spend our time with heaps? Why worry about all this relationship nonsense when we’ve got our entire lives to Mummy up and get boring?
Guys, we know. We totally get (and agree with) your concerns. But sometimes, you meet someone who you want to spend a lot of time with. It just happens. And before you know it, you’re deep down in relationship town.
Here’s how to balance that with your drive to stay independent.
#1 Be Clear About Your Boundaries
If it’s part of your identity to be a carefree, independent person, make sure you don’t lose that.
Your boyfriend or girlfriend is into you because of your unique qualities; your free spirited nature being one of them. Let them know straight up that it’s important to you to stay that way.
Of course, if they have a problem with that, we don’t need to tell you what to do.
#2 Don’t Spend Every Day Together
In the honeymoon stage, you’ll probably want to share every moment with your new boo. You’ll be wondering what they’re up to, what they’re eating, what they’re thinking, how their hair smells… STOP. What the hell is this shit? Two months ago you were backpacking solo across Vietnam, meeting a tonne of new and interesting people every single day. You were a fearless single force to be reckoned with.
We know you caught some feelings but don’t let them consume you. Keep your head above water by having some designated days off. The strict routine of it might annoy you at first, but you’ll eventually appreciate the alone time.
#3 Maintain Strong Friendships
Often when we start a new relationship, we feel ourselves drifting away from friends. There’s no judgement here. It’s bound to happen the more you delegate time to your new partner.
But it’s super important to prevent your friendships from crumbling. They’re the greatest source of perspective and support. If you drop off the social radar, you run the risk of only sharing friends with your significant other or, even worse, finding out they’re your only friend.
Nothing will banish your independence more than that.
#4 Keep Up Your Hobbies, Or Start New Ones
A simple way of figuring out your identity is finding what you enjoy most. What’s the thing that makes you feel alive? Do you enjoy painting? Or improv theatre? Or bike riding? Maybe it’s fixing retro motorcycles? Whatever it is, your interests make you you. So keep them alive.
Growing your hobbies is guaranteed to make you feel like you’ve got a real grasp on yourself, and will give you a distraction from the all-consuming love thoughts.
#5 Travel Solo
If being in a relationship makes you feel like you’re not challenging yourself, then travel by yourself. There’s no rule that says just because you’re in a relationship, you have to travel with that person too.
Traveling alone means you’re setting off on a wild adventure and creating memories for no one but yourself to enjoy. Besides, by the time you return you’ll feel even closer to your partner than ever.
In the event that the relationship goes sour (knock on wood), maintaining all the above will do a lot to ensure you don’t feel lost or alone when you go your seperate ways. Independence and relationships can go hand in hand. You just have to do a bit of work for it.