**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
Quite often, when a single person becomes a part of a couple, they tend to throw away particular activities or even other people in favor of their new partner. This can often lead to resentment further down the road.
There are certain things a person should never give up for a new relationship, especially if these are things that were enjoyed or that brought comfort during time spent being single.
Here are some important things that should never be given up in favor of a new relationship:
Going Out With Friends
Assuming you went out with your friends a lot or even occasionally while single, you’ll want to make sure you continue to do this. We all know that at the beginning of a new and exciting romance, friends tend to take a back seat as you disappear off into the sunset with your new love.
But please don’t forget your friends.
After you get back from the new romance hiatus, try and make quality time for your friends. It’s healthy and you should encourage your partner to do the same. Not to be too pessimistic, but in the event that you and your partner break up — friends are going to come in handy.
Hanging with your friends while in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to go out bar-hopping or setting the town on fire. It could be simple drinks, eating out, hiking, or coffee meet-ups.
Don’t cut yourself off from your old friends just because you’re in a relationship. Friends are important. If your new partner doesn’t understand that, then maybe you should be single again. Enough said.
Once people enter into a relationship and become a couple, it’s common for them to start doing a lot of things together.
If you were the type who loved to exercise when you were single and your new mate is not into doing that, you might end up slacking on something that is important to you.
Unless you hate exercise and never engaged in it, one should always keep themselves feeling fit and energized, regardless of the temptation to just Netflix and chill with your new love all weekend with a big bag of chips and dip.
If you went out for walks, were part of a yoga class, or visited the gym on a regular basis while single — don’t stop. Keep it up. You’ll find that it’s not only a great stress release (relationships can sometimes be stressful) but it’s something you can do on your own.
If your partner ends up wanting to join you — awesome.
We all have them. Those slightly odd things you do when you’re alone are enhanced significantly when you’re single. Things like eating crackers with hot sauce while binge-watching reality television, spending hours in a homemade face mask, or walking around the house naked could just be some of the things your ‘single-life’ self did to wind down and zone out.
Don’t throw away your adorable quirks.
Just because you get into a relationship doesn’t mean you have to stop these behaviors. Generally, people try to hide the guilty pleasures they love to engage in when a romance is fresh for fear of scaring the new love interest off.
It makes sense not to be a total slob or do super gross things when sharing a space with a new partner, but keep your guilty pleasures and share them. If your partner thinks your guilty pleasures are a deal-breaker, it’s better to know sooner than later.
If your new love can’t handle the guilty pleasures that bring you happiness and enjoy doing while single, then it may be time to re-evaluate this person.
Don’t hide the way you are. Embrace it and allow your partner to do the same with their own guilty pleasures.
Your Favorite Hobby
If you had a special interest or hobby while you were single, such as painting, writing, fixing cars, or building things, don’t throw it all away just because you found love.
Relationships tend to do much better when both people in the relationship have their own outside interests. Try not to smother your new partner with too much dependency. Just like a regular exercise routine, keeping yourself inspired and busy with your own projects is healthy for maintaining a long-term relationship.
Hold on to your passions.
If you ask people who have been in a relationship together for a long amount of time, generally, they’ll tell you they both have their own interests and passions that they pursue separately.
This doesn’t mean you can spend days on end in the garage ignoring your partner while working on your special projects. Balance is the key. You might even inspire your partner to engage themselves in a new hobby while you’re at it.
If you had pets that kept you company while you were single and you came home to their cute little faces every day — then those are true members of your family.
If you enter into a new relationship and the person hates cats, dogs, or is allergic to any kind of animal, this could be an issue. Animal lovers and non-animal lovers can have a hard time figuring out a romantic partnership if one of them enters into a relationship with a beloved pet or pets. Many times, the pet can be a real deal-breaker.
Getting rid of a pet in favor of a relationship is never a good idea. Whether it was one pet or more, they have probably been with you through break-ups, divorce, or other painful life events. Don’t abandon them now.
Be loyal to your pets.
Plus, who’s going to comfort you if the relationship you gave them up for doesn’t work out?
If your new love is allergic, find some good allergy medication. If your new love hates cats, they’ll just need to get over it.
What comforted you during your single days can also be adapted into your relationship life.