We all know the thrill of new relationships. The excitement, the anticipation, the fun. It can be very consuming. Relationships, in general, can become consuming. We all know women who lose their identities in relationships. We all know couples who morph together and you never even hear their names separate anymore. “Amber” becomes “Amber and Andrew” and eventually “Ambrew”. It’s so easy to do. It’s happened to the best of us. You meet someone, you fall hard and suddenly you can’t recall life without them or who you were before you met them. It’s tragic.
Recently the guy I’m seeing, let’s call him “The Crush”, took a long trip to visit family. We’re currently living in separate cities, so you wouldn’t think this would be a huge deal. We discussed before hand what our communication plan and expectations were. Hello mature relationship shit. Constant texting and hours of FaceTime were replaced with quick check-ins and sporadic moments of connection. As much as it was a challenge to feel less engaged, it was extremely healthy for me. It gave me a chance to emerge from the new relationship fog a bit. Life and relationships are all about balance. Here are just a few of my tips for finding your balance in a new or established relationship.
Friends: Hey, remember those girls you used to have cocktails with before you started staying home on Friday nights to lay on the couch and watch Law & Order with your boyfriend? Call them. See them. Take them to lunch. Take a girls weekend. God, I love a girls weekend. Give me my friends, a lake house, a mud mask, yoga pants and a movie marathon and I’m in heaven. Reconnect with your women. Laugh, cry, shop. Talk about bikini waxes and give each other tips on better blow jobs. It’s good for the soul!
Solo time: I’m not talking about masturbation, but hey that can lead to balance too! I’m talking about some time to yourself. Maybe your new guy doesn’t want to see the new Amy Schumer movie, go alone. Enjoy it. Order extra butter on your popcorn. Relish in that shit. I recently took a weekend away while The Crush was traveling. There was a hike I had wanted to do that was a few hours away. I booked a hotel, packed a bag and sent him a quick text message so he’d know my plan. Independence is so sexy. It sends the message that you want him, but you don’t need him. Trust me, he’ll get it. Spending time with your own thoughts and feelings can be scary for many women, start small. Please believe me that the self-awareness and self-love you gain is worth being uncomfortable.
Exercise: I heard everyone roll their eyes. I hate cardio as much as everyone else, trust me! But there really is some truth to the idea of “sweat therapy”. When your heart rate is up and your pouring sweat you can’t focus on anything other than not dying. Ok, maybe that’s just me. But, nothing makes me feel as strong and sexy as killing a hard spin class or finishing that last treadmill interval when I thought I couldn’t. It’s one way of taking the time to care for myself, and only myself.
I’m determined to live a life that is full of relationships and independence but most importantly, the balance of the two. Sometime that means stepping back and taking care of myself. I want to be in a relationship that is two whole people who’s lives intersect and compliment each other. No one can complete Layla and no one should. No one can complete you and no one should. It is not realistic to expect another person to do that for us. Fill in your own gaps. Find your balance.