There you are, finally dating the awesome dude of your dreams (or just a guy you like very, very much). Suddenly, you're inseparable. You can't go anywhere without each other. Instead of taking time for yourself, you manage to spend every possible second with each other - and you like it!

It's suddenly "our" favorite movie and "our" favorite restaurant and "our" favorite hot spots. You've gone from "me" to "us." While that's a major stepping stone in a relationship, it comes with some unexpected pitfalls.

Namely, losing yourself.

Here are some slightly unexpected tips for avoiding that common relationship danger.

Do not give up on old friendships just because you have a new guy in your life. Yes, your friends may understand for a certain length of time, but after that, they may write you off. You don't want that.

Keep old traditions going. Sure, you want to spend every possible second with your new love, but those traditions like going out for Girl's Night every Saturday? Don't ditch out on that just so you can spend a few more precious hours with your new flame. Your friends matter too.

Don't give up on old hobbies just because your new guy doesn't dig them. So you knit. You crochet granny blankets. You play an embarrassingly dorky card game. So what? Keep those hobbies alive and well. They're part of what makes you YOU.

When your new dude wants to go out with his buddies? Let him. Don't give him grief. You don't want to be the sour-puss kinda girl that's all, "It's me OR your friends." He needs his space and time apart just as much as you do, so don't be all clingy or whiny about it. No one likes a whiner.

I can't stress this enough: Meet his friends. Not only will they tell you all about his bad habits and dirty secrets, but they'll think you're hot, which will help keep you from getting too immersed in the relationship, as you flirt with the hot best friend.

Make sure you don't follow him on Twitter, or friend him on Facebook. Sure, his friends might decide that you're "imaginary" or "distant" but that sure beats getting updates about everything from his lunch to his bathroom habits. Distance starts at home, people!

What are some other tips for maintaining your individuality in a great relationship?

 

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