Relationship Advice On Balance

Just The Tips: Balance

Weekly relationship column hosted by college experts Angie and Cass, answering questions sent in by you.

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Welcome back to another edition of Just the Tips! As always, if you're looking for advice, a second opinion, or a place to vent, don't forget you can ask us a question any time here. This week's article is all about how to find balance in your relationship.


1. How do you know if you're doing too much for someone?

Cass: You have to seriously ask yourself this question in any relationship, friendly or otherwise. You don't really ever stop and think how much you're doing for someone because it tends to be balanced. Also, relationships are typically given and take so if you're the one always giving then it's a little problematic as this relationship doesn't have both parties equally invested. If you're feeling like it's always you who has to go help someone or initiate conversation with nothing in return then maybe you're doing too much for someone. If you're fine with that, then great! If not, don't feel bad about scaling back what you do for this person.

Angie: I have a personal story for this one. I was in a long-term relationship with someone who was used to me taking care of him. It got to the point where he'd be upset if I didn't text him back within 10 minutes. For me, THAT was too much, and I didn't understand that until I realized that I didn't feel good after talking to him. Talking to him became a chore instead of something exciting or enjoyable.

When you're in a relationship, you need a balance between your partner and the rest of your life. If you find your partner is imposing on the time you spend doing things that are important to you, you're doing too much. If the relationship starts to feel less enjoyable and more like a job, you're doing too much. Realizing that takes some serious introspection, so take a little bit of time to figure out how YOU'RE feeling without letting your partner's needs or your obligation to them sway you. If you find you are doing too much, like Cass said, don't feel bad taking a step back.

2. How do I tell my partner that I just want to be alone in my bed without seeing anyone sometimes without hurting their feelings?

C: I know this is a serious question but honestly my best advice is to just tell your partner you need alone time and need time to recharge by yourself. They'll understand that this is a personal thing that you need for your mental health instead of seeing it as a fault within them. If they do see it as you don't want to spend time with them then your partner and you need to have a deeper conversation about boundaries. It's good to spend with your partner but sometimes it's even better to spend time alone. If you're an introvert like me then the alone time that you get is super important for mental health and maintaining a happy energy in your life.

A: If this upsets them, try asking why. There might be another problem causing them to feel this way. To make sure they don't feel abandoned, try setting up the next time you'll spend time with them by offering to hang out when you think you'll feel recharged—even if that's on another day. Taking time for yourself is important, but making sure your partner feels appreciated is important as well, and finding that balance can be tough. Good luck!

3. How do you find someone who will treat you right?

A: You need to find a person you don't feel the need to change. Looking to change a partner's hobbies and habits to accommodate your desires can also create rifts in a relationship fast. As with everything, there's a balance here, but if you're still looking for a long-term boo, try to find someone with interests and needs that line up with yours.

Another key part of this is being open and honest about what you want from the beginning. If you're looking for something long term, don't tell them you're looking for a casual relationship. This will only open the door to miscommunication and heartbreak and leave one of you feeling deceived—which definitely isn't being treated right. Know what you're looking for and find a partner who wants something similar.

C: As Angie said, be open about what you want and don't try to change someone. A big thing about finding someone who will treat you right is finding someone you also treat right. If you're constantly berating them or looking to "fix them" then you're not treating them the right way, so why should they do the same? Also, communicate what you want out of a relationship. You might think the other person is "playing games" but in actuality, you just have different ideas of how serious this relationship is. Nothing good will come of only one party thinking this summer fling is the real thing. So be open and candid about what you're looking for in a potential relationship and hopefully you'll find someone who is looking for those same things.

Do you have a question about relationships? Is there something you've always wanted to know but are a little embarrassed to ask? Have some feedback? We're always ready to answer—follow this link to send us your questions!

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