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Relationships: Let There Be Spaces in Togetherness
Vanaja Banagiri
 
When you are in the throes of a new found love, everything seems perfect. You can’t keep your hands off each other and you can’t have enough of each other.

But wait, if you start believing that you’ve found paradise, you will lose it even before you get a hang of it. Moreover, too much of each other is a perfect recipe for disaster.

Balance is very important in a relationship if you wish to have a healthy desire for each other for a long time to come. More often than not, being too close is unhealthy and it is a good idea to find a way to be independent while being together. We give you a few pointers for a relationship that lets both partners breathe, live and love.

Get a life
Being in love doesn’t in any way mean you don’t have a life of your own. If you find that you have more of a flexible schedule than your partner and more free time, the temptation to cling on is big time when your other half is around. By all means do so, but cultivate your other interests too. Don’t shut yourself to other friendships and interests.

It’s good to fill your time doing things you enjoy. Go for a workout, take a yoga class or go out with your friends. If your relationship is strong, a few hours apart will not hurt you or your commitment. In fact, it’s just the contrary. When you have other hobbies and activities separate from your partner, you will create more excitement in the relationship. You might even consider taking a separate vacation or joining a club. It is important to have trust between each other and to know that you can safely have your own life while being in love.

Celebrate the differences
It is very healthy to have differences in your relationship. Do you have a love for the arts, while your partner loves a particular sport? Don’t bother about adopting your partner’s lifestyle and interests so much that you start moving away from your own self. You are not expected to love all your partner’s interests when you go into a relationship, but you can learn about them if you want to. You probably fell in love with each other in the first place because you had some differences you admired. If your partner doesn’t feel like hitting the gym with you, then you might want to go solo. Try it. It’s fun. If you don’t feel like attending every social event he goes to, don’t force yourself.

Be who you are
You may value what your partner thinks about you, but it isn’t who you are. Your own values and beliefs are what make you who you are. Don’t become focused on what your partner thinks about your every move. Treat your partner the same way and do not impose your values, or expect them to turn into you. Respect the differences and opinions and sometimes you may have to agree to disagree.

Speak out
It is a good idea to make some expectations clear in the relationship. If you expect that your partner brushes teeth before going to bed, tell them this is what you need. It is respectful to let your partner know if you won’t be home for dinner, or to call when you are late from work. Obviously, you cannot let someone know where you are all the time, but little gestures can help strengthen communication in a relationship. Communicating your needs and expectations to each other will make life easier and simpler for both of you in the long run.
Retain your individuality

Independence can help strengthen your bond and improve your relationship. Some people get too clingy in their relationships and, therefore, they become claustrophobic where one partner may wish to break free. Stay active. Read, write, paint, work, do everything that will help your self-esteem. Share your experiences of your newfound interests with your partner. With independence comes strength and security, which will only make you stronger as a couple.
Vanaja Banagiri is a writer who has worked with several leading publications in varied editorial capacities. She has also authored a couple of books.

  
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