True love. It's bliss. Well, until it isn't. Eventually the bubble breaks, the honeymoon ends, and you enter the stage of your relationship where you actually can get enough of each other. But spending too much time together is a real recipe for disaster. You get cabin fever. Someone makes a joke that's not really a joke. You get irritated, and before you know it, it's argument central.
"Spending too much time with your partner doesn't allow either of you to develop your own individual interests and can lead to stunting the growth of your relationship," licensed couple and family therapist and life coach Emily Cosgrove tells Bustle. "Developing your own interests allows each person to grow as an individual and bring new experiences to the relationship which will in turn also lead to growth."
As a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Sexuality Educator, I worked with couples who spent every second together because one partner controlled the other, or because they were in some kind of codependent symbiosis.
The only person who should be at the center of your universe is you. Putting too much stock (and too much of yourself) into your relationships subtracts from your individual identity. You have to find a balance between being you and being you in a relationship. If you're spending too much time together, some of these signs will resonate with you.
1. You're Getting Shade From Your Best Friend
If your best friend is throwing you side eye when you see her, or dropping cryptic Instagram comments about never seeing you, odds are she's not just being jealous. She probably missed you. Sure, your friend has to adjust to you being in a relationship, but she shouldn't have to plan a funeral for your friendship.
Dating and relationship coach Rosalind Sedacca, CLC tells Bustle if you no longer get calls and invitations to family events and activities with friends and co-workers, you're probably spending too much time with your partner.
If this sounds like your situation, take a look and make sure you're being fair in who you spend your time with.
2. You Hate The Way Your Partner Breathes
If you find yourself getting mad at or irritated with your partner for no reason, it could be time to give each other space.
"If you find you and your partner have been getting under each other's skin more often lately perhaps it's time to spend some time apart," Cosgrove says. "This is a great time to get back into hobbies or activities that you enjoyed in the past but maybe haven't had time for lately."
3. You're Falling Behind
Have you fallen behind on your homework? Housework? Is your dog neglected? Are you sucking at work? Relationships are distracting, especially new ones. Sometimes that's good and exciting. Sometimes you come home to a dark house and an angry landlord. You can't let yourself get too caught up and distracted by a relationship that you forget to take care of yourself and your life. If you've been slacking in other areas, it's worth thinking about if you're in too deep in your relationship.
"[If] you don’t have time for your own hobbies, interests, friends, work and family relationships, this is definitely a sign of an unhealthy relationship," registered clinical psychologist Daniel Sher tells Bustle. "Keep in mind that a healthy relationship involves two independent individuals connecting — not one person giving up their identity to be with the other!"
4. You Don't Know What To Do When They're Not Around
"If life only revolves around your partner, you're spending too much time with them," Sedacca says.
If you're so used to being with your partner 24/7 that when they go to the grocery store without you, all you do is stare at your phone waiting for a text from them, you might need to take a step back.
5. You're Bored In The Relationship
If you're feeling a bit "meh" or bored in your relationship, it could be that you and your partner are spending too much time together. "While you could try new things or activities together to combat the boredom you may want to take the chance in looking into new activities or experiences you yourself may be interested in and in return bring what you've learned from those experiences back into the relationship," Cosgrove says.
6. You Haven't Seen Or Spoken To Your Friends In A Long Time
In addition to getting shade from your friends, if you haven't even heard from them, that's not a good sign either. "You cannot remember the last time you went out with your friends or even the last time you spoke to them or they invited you out," Dr. Catherine Jackson, licensed clinical psychologist and board certified neurotherapist, tells Bustle. "If it’s been a while since you connected with your friends without your partner present, you may be spending too much time with your partner."
7. You Resent Your Partner
Sometimes spending too much with another person manifests in resentment. "If you're in an otherwise loving and healthy relationship but are experiencing feelings of irritation or resentment, perhaps it's time to take time apart from each other and do things or traveling to places that pique your interest," Cosgrove says.
Maintaining an individual identity and feeling free to be alone or to go out without your partner are all crucial parts of a healthy relationship. Never forget to do you.
Emily Cosgrove, licensed couple and family therapist and life coach
Rosalind Sedacca, certified life coach, dating and relationship coach
Daniel Sher, registered clinical psychologist
Dr. Catherine Jackson, licensed clinical psychologist and board certified neurotherapist
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