Many people in this day and age believe that to be in a relationship, you have to sacrifice your independence. That couldn’t be farther from the truth!
A true relationship is so much more than just two people, it’s so much more dynamic than what people portray in the media, there’s an important aspect of staying true to yourself, communication, and working together in a relationship. There is such a thing as maintaining your sense of self while being involved in a serious partner, and honestly, it’s what can make or break a relationship. Having a dynamic that focuses on succumbing to what the other wants every single time, there’s a lack of expression and passion when two people come together and change from someone they really aren’t inside. There’s an art to keeping yourself strong and confident and working together as a team, instead of a couple who just depends on each other every moment of their time together.
‘Me’ time is just as important as couples spending time together. Bonding with yourself is key to staying independent in a strong relationship. Making sure you have at least thirty minutes every day to yourself is a wonderful way to relax and be sure you have your plans in order for the day. Just because you are spending time away from you partner and focusing on yourself does not mean there is a lack of love or connection, it just means you are making sure your mental health is in check so you can flourish the rest of the day. I love practicing this tip in the mornings when the day is still new and fresh, also while it is quiet before my partner wakes up, I can have a peaceful time making some coffee and gathering my thoughts. A perfect way to start the day while giving yourself some quality time!
A bit of a turn compared to the first tip in this series, but teamwork is the balancing factor to ‘me’ time. Making sure you both work together as a team is a wonderful way to make your opinion known, and also the opinion of your partner. You’ll be able to grow together as two strong halves that will make an amazing whole. You never know, you might be the next power couple of 2K17! Holding onto both of your strengths should end up complimenting each other in the long run instead of causing clashes and misunderstandings, it’s a great way to make sure you and your partner are actually compatible and able to co-exist over time together, instead of butting heads every second.
“I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn’t matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together.” Julia Roberts
Making sure you hold on tightly to your hobbies and what you love to do in your free time while single should not waiver just because of your relationship. Partners should be able to support each other in everything they choose to do and that even comes down to aspects of life that they had before the other. Making sure you support your partner in their hobbies you have no interest in, and vice versa is a great way to maintain that aspect of freedom when living together in a space. You will be able to maintain your passions that make you happy, with the support of your partner, whether it be cooking, reading, art, etc, it all should be encouraged for this dynamic relationship to work. You never know, you might find your partner wanting to give your hobby a try, stay open minded because this can be something the two of you end up doing together that helps you grow.
Having your own opinion while being in a relationship, even if it completely differs from your significant other, is a normal and a healthy way to see if you two really are compatible. Differing opinions are quite healthy when keeping your independence in a relationship. Both parties in the dynamic should be able to have a civil conversation and discussion of how to move forward while keeping the respect in tact. You’ll know when you start voicing your opinion respectfully and the respect isn’t returned, you’ll know the red flags when it happens, you’ll know in your heart if it can really work or not, it’s important to go through these waves of a relationship to know if it will last. Fights happen, but when there isn’t a middle ground that can be reached for both individuals, it might just be time to move on.
“It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.” Lewis B. Smedes
Communication is key in a relationship, anyone can tell you that, it’s pretty much common sense these days.
Being sure that you communicate clearly in a relationship might not seem like an aspect of staying independent, but it really is, it shows that you can be a mature adult in the relationship, it shows you demand respect as a strong woman, and it shows that you’re willing to give your precious time to a cause that means a lot to you. A relationship simply can’t work on silence alone, you have to reach a point in the dynamic where it can thrive with two strong halves making the whole. Communication is so important for a relationship to thrive, especially these days when we have so many means of talking through technology, there’s no excuse. It might seem like sacrificing your time, but to be independent in a relationship you have to find balance within yourself and with your partner.
You have to learn how to love yourself fully before you can love someone else. And once you accomplish that, you can’t let the self-love fall to the wayside, or it’ll all be for nothing.
It takes many steps to gain confidence, from learning to love your physical body, to learning to love your mind and what makes you wonderfully unique. If you lack confidence in a relationship, it’s more often than not that it’s obvious and will cause some difficult times in the relationship. Hence why the first tip of the list is most important, having time to yourself is a wonderful way to jumpstart your self-love journey. You’ll learn to love everything about yourself, accepting yourself so you can accept your partner fully. It’s just not fair to rely on your partner’s love to fuel your love for yourself. This process won’t happen overnight, trust me, but in time it will happen, you’ll notice the differences and the new found control you’ll have in your life, and you did it all by yourself! One of the most important reasons it’s key to be independent in a relationship, it’s fair for everyone involved, and makes room for true love to be expressed.
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.” John Lennon
When you have passion for each other in a deeply connected relationship, it’s very easy to let your independence fade away, and if that’s what you choose to do, so be it. But, the plus side to having some sort of independence in a relationship is that you both find ways to connect and make things work while complimenting each other instead of suffocating each other in the process of love. Being passionate is just as important as the independence aspect, but both can easily compliment each other when you find the happy medium that works for everyone involved. You can’t just settle in any relationship, it just ends up being an unhappy waste of time for everyone.
