Last night I grabbed some dinner with a couple friends and we got onto the topic of setting boundaries in relationships.
One of my friends is in a new long-distance relationship that’s going fabulously. They’ve been taking turns visiting each other and the time spent has been wonderful.
The guy is moving to Chicago soon and while she’s elated to have him so close, she’s worried about how their relationship will change once they can see each other whenever they want. She doesn’t want to become one of “those” girls.
You know how it goes…girl has a full life with hobbies and friends….girl meets guy….girl falls in love with guy….guy takes over girls entire life….girl ignores her friends and stops doing things she once loved….guy dumps girl because she’s too needy.
It’s a sad cycle that I’ve seen happen to too many great girls! I applaud my friend for realizing that she doesn’t want her relationship to take a turn towards constant-togetherness.
When Luke and I were dating we made a concerted effort to support each other’s separate interests. On average, we’d see each other 3-4 times per week, which seems like a lot when I type it, but is pretty average/ low compared to other relationships I’ve been around.
We would rotate seeing our friends separately and together- making sure that when we were “together” we weren’t making our friends uncomfortable with excessive PDA. We also kept doing the things we loved, like play volleyball or rock climb, before we become a couple.
I know, I know….good for you Liz! The point, I tell my girlfriends, is that the reason these guys are attracted to you in the first place is because you’re interesting, have tons of friends and have built a full, complete life on your own.
When he sees that you start losing that independence, ignoring your friends, avoiding things that make you YOU, then he feels overly depended-upon and ultimately annoyed that your happiness is so wrapped up in him.
I think when it comes to a new relationship, although it can be tempting to spend every moment together, you’re better off setting some boundaries. It will help make the moments you have together even more special!
What do you think? How often do you guys see your significant other? What interests have you kept up outside your relationship? Do you think I’m full of it and it’s completely ok to spend 24/7 with your love?