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How Much Time Together Is Too Much?

Can you breathe?

I'm writing from experience here. We all know the honeymoon phase of a new relationship. You want to spend every waking moment together and miss each other dearly the moment that you leave their apartment. This could carry on for a couple of months before reality sets in. You forget that you still have adult obligations and start to stray away from friends and family just to spend more time with your new significant other. 

Where do you draw the line? How do you balance your relationship with your obligations and time for yourself? I didn't know that there was a balance with these until I started dating someone who felt that balance was necessary. In the past, I've only dated guys who had to be with me the second that they got off work until the next morning when they would leave for work again. I felt suffocated and trapped because I couldn't go have dinner with my friends or my family because he would get upset if he couldn't go. I thought that was the only way to have a relationship because I didn't know that I needed that standard for myself and for those I was in a relationship with. 

My ex boyfriend felt the need to come pick me up from my house everyday after he got off of work at 5:00. We spent every moment together except for when he was at work and when I was in class across town. Even then, while we were doing our own things throughout the day, we were constantly texting and calling each other. I nearly lived at his house. We spent every night together for almost 15 months. This kind of indulging, I found, was wildly unhealthy for our relationship. I became irritable and irritated with every breath he took. I was beginning to resent him. Do I think that this would not have happened had we established a common ground about space? Definitely. 

In my previous relationships, stemming from abandonment issues with my dad, I always felt the need to be too up close and personal with my boyfriends. Constant texting and phone calls where a necessity for me because I was afraid that without that constant contact, the relationship would disintegrate right before my eyes. Little did I know that it was one of the biggest driving factors in my unsuccessful relationships. Now don't misunderstand me; communication is important in a relationship. It is important to communicate your feelings to your significant other. But what isn't healthy is to have the constant fear that your partner will leave you if you aren't communicating every moment of the day. I had to learn that the hard way.  

My current boyfriend and I have an understanding that sometimes it's just not possible to spend every waking moment with each other. He works late hours and I am a full time student about to finish up my degree. He encourages me to take at least one night a week to take care of myself; take a bubble bath, watch a movie, put on a skin care mask, etc. Our relationship is a healthy one. We hardly argue because the time that we do spend together is appreciated. 

Give yourself some space. Take some time to learn how to be by yourself. You don't constantly have to be with your significant other in order to feel like your relationship is working, because chances are, the more you are allowed to be your own person, the happier you will be in your relationship. Let your partner go hang out with their friends. Go hang out with your friends and family. A well balanced life reflects in a relationship. Excluding yourself from these opportunities will only hurt you in the end. And if it doesn't work out with your partner, and you have excluded yourself from family and friends in order be with your partner, you'll come back to reality with relationships that have suffered because of it. 

Your partner or significant other should compliment the life you already have, not make you create a new one. Be your own person and the right person meant for you will be your compliment. 

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