Building a new relationship can be tricky, especially when it comes to maintaining your individuality and independence. While your new boyfriend’s independent behavior may be something you aren’t used to, it’s important to realize that autonomy is very important for some people. Especially if your boyfriend has never been in a long-term relationship or is concerned about growing too close too fast, he may cling to his independence and personal hobbies as a way to continue viewing himself as an individual, rather than finding his identity in simply being a boyfriend.

STEP 1Respect your boyfriend’s need for alone time. If his actions aren’t harmful or illegal, try to relax and let him have his private time. Maybe your guy likes to go drinking with his friends or perhaps he just likes to immerse himself in video games for a few hours. Try to avoid nitpicking the ways that he chooses to relax and unwind and just go with it.

STEP 2Find activities you can enjoy together. If you both enjoy nature, join a hiking club or go on walks together. If you’re more of the thinking types, play board games or watch movies together. Avoid trying to pick up all of your boyfriend’s hobbies, as this could become annoying or even stressful for both of you. Instead, pick new things you can enjoy together while still maintaining your own personal activities.

 

STEP 3Avoid being too needy. While your autonomous boyfriend may be ready to meet your emotional needs, it’s unfair for you to pour all of your needs on him. If you’re having a bad day, remember that it’s OK to vent to your girlfriends or write in a diary. You don’t have to let your boyfriend know everything that went wrong with your day simply because he’s willing to listen.