Is Your Independence Hurting Your Relationship

Our society is one that puts a lot of stress on independence, which is why we’re constantly being told to be self-sufficient. But the way you lead your life when you’re single is a lot different from what happens when you’re part of a couple. Although it’s usually seen as an admirable quality, your independence might be in the way of your happiness when it comes to love life. Are you hurting your relationship by being too self-reliant and what can you do to reconcile your individuality with your love for another person? Start figuring it out by answering the following questions.

Are you unwilling to let your partner help you? Relationships are based on communication and cooperation. This means that you two need to be able to talk about things, make decisions together and help each other when necessary. Do you think you’re really doing all that? Can’t remember a single thing you’ve decided with the help of your partner? Don’t know if you’ve ever let them help you with something? If the answer is yes, you’re probably holding onto your individuality a bit too tight and should loosen your grip.

Do you still envision yourself as being single? Let’s make one thing clear – everyone who’s ever been in a relationship has succumbed to fantasizing about being single again. But people who are in healthy, loving relationships aren’t afraid of thinking about their future as part of a couple. What are your plans, that is, how do you see yourself five or 10 years from now? If in your mind’s eye you’re still single, you might have a problem with being too independent for your own good.

Do you believe you only need yourself to be happy? People have different sets of values and that’s perfectly okay. Some put more stress on having successful careers, while others devote most of their time to maintaining good relationships with others. But when you’re part of a couple, there’s that bare minimum you have to be able to give to your partner. If you don’t really believe a loving relationship is important for you to be truly happy, you might want to ask yourself why you’re in it in the first place.

If answering these questions has led you to conclude that your independence might actually be hurting your relationship, don’t panic. The only thing that matters is that you two love each other. The rest can be fixed with a couple of changes to your attitude.

First of all, challenge your existing beliefs. We’re sometimes convinced of something that’s really not true. Your belief that you only need yourself to be happy might be one of those things. To challenge it, try asking yourself a couple of simple questions, such as Would living a single life really be that fulfilling? Do I underestimate all that my partner gives me? And last but not least, is it really impossible for me to have both love and my own life?

Imagine a relationship in which you and your partner are interdependent. People often think that having a loving relationship requires you to give up your interests and goals in life. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. You could enjoy your partner’s support without compromising the possibility of leading a happy life as an individual. You could always make arrangements to spend some time alone to do your own stuff or go traveling without your partner. Couple therapists are even suggesting going on vacations separately.

Talk to your partner. This might seem an obvious thing to do, but you should make sure your partner is involved in the process. Changing your beliefs and working on your relationship can be hard, which is why you should get all the support you need in order to succeed. Also, talking to your partner about your struggles is a way to let them know you care about them and your future as a couple.

Agree to make some of the smaller decisions together. It might be too much for you to all of a sudden start acting like the person you’re not. This is why you shouldn’t try to make too many changes at once. So instead of involving your partner in every single decision, you need to make, start with smaller ones. That way you’ll soon gain confidence in your relationship and its positive effect on your life, which will, in turn, make you want to move on to bigger stuff.

And leave some of the smaller decisions to yourself. Remember that being too independent in a relationship shouldn’t be replaced with being totally dependent on your partner. That’s why it’s necessary to have something that’s just yours. Once you’re ready to make big decisions with your partner and the rest of them by yourself, you’ll know you’re part of a healthy relationship.

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