Dear Two Guys,
My boyfriend and I have been together for only 4 months, but we see each other practically every night and text throughout the day. On weekends when I’m out with my girls, I can’t help but ask him to come meet us or somehow he’ll find a way to be where we are. The other day, my girlfriend asked me if we could hang out “just us two” and when I told her we do all the time, she said he always comes into the equation. Since then, I’ve noticed just how often I see him and communicate with him. When he isn’t around I feel kind of lost, but I used to be so independent. What do I do?
–I Might Need Space.
Hello “Might Need Space”,
First of all, we’d like to congratulate you for maintaining a committed relationship as we enter the warmer seasons of the year. It’s truly commendable to see that someone isn’t phased by the idea that the end of “Cuffing Season” signifies the end of monogamy. However, it must be said that there is always a time and place for everything. While it is understood that most people want their significant other to have some form of a relationship with their friends, it should also be understood that nobody wants to feel as though you are not accessible without a permanent “Plus One”. This is not to say that you should never bring your boyfriend around your friends but keep in mind there are going to be times where it isn’t appropriate such as “girls nights” or events that are strictly friend-focused.
As one of the “Two Guys” who can relate wholeheartedly to this question, let me give you an insight to my experience. With a past relationship, I was delighted that my friends and
significant other grew to have their own individual friendships. It made the dynamic of group outings that much more fun, but with it came a lot of confusion in the actual relationship. It grew to the point where dates didn’t even feel like dates anymore and the entire romance of the relationship quickly vanished as we were used to a more platonic interaction because of the constant mingling with my friends. There is a need for space between yourself, your significant other and your friends. The blurring of these lines can lead to serious complications. Taking frequent breaks from both friends and who you are in a relationship with can give you a moment to regroup yourself, sometimes reclaim your independence and sort out exactly where you are during any given point of the relationship.
Spending time with the person that you are in a relationship with is a given however, the seeming inability to function without each other is unhealthy. In order to restore your sense of self you may need to dedicate a few days out of the week to yourself. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to not communicate but focusing solely on yourself could definitely be helpful. It is possible to do this even if you are living together. Walks in the park to gather your thoughts, solo trips to cafes to read a book and even a little retail therapy can all potentially benefit you.
It goes back to the saying–too much of a good thing can be bad. If you are already questioning the lack of your formal independence, chances are you’ll begin to regret your recent decision to abandon it because of a relationship. Moderation and determining the appropriate times for everything is key here. Once you’ve found that balance, everyone involved will benefit and get the most of their quality time with you. Even yourself.
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