If you feel stifled in your relationship, it may be time to establish some new ground rules.“Where have you been? Why are you home so late?” Sound familiar? Being part of a couple is exciting, but being accountable to someone else can be challenging.

The best relationships are based on trust and an ability to give each other enough freedom. You may be a team, but if you’re not happy as individuals, your relationship will probably suffer.

Maintain independence
Cape Town-based life coach Carina Lewis suggests the following strategies for maintaining your independence:
• Keep your own friends and see them regularly without your partner.
• Have an interest, hobby or sport of your own that you do with other people.
• Do something new by yourself occasionally, such as joining a sports team, going to an interesting talk, going on holiday, etc.

Make sure your lady knows that even though you need space at times, you are still committed to her and your relationship. Once honesty is in place, she’ll have no reason to deny you a night out with your mates. Most likely she’ll want some me-time too.