From the early days of my youth, until age 20, I’ve possessed complete autonomy over my body. I choose how to dress myself, and where I want to travel. Yes, of course, my parents harbor some influence over my decisions, but overall, I’m in control.
Control is the key word here. I prefer having complete governance over my body. If I’m feeling under the weather, I choose to stay home. If I want to be alone, I lock myself in my room. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m tired, I sleep. This sense of bodily jurisdiction regulates my mental wellness, as I ease my anxiety by regulating my physical environment.
When entering a new relationship, people often have numerous concerns relating to lost control. What if my partner cheats on me? What if they hurt me? This mindset also applies to loss of bodily control. Our physical space is no longer completely independent. We must learn to share ourselves, our time, and our energy with another person. This prospect initially overwhelmed me. How was I going to thrive in a world where I could not dictate every moment of every day? Let me tell you, it has been quite the learning experience. I have had to navigate my mental wellness while compromising my preferences. At the end of the day, having a loving, supportive partner is definitely worth the trade off.
In order to maintain my independence and bodily autonomy, I set myself some personal standards. I did not want to be in a partnership that required 24/7 communication. While this form of dialogue can be beneficial to some people, I personally feel suffocated by the perpetual stream of texts and calls. Adequate alone time recharges my batteries, allowing me to put my best foot forward into the world.
Another tool I use to safeguard my comfort is saying “no”. Seems simple, right? Well, it isn’t. At first, I felt like a b*tch saying “no” when I wasn’t in the mood to snuggle or be physically close. Over time, I built up resentment toward my partner, as I strongly desired more space. By learning to kindly say “no” or “another time”, I’ve paved the way for open, honest communication. Likewise, I’ve developed critical boundaries for building a successful long-term relationship.
Being part of a couple definitely petrified me before I understood my personal needs. Developing a healthy relationship with your body and your partner is critical to maintaining your mental and physical wellness. When embarking upon a new relationship, I encourage you to tune into your body, and address unmet desires. Oftentimes, all I need is a personal day to reestablish a sense of independence. If you’re a control freak like me, and are terrified of relationships, I promise you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The right person will accept your bodily boundaries and respect your preferences. Relationships do require compromise, and the transition may initially feel uncomfortable. But I promise you, love is definitely worth the sacrifice, and you’ll be adjusted to new life conditions in no time!