Is It Ever A Good Idea To Revolve Your Life Around Your Partner In A Relationship?

Hitting a random DVD store or turning to Netflix anytime, you'll find it nearly impossible to bump into any movie without a romantic core streaking through the plot. Throughout a typical runtime of 90 minutes, you'll find people either professing love or making love. Whether it's a love fulfilled or a love betrayed, we living souls love seeing a fixation on love in songs, poetry, and religious teachings. The same goes for our personal lives. Being in love makes us fixate on our lover and crave their companionship unremittingly, and there's a scientific explanation for it.

A study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology finds that when you're with your special one, your brain produces and multiplies neurotransmitters oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. These happy hormones are known to relieve stress and speed up wound healing. So while being joined to the hip feels enjoyable, over time, the intimacy you seek from one another might intensify into a connection known as fusion. Driven by fear of separation and an emphasis of unity, fusion is marked by lovebirds' desire to melt into each other to escape reality, per GoodTherapy. At this stage, you might begin revolving your life around your partner, thinking that's how love ought to be despite evidence to the contrary. But is this "one flesh" perspective healthy to your relationship? Or is it a deal breaker? Here's what experts have to say.

Revolving your life around your partner makes you appear clingy

A person in love doesn't mind giving anything, from their time to their energy, to keep their better half from leaving for a better deal. In more extreme cases, people might keep tabs on their lovers' personal connections and monitor their daily activities. Attending to your partner's needs and wants is good, especially when you're not manipulated into doing those things. But too much attention can leave your partner struggling for air and personal space. Moreover, not only does revolving your life around your partner wear you out physically and emotionally, but it also makes you appear clingy. And clinginess is the opposite of attractiveness. 

According to a study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology polling over 1,400 participants, 30% reported that clinginess was a major source of strain in their relationship. Calling clinginess a deal breaker for most people, relationship expert Greg Flemming (via Yahoo) explains that this separation-resisting reaction indicates "insecurity, lack of trust, and a need for constant validation." When you live your life for your partner, it unbalances the relationship, prompts you to set idealistic expectations, and leaves you feeling underappreciated when they are not met. If you treat your partner's life as your own and make their happiness yours, how do you feel when the person is gone or takes you for granted? Besides, fixating on your partner 24/7 also makes you miss out on other relationships and things that can enrich you.

How to practise self-love when in love

By treating someone else's life as your priority, you risk neglecting your own needs, losing sight of your personal goals, and drifting away from your friends. If you don't want to lose your sense of self over time, loosen your grip on your relationship and practice self-love. One way to do that, per mindbodygreen, is to admit to your insecurities and learn to manage your attachment anxieties by yourself. Once you can accept your entire self, you won't need validation from others. "It's OK to need reassurance from others, but learn to give yourself reassurance too," says therapist Aparna Sagaram.

Breaking down the elements of self-love, therapist Samra Quintero (via The Knot) defines self-love as the ability to "treat yourself with unconditional acceptance and compassion." Quintero advises setting aside time to engage in self-reconnecting activities like journaling, tuning into uplifting content, or meditating. You should also learn to travel and make new friends on your own. The key is to discover inner peace or tranquility rather than seeking it out in the outside world. 

You are not clingy for desiring more time with your partner. However, when you focus your entire energy on your partner, even selflessly, your relationship becomes emotionally suffocating. If you expect your partner to respond correspondingly to your lavish gestures, you're sucking energy from both the person and yourself. If you want your relationship to work, get back on track with your personal life and dreams.