“Every good relationship, especially marriage, is based on respect. If it is not based on respect, nothing that appears to be good will last very long.” Amy Grant
Remember to keep the value of equality high in any relationship you enter or are currently in. Get with the times people, gone are the days where one person has a higher standing than the other in a relationship. We are all equals. Having equality be a major aspect of any relationship where both parties fully understand what that means for each other, that is what will make your relationship stand out from the rest, and prosper. We can’t just put expectations on the other individual in the relationship and expect it to be perfect, each person in the relationship has an equal part and that is just as important to making your independence shine in your current relationship. Which is the goal here.
If you make sure that your views are being appreciated in the relationship you are in, you are already one step closer to fully exerting your independence in your relationship. It should be clear from the beginning what your views are and what theirs are, so you can work together to form a strong bond unlike any other. When views and opinions that are hidden away in the rush of love, they become neglected and are usually brought to attention at the worst times, times that will just end up reflecting badly on them instead of a time that could have been beneficial and worked on together. Making sure your views are stated from the start can really show how independent you are to your partner and how strong you are, but also willing to work on things as a team. Hiding these views will only keep you in the shadows and you will not be able to have independence this way.
Being assertive doesn’t always mean you like to butt heads with everyone that has a different viewpoint than you, it just means you’re sure of who you are and what you want, no shame in that!
Similar to the topics above, being confident isn’t something to be ashamed of, if you’re generally an assertive person, that shouldn’t have to completely change for anyone. Instead use it to benefit you, find a man that completely accepts you for you, you should never have to pretend to be someone you’re not just because you’re assertive in the things you pursue. Being an independent woman is hard work and it’s even harder finding a partner that understands but don’t let that bring you down in your search for love, it will come in time, just focus on you and your life, the positive things around you and everything will eventually fall into place.
A lot of people tend to think that being an independent woman means you are aggressive or overbearing, not the case, and when it is, there is a reason to be!! Being independent means you know yourself, who you are in every way, and can stand up for what you want in your life because it’s nobody else’s except your own. It also means handling life with grace and a sense of calmness in every situation, being the better person in toxic issues and doing what’s right. As women we sometimes face very wrongful acts from the world around us, from people we know, to those out on the street, but keeping a level head so we can make the necessary decisions in everything we do is key to fully being an independent women that can take care of herself, that shouldn’t be lost when it comes to a relationship.
There are more aspects to equality that one might suspect, in a relationship it usually comes up more than once, the financial equality. If it’s what you want for yourself you should never allow a significant other to determine if you should work for your own money or not, it’s a personal choice and right that’s so important to wellbeing and quality of life. If you choose to work even when your partner is making money as well, that’s your choice and your choice as an independent woman. It’s perfectly okay for everyone to have their own goals when it comes to life and their career, it’s a sense of pride that’s healthy for anyone to pursue, it makes you feel good and it allows you to build your career up and follow your passions, no one should take that away from you when you’re in a relationship. If they do suggest that, communicate and tell them how you honestly feel and grow together in both of your paths and career paths.
Finding yourself is a lot harder than it sounds, it could take days, weeks, or even years to fully grasp who you are as a person, self-love, what you like, and what you want to do with your life. People always bring up finding their calling, and what their purpose is, you could say that is pretty similar to this because it is just as important to find yourself in the process. Staying independent in a relationship is all about knowing yourself, you have to know yourself and know your partner well enough to be able to thrive and grow together and they should be doing the same. You will both be thankful in the end because you will have a stronger relationship than most, it will be deeply rooted instead of shallow and picturesque like a postcard. If you don’t know who you are you will be lost in the relationship and dependent on the other person and that is what we are trying to avoid.
2Know What You Need
Learning what you need in your relationship, what you need for yourself to flourish, is the most important thing you can do to be independent in your relationship.
Knowing what you need in life is a prime example of using your independence to be able to communicate with your partner, so they clearly know what you want and can either step in to help or step aside so you have enough mental space to focus on those things. Having a partner that knows these boundaries and what you need when you need it can really be beneficial to the relationship, in the long run, cutting out stress and hurt feelings when you need to do something on your own because you feel like that’s what’s best. It’ a difficult aspect to present in a new relationship because everyone seems to be under the impression that to have a loving relationship, you need to help each other whenever there is something wrong, but it’s just not the case. Many times, it shows more love when you step back to allow the person to do what they need to do.
The most important key piece of advice on this whole list. Acceptance.
Learning to full accept ourselves, showing ourselves love to the highest degree is how we all find our independence in any situation in our lives. To accept yourself means you have your independence with you no matter what and no one can take that away from you. Find someone that accepts that in you and you’ll most likely have a beautiful connection to that individual and that’s a magical moment full of compassion and understanding. Don’t give your independence up for anyone because that’s what keeps you strong in this world.
“Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings. I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.” Linda Thompson