Lately, I have been in an exciting and wonderfully unexpected situation. I have been dating the same person for the last six months! I’ve never been in that situation before! Right now, I’ve been feeling the sort of happy that I’ve heard about in movies and television, I’ve seen my friends that kind of happy, but I’ve never been this kind of happy. It’s the kind of happy where I smile a little broader than I used to, because I have this bonus of a person in my life. He laughs and groans at my jokes, he holds me when I cry and just lets me cry for goodness’ sake, he warns me when to look away during scary or intense movies, and much more. Pardon the swearing, but it’s bloody marvelous! However, I’m slowly realizing that it comes at a small price.

 

I Googled the astrological sign Libra, to find out more about the personalities and traits associated with it, as we’re in that point in the calendar. The first traits that caught my eye were balance and peace. In this relatively new relationship, I’m working on keeping a balance that I imagine all relationships need. From the relationships that I’ve witnessed, from my parents to my peers, the healthiest ones seem to have found that key balance of time spent together and time apart. It seems to me that however much we may want to spend every waking moment with our beloved, the truth is that some time apart gives new perspectives and appreciation for your loved one. After all, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” And let me tell you, that is especially true for long distance relationships like mine.

 

And since my love and I are in an LDR, I would be absolutely fine seeing him every single weekend and talking at a set time every night in between. But then I remember: I need my own life too, and he does too. As I said before, time spent apart can be tough, but I’m the kind of person who always tries to make the best of any situation. Since it wouldn’t make sense logistically or financially to spend every weekend together, I use the time apart to appreciate my friends, my beautiful city that I call home, and myself (and isn’t that most important of all?). Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many relationships where one half of a couple or even both parties, disregard all other aspects of their lives in order to be with their S.O. I think it’s a fact of all beginnings of relationships that it’s so exciting and new to be in a relationship that it becomes all you can focus on.

 

But sometimes I’m afraid this can go too far and for too long. I’ve lost friends who become so sucked into their relationships that they forget about the other important relationships in their lives. While I recognize that being in a romantic relationship is a wonderful and special thing, I don’t think it’s the most important relationship in one’s life. I wouldn’t be where I am today with my friendships, my family, my coworkers, etc. And especially as a (cis)female, I need my women friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have the most amazing friends of the opposite sex and beyond. But I have found myself a core group of women who know me so well and whose energy I thrive off of. I would never describe my romantic relationship as draining; on the contrary, I feel like the best version of myself with my love. But sometimes I need to sit with my nearest and dearest and recharge. And I know he feels the same way about his friends.

 

Simply because I have never been in a relationship for this long, I’m learning so much as I go along. I’m learning the importance of being at peace with the decisions I make, whether it’s to visit him or not, and finding the balance in my friendships so I don’t lose those as I’m cultivating my romantic relationship. I think I’ve still got a long way to go. Luckily for me, I’ve got my incredible family, many supportive and caring friends, and a kind person to love me and stand by me as I continue on this path to find balance called life.