Everyone wants the perfect relationship. When in a relationship, it’s natural to want to put your partner above and before yourself. Anything to make them happy and feel loved. But what about you? It is equally, if not more important, to show up for yourself in your relationship. Ignoring your needs can only lead to being walked all over and potentially failing relationships in the long run.
Showing up for yourself…so what does that mean? In specific terms, it may mean different things to different people, but in the general sense, it means taking care of yourself and meeting your own needs—physically, mentally, and emotionally. The key to that happy relationship starts with you. Here are some ideas of where to begin.
1. Set Boundaries
This can be a hard concept to wrap your head around if you haven’t officially done it before in a relationship. It can be a difficult discussion to have as well. But know this; boundaries are a very healthy component of a relationship.
Be clear with your partner when communicating your needs, wants, and absolutely nots. It sets guidelines for what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. They will minimize conflict, bring you closer to each other, and open doorways for improved communication.
2. Get Comfortable With The Uncomfortable
Following the open communication theme, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your partner. It can be one of the most important things you can do for your own self-care and for your relationship. Release the fear of being judged, rejected, or viewed as weak. The ability to express your true feelings is actually a strength. You will not only form a deeper connection with yourself but also become closer to your partner.
3. Take You Time
While sharing every detail and moment with your partner may sound like a good time, you must carve out some alone time. This isn’t a negative or harmful desire to have alone time. On the contrary, it is foundational for a healthy relationship.
Whether it is a trip, a night out, or a solo adventure, plan something that is just yours. It doesn’t even have to be that over-the-top. You can just walk, meditate, journal, or take a fitness class weekly. Make this a weekly commitment to yourself to spend time on your self-care. Leave any guilt at the door. While you’re at it, encourage your partner to do the same.
4. Explore YOUR Passions
Sometimes in relationships, the scale tips more heavily to one side, and you find yourself doing more activities that are your partner’s “things.” Time to take back some power (that you maybe didn’t even know you were giving up).
When planning date days/nights, plan something that is your passion. As you age, it’s easy to get away from what that is. Explore new things that interest you. Return to old roots and incorporate a previous hobby or activity into your routine. When you’re passionate about something, it has this great trickle-down effect for most other areas of life. If it doesn’t vibe well with your partner, make it a solo activity to do during your own time!
5. Be Present
In today’s world, where everything is flying by and happening fast, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day to day grind. Activities become rote and dual-tasked with one or several other things simultaneously. Do yourself a favor and be present as much as possible in your relationship, at least for the important moments. Enjoy the little things that get taken for granted. Spend quality time, not just time with your partner.