So, you’re struggling because you feel overwhelmed by trying to meet the needs of your relationships? You love and care for them, but you’re starting to see how you aren’t leaving enough time to meet your own needs? You were okay with that in the beginning but now you can see you’re neglecting yourself?
Yeah, that’s pretty common. Especially in the initial throws of NRE (New Relationship Energy) we are thrown into a feeling of needing soooo much time with the new partner. And if you don’t yet know your limits of time, energy and resouces, and you’ve recently added a new partner or two, you’re about bump your head on the ceiling of those!
So, what can you DO? How do you discuss this with your partners in a compassionate, loving, mindful way?
- Start assessing what areas in your personal life need tending to; self-care, other responsibilities, career, alone time for relaxation and recharging. When the feeling of being overwhelmed comes up for you, what’s happening in your world that needs attention?
- Assign each relationship an amount of time that would work for you, and be a little generous. Better to underpromise your time and over-deliver than the reverse.
- Advocate with your partners that you find yourself needing to take care of personal needs and give them the heads up that it will change your availability. Ask them to support you finding ways to alleviate feeling overwhelmed. Ask for their flexibility as you figure it out.
- Talk with each partner about their needs to feel connected and what their minimum amount of time would be. Don’t strive for equality – strive for equity. What do they ACTUALLY need? One partner might be fine if they can see you once a week with a phone call another day of the week, but to another, that would be way too little contact.
- Build into each day a bit of time for yourself and into each week a day or two for yourself. You may find you need one weeknight and one weekend full day to yourself. Or you may find one weekend every other week for yourself helps. Experiment with your schedule, and every 3-4 weeks try changing the configuration to see if you’ve found the sweet spot of balance.
- Assess your partners’ feelings about the changes you’ve made to your availability. You need enough time to pass where they can reasonably and mindfully give you feedback. Remember to approach this conversation with an open, compassionate heart and be willing to hear “this isn’t working for me”. At that point, you need to remind yourself that if there is a fundamental misalignment and your partner isn’t able to compromise with you, then you may need to redefine the parameters/dynamics of your connection or even step away. Also, during this talk, thank your partners for their flexibility, support and understanding and hold a safe space for them to be transparent with you about how they REALLY feel.
- Recognize that if you aren’t able to meet the minimum amount of time for a partner to feel connected, you may need to reevaluate the number of connections you’re trying to maintain. We can want what we want, but time, energy and resources are finite.
I hope this is helpful to you in your journey to finding better balance for yourself!