It’s the ultimate #relationshipgoal… having a happy and healthy one. Even if you and your partner are a good fit, having a happy and healthy relationship doesn’t come as easy as you might think.
It means making sure you haven‘t lost your sense of self because of being overly preoccupied with your relationship. The goal is to maintain a good life balance, so the relationship doesn’t become suffocating. Like a plant, it needs nurturing and enough space to breathe and grow, just like you.
Here, the experts offer some habits of women who maintain a good, balanced partnership.
We take time for ourselves
Being in a relationship means that you take care of each other, but don’t forget about yourself! “If you are constantly worrying about your partner, as well as your many other responsibilities, then you may be putting yourself on the back burner, which is a great way to make yourself crazy,” explains Laura Bilotta, a relationship expert and author of Single in the City: From Hookups & Heartbreaks, To Love & Lifemates, Tales & Tips To Attract Your Perfect Match. In other words, don’t lose sight of your self-care.
We spend time apart
Being in a happy and healthy relationship means spending a healthy amount of time apart. You don’t ALWAYS have to do everything together. Your partner doesn’t have to come to every holiday party with you, accompany you to the grocery store, come on your runs with you. “If you are only with your partner 24/7 then bad things are bound to happy, plus you’ll be letting down and ignoring the other important people in your life,” says Bilotta.
We prioritise friends and family
In the beginning of a relationship, it’s normal to spend the majority of our free time with this new person, but as time goes by, it’s important to divide your time between family, friends and the relationship. Jane Reardon, a licensed therapist and relationship expert says “Nurturing and even growing your social circle is a top priority in maintaining a good life balance so your relationship doesn’t start to gobble up too big of a piece of the pie.
We balance out responsibilities
This means that just you or your partner is not the sole person paying the bills, making the plans, cleaning, etc. Women in happy relationships know that the relationship is also a team where while one person may be paying the rent, the other is paying for the car you share or all the groceries or saving for that down payment. When all the responsibilities fall on one person, it’s not only unfair; it’s bound to put a strain on the relationship.
We’re considerate of our partner’s needs and feelings
Being in a relationship often means compromise. You can’t always get your way and your partner doesn’t exist just for your entertainment—you need to give as much as you get. “This can come in all different forms; from adjusting how the two of you cook because your partner is sensitive to lactose, to not buying all pink décor for the home you share and dividing up the holidays between your families,” says Bilotta.
We don’t give up our hobbies
If before you got into a serious relationship, you were big into writing or working on cars, we don’t stop doing what we love when we are in a relationship. Sure, there may be less time and money—depending on responsibilities—to take trips or work on that novel, but it is still important to keep doing the things that make you happy or that might lead to resentment later on down the road.