Lots of us do this "put myself last" business. This is classic codie behavior. My sponsor and all of you remind me when I let my self-care fall into last place that it's important for me to recharge my batteries, do things for myself that are nice, etc. I learned the concept of "dating myself" from the forum after my ex and I split up. I'm not entirely out of the woods yet, but I do make time just for me, build in little treats for myself, and cherish my alone time.
I find that as I have entered a new relationship, I still struggle with balancing the needs of others against the needs of my own. My "be a good girl, give-it-all" impulse is pretty strong. I know that when I was dating my ex-AH, I would run around like mad to take care of all of the details of my life until late at night or early in the morning so I could go out and act like a carefree, together and happy person, but I was exhausted from keeping up the act. My house was spotless when he came over -- I always looked as well as I could and was dressed to the nines. But now, I know I need to be authentic - and I need to et my needs met, too. As much as I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend, I have to tend to the details of my life, and when I don't, I feel frayed and upset. This week, I just had too much to do, and wanted to spend time focusing on what I needed to do. My boyfriend likes to spend a lot of time together but I really need alone time, to take care of business or just to be unscheduled for a change.
I know it may disappoint him that I am not always as available as he might like, but I'm not responsible for his expectations. I have been clear about my priorities from the get-go. I'm responsible for me, and I don't expect him to be a mind reader. In the past, I have been timid about saying what I need and then resented it when others don't know how to treat me. That's total b.s. and it puts me in the position of being the child in the relationship, waiting for a caretaker to fix my life just so.
And I know that if I burn the candle at both ends and leave nothing for myself I will be angry, resentful and that's not where I want to be. So, we took the week off from one another, and I took Friday off, too. As a single mom with a lot of responsibilities, I really, really needed this time. By learning to tune into my own needs and make them at least as important as those of my loved ones, I am in better shape to give what I can to those in my life. And now, instead of resenting him, I miss him and look forward to seeing him. On Saturday.
Good stuff, people. Glad to be reading about this. It's a good reminder.