Many would agree that being in love is a very special feeling. When a relationship is built on a solid foundation, it feels great to have someone to come home to and to be with someone you want to share your life with.  In the course of a long-term relationship, it is natural to feel more at ease and to feel that you are merging into one. However, this may sometimes mean that we slowly start to lose ourselves in the relationship. So how do you find the balance between investing time and energy in the relationship and holding onto yourself in the process?


  • Spend time without each other

It’s great when you and your partner share the same hobbies and when your friends and significant other like each other. However, it can be very energising to engage in hobbies on an individual level and remember what you enjoyed doing for yourself before you met your partner. Spending some time alone with your close friends is also beneficial to your well-being and can help to strengthen friendships.


  • Focus on your personal goals

What were you working on before you met your partner? Are you still excited by these goals?         Perhaps you were thinking about taking up a new hobby, or you were working on becoming fit enough to run a marathon. Perhaps you were thinking about a new career path, a business idea or saving up to travel to your dream destination. It is understandable to want to discuss goals with your partner. It may also be wise to discuss which goals are reachable in the near future and which ones might need more time, but try not to compromise too much on your personal goals. After the high of being in a new relationship wears off, you’ll probably still wonder about those goals and hopefully still want to achieve them.


  • Remember who you are

No two people are the same.  You can have a lot of things in common, but there are probably still many differences in your personality and life experiences. It is healthy to talk about your differences and to understand what you might both want to work on and change to continue growing together. However, if you feel that you are giving up too much of yourself to please your partner, or if you feel that you have lost touch with where you are coming from, it is wise to take some time to stop and to look at yourself. Do you like who you’re becoming? Do you still recognise yourself?  And are you still attentive to what makes you happy, what makes you feel motivated, and what makes you feel alive?


A healthy relationship will elevate both people to be great together, but also to be able to be great on their own. Being in a strong relationship means that you do not need your partner to define you, and that you choose to be in the relationship not because you don’t know how to be on your own, but because life is better with your loved one by your side.



Claire Borg is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on