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How to Focus on Yourself in a Relationship & Avoid Losing Yourself

When you are part of a couple, you might forget about things that are important to you. So, you should learn how to focus on yourself in a relationship.

how to focus on yourself in a relationship

We don’t want to curse your new union before it’s possibly even got off the ground, but the truth of the matter is this—relationships come and go in life. But you must learn how to focus on yourself in a relationship in order to protect against the possibility that it might not work out.

It’s not all negative, but it’s never a bad thing to keep time aside for yourself.

Not only does this help you to keep developing and learning, but it also means that in the worst-case scenario that things don’t work out, you haven’t thrown 100% of your time into something which hit a dead end.

[Read: 20 healthy relationship expectations that define a good love life]

How to focus on yourself in a relationship 

When you first meet someone you click with, it’s easy to throw all caution to the wind and invest 100% of your time in your growing relationship.

Of course, you want to get to know your new beau as well as you possibly can. You want to share experiences and basically spend all your time with them. When you’re away from them, you get butterflies—not in a good way.

You might want to invest all of your time in the budding relationship but don’t invest more than half. Now, we want your relationship to last, honestly, we do. [Read: How to focus on yourself as a person and become way better]

But, we don’t believe any relationship is healthy if you don’t focus on yourself at the same time as your partner. Of course, they should be doing the same thing!

You learn to be a better and more attentive partner by being happy and grounded in who you are. The only way you can do that is by learning how to focus on yourself in a relationship. Trust us, it will enhance the time you spend together.

[Read: Am I codependent? 16 signs you’re clingy and overstepping boundaries]

1. Maintain your friendships

The biggest error you can make in a relationship? Leaving your friends behind and focusing on your relationship. Your friends were there before. If things go wrong, they’ll be thereafter. 

However, if you don’t pay them time and attention in-between, perhaps they will wonder whether the friendship is as important to you as it is to them.

Make time for your friends. Make sure that this is a regular thing. Don’t cancel nights out and dinner dates because you want to spend time with your beau. They’ll still be there when you get home. 

Also, when you are spending time with your friends, don’t spend all night on your phone texting your partner or talking about them non-stop! Be who you were before. Deep down, that’s who you still are.

Friends are important. Don’t throw them to one side just because you’ve found someone to spend alone time with. [Read: How to be a good friend and traits to look for – 49 friend codes to follow]

2. Keep doing whatever you love

Again, it’s easy to forget yourself. Suddenly, the things you used to do before you met your partner might suddenly go by the wayside. Big mistake. Your hobbies and the things you love to do are part of who you are. 

When you stop doing them, you’re suppressing your own enjoyment! If you love to read, keep on reading. If you love to draw, keep on drawing. Hell, if you love to bake bread at 3 a.m .on a regular basis, keep on baking!

Giving up on the things you love will only come back to bite you on the behind at a later date and it’s one of the main ways to guarantee success when learning how to focus on yourself in a relationship. [Read: How to make sure you stay independent when you start dating someone new]

3. Make sure you have alone time

Before you met your beau, you no doubt spent a little time on your own. You wouldn’t be with your friends 24/7.

This alone time meant doing the things you enjoy, watching Netflix, and just chilling the hell out. Alone time is important for grounding and relaxation, so don’t stop doing it just because you’ve coupled up.

Spending time alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely, it means you enjoy your own company and that makes you a stronger and more well-rounded person. [Read: 13 needy signs you’re way too available for your partner]

4. Keep looking for new things to do and learn

If you were single or casually dating, you’d still take up new hobbies, learn new skills, and even try new outfits just for the hell of it.

Don’t suddenly stop looking out for new things to try, do, and learn, just because you’re now part of a twosome. If you do that, you’re losing part of yourself. You’re halting your own self-development and enjoyment.

If your new partner is worth the fuss, they’ll support you when you want to learn a new skill, take up a new evening class, or basically try something you’ve never tried before.

If they try and stop you from doing it or make you want to not do it for yourself, that’s a huge red flag. When learning how to focus on yourself in a relationship, just keep on trying something new. [Read: 34 big relationship red flags most people completely ignore early on]

5. Always focus on health

You might want to spend all day lounging in bed and watching Netflix with your partner. Let’s be honest, it’s not the way to stay healthy! Keep on eating healthily.

Cook together to make sure you both do this, and keep on with your exercise regime. If you didn’t have one before, now is the time to start!

The early part of any relationship is packed with evenings out, meals out, comfort eating, and generally risking letting yourself go a little because you’re comfortable. Don’t do it! [Read: Are you losing yourself to impress your new partner?]

6. Do things for you, just because

Keep on looking for things to do and learn, but you should also do things just for yourself, for the sake of it too. Of course, balance this up with couple-time and seeing your friends and family, but if you want to lay in bed on a Sunday and read alone, go for it. 

