The Importance of Independence in a Relationship
When we first fall in love with that special someone, we want to spend all of our time together! In fact, we seem to feel better when we are with our significant other.
This is the infatuation stage, and admittedly, it feels really good. But enduring relationships move past this stage and into a place of mutual respect and care. This is the time when truly knowing and liking one another takes root. A relationship based upon this deep friendship is more likely to be able to withstand navigating conflict and allow for shared values and long-term goals to develop. These are fundamental concepts of Gottman’s Sound Relationship House. This will require each partner to give the other space to be their own individuals.
Why Individuality and Independence are Important in Relationships
First, what does it really mean to be an independent individual? It means you know how to be your own person, whether you are single or in a relationship. It means while you make the effort to make your partner happy, you also ensure that you continue to do the things you enjoy that bring you happiness. It’s about being “Me” while also being “We”.
The following are just some of the reasons why there should always be independence in a relationship:
No One Likes Clingy
When you lack independence and don’t have a solid sense of yourself, you can come across as “clingy” or needy. If you want to be around your partner 24/7 and they are wanting space, your neediness can drain their energy.
When the two of you stay independent, you give each other the opportunity to grow as individuals, which then can lead to growth as a couple.
Independent people are strong people, and strong people can be counted on when it matters most. When you are both strong individuals, you can lend that support when the other needs it.
Need Help Getting Your Independent Spirit Back?
Most of us demanded our independence when we were in our teens and early 20s. But life happens, and we can often lose that independent spirit and lose our own identities. If you need some help reconnecting with yourself so that you may one day enjoy a beneficial partnership, please get in touch with me. I’m more than happy to discuss how therapy can help.