Wondering how to maintain your individuality and independence in a romantic relationship?
Being independent in a relationship is vital to your personal growth and the success of your love life.
When you’re codependent on your partner, it can lead to unhealthy relationship patterns, poor mental health, and a loss of identity.
It’s important to learn how to be independent in a relationship and stop relying on your partner for happiness.
The best way to be self-reliant and independent in a relationship is to maintain your friendships, explore new hobbies, and work on achieving your personal goals.
Keep reading to find out other ways you can be happily independent in a committed relationship.
WHAT IS BEING INDEPENDENT IN A RELATIONSHIP?
Being an independent person in a relationship means having a meaningful life outside of your partner and not having to rely on them for all your needs.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE INDEPENDENT IN A RELATIONSHIP?
Having some form of independence in a committed relationship is important because it helps you grow as an individual while maintaining a healthy bond with your significant other.
CAN YOU LEARN TO BE INDEPENDENT WHILE IN A RELATIONSHIP?
It’s absolutely possible to learn how to be independent in a relationship. Even if you’ve been depending on your partner for everything including your happiness, it’s never too late to teach yourself to be independent.
HOW TO BE INDEPENDENT IN A RELATIONSHIP
If you’re concerned about losing your individuality or maintaining a healthy sense of identity, follow these steps to ensure you have a fulfilling life as well as a successful relationship.
1. Always prioritize your needs
Most people tend to trivialize their needs when they’re in a romantic relationship because they feel their partner should always come first in their life.
While it’s good to focus your love and attention on your partner, don’t forget that you’re also important and deserve the best things in life.
The key to being happily independent in a relationship is to acknowledge your needs as well as your partner’s.
2. Stay in touch with your loved ones
When you get into a new relationship, you may want to discard your friends and family because you’ve found the love of your life.
But abandoning your loved ones will only lead to you forming a codependent relationship with your partner where you can’t function properly when you’re not together.
To maintain your independence, it’s necessary for you to spend quality time with other people outside of your love relationship.
3. Set some personal goals for yourself
While it’s crucial to share common goals with your significant other, having your own individual goals is the key to being independent in a long-term relationship.
If you’re passionate about something, go for it and see where it leads. Don’t wait for your partner to dictate what the next phase of your life should look like.
Envision your own future, talk about your dreams with your partner, and set realistic goals that you would like to achieve in a few months or years.
4. Have your own source of income
Relying solely on your partner for financial support can make you feel helpless and insecure in a relationship.
When you earn a living doing something you love, your self-worth increases exponentially and you feel proud of yourself.
Whether you’ve both decided to separate your finances or not, having your own source of income can help you feel more independent in your relationship.
Start a new career, set up a side hustle, or create a home-based business that can give you a strong sense of purpose as an individual.
5. Make small decisions on your own
In a codependent relationship, one partner usually makes all the decisions that affect both parties.
Being in an interdependent relationship, on the other hand, means you’re both reliant on each other in a healthy way and can thrive without the other person.
The best way to build a happy relationship with your partner is to exercise your freedom by making small decisions independently.
Learn to trust yourself and don’t rush to involve your significant other in something when you can decide on your own.
6. Handle a few problems by yourself
Similarly to making decisions on your own, it’s important to learn how to tackle a few problems by yourself without dragging your partner into them.
Being independent involves acting responsibly and choosing wisely when your partner isn’t around to lend a helping hand.
It’s understandable to involve your significant other when you encounter a major problem that requires their attention, but if it’s something minor that you can fix, do it yourself.
As you handle more problems on your own, you’ll learn to become assertive, self-reliant, and independent in a relationship.
7. Establish healthy boundaries in your relationship
In an unhealthy relationship, people ignore the need for privacy, disrespect boundaries, and manipulate each other to gain control.
The secret to preserving your independence and individuality in intimate relationships is to create healthy boundaries that protect you.
Don’t let your partner push you around or force you to do what you don’t want. If something doesn’t align with your core values and beliefs, don’t accept it and refuse to settle for less.
When you learn to stand up for yourself and teach people how you want to be treated, you’ll enjoy more respect and independence in a romantic relationship.
8. Carve out some alone time for yourself
Despite your relationship status, it’s important to make yourself a priority and dedicate some time for self-care on a consistent basis.
Stay in bed all day and get enough rest. Read your favorite book. Sip a hot cup of cocoa. Soak in a bubble bath with a glass of wine. Massage your body with sweet-smelling essential oils.
Do whatever it is you do when you want to feel pampered and spoil yourself regularly. When you set aside time to take care of yourself, you’ll improve your mental health and emotional well-being.
9. Engage in a hobby you enjoy often
One mistake people make when they get into a serious relationship is that they abandon their own hobbies and interests to help their partner achieve their dreams.
A great way to stay independent in a relationship and become a better version of yourself is to keep doing your favorite activities even when you find true love.
Whether you love to read, write, or dance, engaging in a hobby you enjoy can make you feel happy and accomplished.
10. Give your partner space when needed
If you want to maintain your independence while building a great relationship, you need to give your partner some breathing space.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect them or pretend you’re not enjoying their company.
Giving your significant other space means you can be content to sit with them in silence without feeling anxious or seeking attention.
It also refers to you allowing them to enjoy their hobbies, try out new things, and hang out with their friends as often as possible.
11. Attend some social gatherings alone
While it’s always fun to go out with your partner, attending a few social events alone is essential to your individuality.
Your happiness shouldn’t depend on just your partner and it’s important to connect with other people outside of your relationship.
Accept invites to special occasions that aren’t tied to your relationship and get comfortable spending time apart from your significant other.
Doing things solo can keep your love life exciting and allow you both to thrive as individuals.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU LOST YOURSELF IN A RELATIONSHIP?
The first step to knowing if you’ve lost your independence in a relationship is to check how you feel when you’re not with your partner.
If you can’t seem to function without them, it means you’ve lost your sense of self and need to learn how to be independent.
The good news is that regaining your independence after you’ve lost it is easy. Start by prioritizing your needs, connecting with your friends, and exploring new hobbies that interest you.
Learning how to be independent in a relationship is not only vital, it’s necessary for having a happy relationship and a strong sense of self.
If you’ve been looking for how to maintain your individuality, I’ve given you 11 ways to become self-sufficient and independent in an intimate relationship.
Whether you’re just getting into a serious relationship or you’ve been codependent on your partner for a long time, you can still learn how to become an independent person.
A great way to ensure a healthy self-image is to keep your friends close, have a hobby you love and set some realistic life goals for yourself.
While it’s important to be self-reliant, being too independent in a relationship is not a good idea.
Having some form of partnership and cooperation can increase the level of happiness and mutual satisfaction in your relationship.
About The Author
Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life. As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.
She strongly believes communication and intimacy are important in building a successful relationship.
Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.