Being in a relationship with someone who鈥檚 naturally creative can be really exciting. You may get to be the first taste-tester for the cupcake recipe your bae dreams of one day using in their bakery. Maybe you鈥檒l get the sneakiest of sneak peeks at the song your partner has been writing for years. If you鈥檙e the creative one in the relationship, your S.O. gets to reap those benefits. And if you鈥檙e both creators? Well, that sounds like a win-win.

It鈥檚 not all fun and games, though. Chipping away at a creative project or launching a side hustle based on a personal passion can be stressful and time-consuming, and a creative person requires a lot of support if their venture is going to be successful. That can feel like a lot of pressure within a romantic relationship, so we鈥檝e compiled expert tips from relationship professionals and artists to help you navigate the situation. Keep scrolling for all of their advice, which you can put to use if you鈥檙e supporting your significant other鈥 or you can 鈥渁ccidentally鈥 print it out and leave it under your partner鈥檚 pillow if you鈥檙e the one who needs some more support.

A couple pauses in their knitting and crocheting to kiss

1. Help create the time the other person needs. Obviously, one of the biggest obstacles that any of us have to pursuing our passions is the seeming lack of available hours in the day. You and your partner can help minimize that obstacle by intentionally creating space in your collective and individual schedules. 鈥淲hat can you do to buy your partner a little more time?鈥 prompts couples counselor Raffi Bilek. 鈥淢aybe it鈥檚 going shopping for them so they don鈥檛 have to, or taking care of their laundry. Maybe it鈥檚 ordering takeout this week to avoid cooking and doing the dishes. Small things can add up a lot. Finding ways to scrape together extra minutes and hours for your partner can be a big help in allowing them to do what they do best.鈥

2. Be curious, not critical. 鈥淎sk questions about their ideas and help them brainstorm their latest ventures and plans,鈥 encourages coach and relationship expert Andi LaBrune. 鈥淢ake sure the questions aren鈥檛 doubtful of their abilities. Offering to be involved in a non-critical way really shows your genuine support and love for their ventures.鈥 Focus on open-ended questions that you know you don鈥檛 already have the answer to 鈥 if you think you might know the answer, your tone may come off as less encouraging. Be ready to learn more about your partner鈥檚 process and ask about unexpected ways that you can contribute.

3. Show up. It sounds simple, but showing up for your partner consistently 鈥 both physically and emotionally 鈥 is actually a pretty big deal. Writer Janet Ruth Heller鈥榮 husband is a musician, and she shares with us the many ways in which they show up for each other: She attends his concerts and goes with him to purchase new instruments. He鈥檚 her go-to guy when she runs into computer problems while writing, and he tags along when she needs to go places to inspire stories. Making a habit of showing up allows you to more naturally become a partner in your significant other鈥檚 creative process. (It鈥檚 also just a nice thing to do.)

A couple takes a break on a woodworking project

4. Know when to step back. Artist Kevin Caron was driving a truck when he decided to pursue art over a decade ago, and he credits his wife of 25 years as his number-one cheerleader (as well as his business manager). While Caron has picked up many best practices for creative support over the years, one of his suggestions is to 鈥渒now when to back off.鈥 If your S.O. is managing a tight deadline for their side hustle or is frustrated by a creative challenge, you might need to learn to show your support differently from usual. Take a (sometimes literal) step back, understand that your partner鈥檚 stress has absolutely nothing to do with you, and find ways to help their project run smoothly from afar, like breaking down their schedule for them if you鈥檙e a meticulous organizer or providing awesome snacks if you鈥檙e great in the kitchen.

5. Don鈥檛 act out of jealousy. If bae is spending all of their time working on a creative hustle, you might feel a little out of the loop. This is perfectly normal, according to Northampton Center for Couples Therapy founder Kerry Lusignan, but that doesn鈥檛 mean it needs to take a toll on your relationship or personal mental health. 鈥淭alk openly about the challenges and feelings you have,鈥 Lusignan suggests. 鈥淒o so in a way that is not blaming or accusatory. Ask questions. Share feelings. Make requests. It鈥檚 valid and reasonable to want your partner to prioritize you and to ask that your relationship has time that is protected.鈥

6. Focus on yourself too. 鈥淵our partner is moving forward,鈥 explains mental health writer and psychology expert Emily Mendez, M.S. EdS. 鈥淭hey are pursuing their dreams. You should be doing the same. You can inspire your partner by pursuing your passion.鈥 Refocusing on a creative aspiration or side hustle of your own will go a long way toward giving your partner the time and space they need to be effective. Even more important? It will ensure that you鈥檙e not getting too wrapped up in someone else鈥檚 dream. Remember to follow your own too!

How do you and your partner help each other be your creative best? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)