Learning how to focus on yourself in a relationship means putting yourself first occasionally. It’s very easy to focus on your partner and nothing else. It’s never going to help you develop an equally balanced and healthy relationship.

So, if you want to drink coffee and watch the world go by, if you want to soak in a hot bath for more than an hour, or if you want to watch reruns of Friends for the hell of it, go for it!

7. Remember the goals you had

When you meet someone new, it feels like your whole world has turned on its axis. It’s a crazy time. It’s easy to stop working towards your goals in response. Don’t let this happen. 

If you were working towards something before, keep working towards it now. You’ll kick yourself in the future if you don’t, whether the relationship works out or not. [Read: How to manage your expectations in a relationship]

8. Stick to your boundaries

What are you comfortable and uncomfortable with? What is a red flag for you? Setting boundaries in a relationship is vital.

However, it’s equally as vital, if not more so, to ensure that you stick to them. By doing this, you avoid losing yourself and you protect yourself against being taken advantage of.

How to focus on yourself in a relationship? Make sure you’re only doing the things you’re comfortable with and that nobody is crossing any red lines. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 19 rules for healthy love]

9. Make a “me-only” bucket list

Everyone knows what a bucket list is, right? Well if you don’t, it is a list of things you want to do before you leave this world.

Many times, people create these lists together – like if you’re in a couple. But there’s no reason you can’t do one just for yourself.

So, start writing your “me-only” bucket list. What are the things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? Do you want to go sky diving? Learn how to salsa dance? It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure it’s something that you – and only you – want to do yourself. [Read: Best friend bucket list – 20 exciting adventures for you and your BFF]

10. Start a journal

Journaling is a very personal thing. It’s just a different word for “diary.” But when you take time to journal, you make time to reflect on yourself and your life. You can write about anything you want to in it too.

Some ideas include simply what you did that day. This is fun because years from now, you can go back and re-live the fun you had. Or, you can use it as therapy where you write down your feelings and try to work through them.

Either way, the journal is for you and your eyes only. [Read: How to cheer yourself up – 30 ways to find your inner happiness]

11. Try meditation

Many people think that meditation is a bit “woo-woo” and out there. They might associate it with being a Buddhist monk or someone similar. But there are many average people who meditate on a regular basis, so why not give it a try?

Meditation has a lot of different benefits. It helps you calm down and get rid of the stress in your life. In that way, it is very healthy for you, especially when it comes to learning how to focus on yourself in a relationship.

It also helps clear your mind and lets you get in touch with your spiritual side. You can do it for as long as you want – from a few minutes to a half-hour or even an hour. [Read: How to find happiness without yourself and manifest a better tomorrow with meditation]

12. Spend time in nature

Nature is very healing for most people. So, if you don’t want to meditate, you can just find a forest or some other beautiful place in the outdoors where you can connect with yourself.

You can go hiking, walk, explore new places or even mediate there if you want. If you want, you can listen to music or a podcast as you walk around. Or, if you prefer the sound of silence and the animals, that is refreshing too. [Read: How to be emotionally independent and stop using others for happiness]

13. Learn something new

It’s always important to keep learning and growing as an individual. And when we’re in a relationship, sometimes we sacrifice our personal growth because we are too busy being with our partner.

But why not pick up a book and learn something new. You can brush up on your history, learn about astronomy, or find a new hobby. New challenges always bring aliveness to your life and help you focus on yourself even when you’re in a relationship, so don’t forget that. [Read: Secret to happiness – The uncomplicated guide for a happy life]

14. Know your values

Sometimes when we are in a relationship, our needs and values can get lost. So, you should reflect on the things that you value and stay true to them.

For example, maybe you love your career, but you have spent less time on it since being in a relationship. Or, maybe you haven’t spent enough time with your family. Rediscover those values and make sure you fulfill them.

15. Meet new people

As much as you love your partner, it’s not healthy to stay isolated from them from the outside world. It’s important that you get out there and meet new people.

Old friends are great to be with, but when is the last time you took a chance and went somewhere you didn’t know anyone yet? Try a Meetup group and find some new friends. [Read: How to make new friends as an adult – 15 ways to do it right]

16. Maintain family bonds

Family is always something that should be a priority in your life. So, if you haven’t seen your parents, sibling, aunts, uncles, or cousins in a long time, then make sure you strengthen those bonds.

After all, family is family. They will be in your life forever. The person you are currently with may or may not be a part of your future, so make sure you keep your family relationships strong.

[Read: 34 life-changing ways to fall in love with yourself all over again]

Learning how to focus on yourself in a relationship means being true to yourself while balancing time with friends, family, and your partner. Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s always worth it in the end.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...