For a while, I wrote about what it was like to be a single pringle millennial living in Auckland. That was actually the whole point of this blog. Aside from a hobby to distract me from the fact that I was, in fact, a single pringle. Which actually wasn’t that bad. I experimented with Bumble, Tinder, online dating and even a bit of face to face interaction, mostly in bars. I discovered the weird and wonderful pick up lines that men use and decided that I’d rather be single than succumb to the compliment of being called a ‘cutecumber’.
I met my boyfriend, oddly enough, at my house. He literally turned up one day, to see my flatmate and watch the rugby. He ate a pie and left the crumbs in a trail across the living room, much like a modern day Hansel and Gretel. I discovered his charm and never-ending stories as we bonded over a mostly cooked risotto and the rest is history. So, begged the question – what do I blog about now?
In the months since we’ve been dating, my life has become incredibly different, as I discovered how time consuming having a boyfriend was when you lived 5 minutes from each other and didn’t have an assignment to finish or a lecture to be at (as were the hallmarks of my previous relationships). I’ll admit, myself, like many others in a new relationship, succumb to its charm and interest and lost myself, my hobbies and above all: my balance. I’d become the girl that I promised myself I never would be and spent all my spare time doing cute couple things like getting brunch, going for walks along the beach and watching our ‘couple show’ on Netflix.
This isn’t the first blog post I’ve written about balance – I recall being a student and reminding myself not to stay up all night finishing an assignment, ensuring that I exercised, saw my friends and made time to do all the stupid things that young people at university did. When I reflected on this/got some prompting from my friends, I realised that I was forgetting to do the things that made me different because I was now investing so much time in a new relationship. And, as most of my blog posts revolve around, or include lists, I thought I would write some tips for other aspiring relationship igniters/those who perhaps need to realign their priorities a bit to ensure that you don’t tip the scales too far in one particular direction. Here we go;
- Number one priority – always make time for you. And this is a fun Dr Seuss style quote to remember ‘in order to be a good ‘we’, you must first take care of ‘me” – I’m not sure how good this is, but rhyme is proven to aid memory so eh. Set one night, afternoon, or whatever you need aside a week to ensure you take the time to do the things that you enjoy. For me, this is reading, writing and oddly, cleaning. Taking care of yourself will ensure you don’t come to resent the other person for dominating your spare time.
- Don’t forget your friends. We all know that guy/girl who gets a partner and suddenly disappears off the face off the planet. I’m ashamed to say that this, in part, was me. My friends fortunately/unfortunately are also very busy, so it was easy to not make plans because I knew they’d be busy. Don’t make this mistake – it’s better to reach out and be rebuffed than not try at all. Show them you care and make the time to do the walk/coffee/brunch that really is just a stroll to the cafe for the full breakfast (with extra hashbrowns).
- We’ve done friends, next comes family. You don’t have to introduce your new partner to your parents in the first week – the integration will eventually come – but you do have to keep spending time with your family (if you do spend time with family like I do) one on one. It’s just as upsetting for your parents to feel as though they’ve lost a child when they never see you and you never reply to their email chains about cute puppies they saw online (or is this just my family?) as it is to your friends. My advice here is my advice with pretty much everything else in life – schedule it in.
- Don’t become Nigel No-Hobbies. I’m sure you all had something that absorbed your time before your significant other entered your life – don’t give these up! You don’t have to drag your boyfriend/girlfriend to crochet class with you – it’s important you both can do your own thing (see point 1). I also suggest investing in a good couple hobby (no Netflix does not count). I dragged my boyfriend along to the gym with me and although we both do different workouts, we’re both spending time doing something we enjoy.
I’m blatantly aware this blog post is rather long and that the attention span of a millennial is akin to that of a goldfish, so I think I’ll wrap this one up here and save the rest of my ‘helpful relationship tips’ for future blogs. Just remember – your partner was attracted to you because of the person you were before you became ‘we’; take the time to nourish yourself and remember: ‘me before we’. You’re welcome.