Men: how to look after number one in a relationship
It should come as no surprise that people who don’t look after their own mental and emotional health can suffer greatly in relationships. Not only do they suffer, but so too will their partners and anyone else involved. In order to ward off unnecessary angst and hardships, taking care of yourself shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are some ideas to help you remain in peak mental and emotional condition.
See your friends
Seeing and keeping all friends who are a positive influence in your life is an absolute must. Relationships are wonderful, they can be all-encompassing and it’s easy to spend all day every day with your partner, especially if the relationship is a new one. Whilst it can feel like an extremely positive step to be this committed to someone, it’s not if it happens at the expense of your own social and support circles.
It’s a well-known cliché, but strong friendships will outlast romantic relationships time and time again. Having people to relax with, who can give you a caring and objective opinion when you need it, and who will support you through both the good times and the bad ones is priceless. Maintaining these friendships should be one of the biggest priorities in your life. Take care not to be a fairweather friend who only shows up when they need something.
Re-evaluate your relationship often
Looking after yourself also means evaluating who you are in the context of your relationship. We’re constantly changing as individuals and this means the dynamics of our relationship will shift ever-so slightly as the time goes by. It happens so slowly that it’s easy to miss, until one day you turn around and barely recognise each other.
Looking after yourself means keeping up with the shifts that happen in life and how they’re affecting your environment. When something upsets you, tackle it head on. When you have happy times, fully immerse yourself in them. Live in the moment with your partner, but make plans and keep tabs on the direction you’re both headed.
Have an emotional outlet
As much as you may feel like you’re able to handle everything love and life throws at you, there will be no rewards given for acting the hero. It’s crucial that you use any opportunities you receive to create solid support networks around yourself. These can be used to communicate challenges that are going on in any area of your life, not just your relationship.
Emotional outlets come in many shapes and sizes, from people you know to anonymous helplines and health services. The only rule we would dare stipulate is that whether it’s a best friend, a therapist, parents or family, it has to be someone you can be truly open with. Putting yourself first means never allowing thoughts and feelings to become so intense you get lost inside them, or that you’re too embarrassed to speak up. Having a physical outlet is also advisable, such as a team sport or hobby.
Have something that’s yours
People who have a hobby or activity that’s pursued solely because it’s a passion or enjoyment can be less desperate to have a partner fulfil their each and every need. It gives you a break from each other, something extra to talk about, a sense of identity and individuality that is yours alone. It’s not a negative reflection on the love that you have for each other and in fact, a little bit of space can indeed make the heart grow fonder.
We must learn that even when we chose to spend our lives with one person, it’s not their responsibility to keep us entertained or to fulfil all aspects of our personality. It’s impossible to be all things to your partner and it shouldn’t be an aim either. When each of you have outside interests that are well-managed and considerate to the needs of the union, it will only enrich your relationship and make it stronger.
Be honest in the bedroom
There are multiple areas in a relationship where complete and total honesty can really enhance the experience you have. The bedroom is one of these places. You should always aim to feel comfortable enough with a partner to express your sexual desires without fear of judgment, shame or rejection. Your tastes may be entirely different and what floats your boat may utterly sink hers, but if you don’t openly discuss it you will never know.
The aim is to get as close to fulfilling your needs as possible. You may be surprised at how much your partner values you being open, rather than keeping secrets. It may be just what’s needed to get her on board.
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Written by Tori Ufondu for Macbeth Matchmaking