To many, being independent in a relationship is sort of an oxy moron. How is it possible to maintain independence when you have to consider another person in your major decisions? You can’t just do whatever you want anymore—how is that independent? But I’m not talking about acting as though you are single; I’m talking about keeping your sense of self despite the temptation to lose it inside of another person.
This is one of the biggest downfalls of relationships I’m seeing these days. It’s why I have hundreds of women emailing me asking how they can get their boyfriend to chase them again. For most, the damage has been done or their boyfriend is just a jerk, for others they simply need to find their independence.
How to Be Independent in a Relationship
Remember your friends?
One of the first things people do when they first get into a relationship is disappear of the face of their friend’s Earth. Granted, it’s difficult to find the balance between splitting your time with your ride-or-dies and your new love interest, but you must make the effort. Keep your girls nights, don’t bail on plans, say yes to some invites and once in awhile be the one to make them. In all essence, keep being the friend you were before you met the new guy.
Have goals, dreams, drive, ambition– whatever
Look, if your plan is to marry a guy that can take care of you, stay at home and have 2.3 babies while blogging your #momlife — I don’t judge you. I’m not saying you have to have goals that are career related. Just that if you want to be independent in your relationship, you can not build your world around another human being. Duh, right? And yet sooo many women will up and walk away from the goals they set out for themselves for another. If you wouldn’t ask them to scrap their dreams for you– why would you do that for them?
Not only is it important for you to have your own thing going on for the sake of your identity, but it also makes you sexy as hell.
Keep your joy
There are plenty of us that get into a relationship and forget about our hobbies or the things that bring us joy. Maybe you love working out or hiking. Maybe knitting is your jam or you drive go carts on the weekend for fun. Whatever it is that makes you happy, keep it. Figure out how to balance them, because it’s so worth it.
Don’t be clingy
I’m sorry, but it drives me nuts when I hear women who have only been dating someone a few months, complain about missing their significant other when it’s been a couple of days since they’ve seen each other. Like come on. There are women out there who don’t see their own husbands for weeks at a time for work, or months because perhaps they are deployed. A couple of days is a bit dramatic especially when it’s a newer thing. Yes, when it’s new the oxytocin in your brain is telling you that you need to see them every waking second, but if you use the time apart to have your very own life, you will enjoy the time apart and be able to be more present in the moment next time you’re together.
Also, if you try to make them feel bad or guilty that they are spending time with someone else other than you– it will get old pretty fast.
Love yourself first
This is the most important one. It’s such a cliche to say you need to love yourself before you can love someone else but it is so unbelievably true. Having love for yourself means that you are able to be the best for yourself and for others. You know your worth and you won’t allow yourself to be devalued. Making time for self-love and self-care is one of the best uses of your time when you’re in a relationship. Don’t let go of that!
Being independent in a relationship mean that you still have your own life, you hold firm to who you are and you are sharing it with another person, not giving it away.