Being in a relationship and maintaining your independence are two concepts that may sound counter intuitive. The truth, though, is that becoming co-dependent in a relationship to the point that you lose your independence is very unhealthy. Instead, you want to be two people who share their lives, their experiences, and their goals together while still maintaining independence in the right areas.
Here are some tips on how to keep your independence while also keeping that vital relationship in your life alive and kicking:
Do something on your own
This can be as simple or as extravagant as you like. If you are feeling like you are penned in as part of your relationship then start by doing something simple on your own. Maybe this is refocusing on an old hobby or starting a new one. Fitness classes and sports are excellent examples as well as they will get you out of your house independently of your spouse. For those already in that area, consider a trip to a new city alone where you can spend a couple of days doing everything that you want to do – food, activities, etc. – without having to please anyone else.
Maintain old friendships
In a marital relationship it is only natural that you and your significant other see your circles merge. This is fine, and healthy, as couples friends are an important part of life. One thing to remember though is that you had a life before you met your partner, one that included a friend group that was all of your own. While hanging out as a couple with those friends can still be fun, plan nights to hang out with just your own friends and go out separately. That way you will have more stuff to talk about the next day!
Learn to love yourself
Loving your partner can often be easier than loving yourself. Both aspects of this are vital for a healthy relationship. We are not talking narcissistic love, just a fundamental appreciation of who you are and what you bring to the table for your relationship. Taking care of yourself and your own needs is vital, but if you don’t love and respect yourself then it is easy to fall into a co-dependent trap where nothing you want is ever put first.
Article by Vital Guidance