Independence while dating may be the most important part of your relationship. Now, I’m not a cynic. In fact, I believe that you should enter any relationship (be it friendship or more) with trust and an open mind. However, this does not mean you have to sacrifice your lifestyle before you met your new significant other. Creating a solid foundation for yourself is as important as the dating part. Here are some tips to keep your independence while dating:
1. Friends: It is so important to keep your friends close regardless of how strong you consider your relationship to be. Many girls start dating a boy and might as well end up with their face on a milk carton. Friends become your family, which means they are a constant support for you. When you abandon them for a male, they may be less likely to pick up the pieces when said male is out of the picture. Make time for them even if it’s just a short hangout or a phone call.
2. Hobbies: Okay, let’s start with a completely sane quote showcasing Edward Cullen’s independence: “Your scent, it’s like a drug to me. You’re like my own personal brand of heroin.” Edward Cullen needs a hobby. In fact, I’d suggest he actual do heroin instead of relying on his significant other (Jokes, jokes–don’t do drugs). The point: become addicted to your significant other and consequently suffer withdrawals. A hobby isn’t too difficult to develop, and in fact, can lead to more friends! When you think of the activities you love, if they involve your S.O, re-evaluate. Here are some examples that may assist your process: recreational sports, crafting, music, writing, movies, food, etc.
3. Occupation: Know what you want to do with your life and pursue it. If you’re “going to college to get my M.R.S,” you need to grab some ice as well as the sharpest knife you own, and kindly cut off your left ring finger because you need some motivation other than a ring. Thankfully, this is what school is for! So many majors that can help you figure out how to thrive on your own. You can even use your new hobby to help you choose your major. If you like movies, become a film major and make amazing features when you graduate. Maybe try not to create anything too ‘Notebook-ey,’ as that movie could quite possibly be the reason for our false belief in complete dependence.
4. Confidence: Be able to move on. So many people hold on to toxic relationships because they don’t believe they can do any better. They can. Knowing what you have to offer allows you to realize what you’re not getting in return. Now, don’t end things with someone for trivial matters like one stupid tiff, but if you are constantly feeling like you are not a priority, it may be time to seek other endeavors. You are more than your relationship.
5. Seeing a future for YOURSELF: Can you see yourself living in the country one day, white picket fence around a beautifully lit house, kids playing in the yard, and two dogs jovially prancing about? STOP. Unless you plan on creating those kids from a sperm bank, you need to stop envisioning a future with someone. Expectations lead to so many break ups because one person begins to idealize the relationship while the other person still sees only the present condition of it. Instead, look toward a future that you can make for yourself. It may be as simple as a new exercise plan to as ambitious as advancing to the top of your dream career path. Friends, hobbies, occupation, and confidence will ensure one heck of a future.
Now go forth and date with independence!