Balancing “I” and “We”: Make new friends and keep the old ones

We all know a one couple that seems to do everything together. You know the one. They share every leisure activity, and rarely if ever, does one partner make plans that don’t involve the other. Maybe you see this in your best friend’s relationship, maybe in a relative’s relationship, or maybe in your own!

Maintaining a sense of emotional closeness with your partner is important; it is one of the major pillars of a healthy intimate relationship. That  said, you can have too much of a good thing. 

Dr. David Olson’s Circumplex Model research demonstrates that a healthy relationship requires a balance of togetherness and separateness. Closeness is important, but so is maintaining your own sense of identity and independence.

Here are some tips for achieving an appropriate balance between “I” and “We”:

  • Make new friends, and keep the olds. Sometimes when people enter a serious relationship or get married, they let other friendships fall by the wayside. Just as it takes work to maintain a marriage, friendships also require an effort. Nurture existing friendships, and keep yourself open to making new connections.

Know that spending time apart does not mean you are decreasing the overall closeness in your relationship.

When a strong emotional connection already exists, you and your partner are able to pursue your own separate interests and endeavours to help each of you grow individually, while still feeling supported by your partner and confident in your relationship.

More tips at

Used with permission from PREPARE/ENRICH: or call us today (02) 9520 4049

PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s