Getting into a relationship doesn’t mean you should lose all sense of your independence. Of course, dating someone means you’re going to be spending and focusing a lot of your time on someone else, but you shouldn’t completely forget about yourself!

Being independent and able to survive on your own is crucial for every person, regardless of whether they’re in a relationship. And if you feel like your relationship is making you less independent, well, then that’s a problem. You and your partner should be equally dependent on each other while still being happy on your own. If you feel like you’re starting to lose your independence, here are some ways you can fall back in love with spending time with yourself:

Put yourself first
This can be tricky in a relationship, as you always want your partner to be happy. But making your partner happy shouldn’t mean jeopardizing your own happiness. If your partner really wants to go somewhere one night and you’re really not up for it- that’s okay! Don’t force yourself to do something just because you know it will make your partner happy. You should put others first, but there are definitely times when you need to put yourself first.

Remember your own goals
Remember how you told yourself you were going to learn how to play the guitar? Where did that dream go? It’s okay for us to lose sight of our goals from time to time- as long as we acknowledge that and get back on track. Your own personal goals are just as important as the goals you have set together in a relationship. Don’t let your dreams float away just because you start seeing someone.

Set boundaries
If you feel like your relationship is tearing away your independence, you need to communicate that to your partner and set boundaries. Communication is vital in every relationship. If your partner doesn’t know you feel this way, nothing is going to change. Set boundaries with time spent alone, whether reading every morning, watching TV alone at night, or just having a good self-care day. You need time apart just as much as you need time together!

Spend time with your friends
When you start to find that all of your friends are your partner’s friends… then there’s a problem. Although it’s important to have friends shared between both of you, it’s also essential to have your own friends that you spend time with. Getting into a relationship doesn’t mean you should lose your friends!! It’s essential to have a balance of spending enough time with your significant other and your friends.

Remind yourself of your independence
At the end of the day, even in the happiest of relationships, you need to be content with yourself. If you aren’t happy with yourself, it’s going to negatively affect your relationship. Independence means being able to go to a coffee shop alone. It means being able to make decisions by yourself means being able to truly love spending time alone. Remind yourself of the importance of your independence throughout your relationship.