Why is independence in a relationship important? Isn’t it easy to fall in love with a kindred soul?
When we fall in love with someone, when we are in a relationship with someone, it is very easy to put their happiness ahead of ours. It quickly goes to the top of our priority list and in that process, we neglect our own happiness. People in relationships often tend to picture themselves as a unit, as one person instead of two individuals in a relationship. They forget that they have their own identity and become too dependent on their partner for every aspect of their life. And that is unfair – both to themselves and to their partner.
You see, one of the keys to a healthy functional relationship is independence. It is important for both parties in a relationship to maintain a certain level of autonomy and independence. While it helps maintain a sense of self, it also helps us remember the other areas of our lives which give us happiness, meaning, and love.
If we let go of those parts of our lives in pursuit of our partner’s happiness, we tend to lose our sense of self and become completely dependent on the happiness and completion our partner provides, and this makes for an unhealthy relationship.
Like Will Smith had said, “Her happiness is not my responsibility. She should be happy and I should be happy individually. Then we come together and share our happiness. Giving someone a responsibility to make you happy when you can’t do it for yourself is selfish.” Most of the successful relationships are the ones where two people form a bond which helps them grow individually and together, finding and attaining their individual goals and passions as well as supporting and admiring their partner’s pursuits.
And this exactly why, we decided to put together Love Smitten’s list of benefits that one can reap from independence in a relationship.
Here are 10 benefits of independence in a relationship
1) Understanding and respect for personal space
Personal space is basically an invisibly demarcated area around a person that they consider to be psychologically theirs. For most people, personal space holds a lot of value, and any encroachment of their personal space results in discomfort, anger, defensiveness, or anxiety. For a relationship to function properly, understanding and respect of personal space are crucial.
Every relationship is a balancing act of personal space – between personalities, between wants and needs, between spending time together and giving each other time. In the honeymoon phase of a relationship, personal space is ignored but once that is over, once it becomes a priority again; that’s when the problems start.
However, this doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed! Spending time away from your partner doesn’t mean that you don’t love the person anymore; it simply means that you put yourself first and do things that make you feel happy. When both the partners understand the need for personal space, they feel secure in their relationship and confident in their decisions. That is a perfect example of a mutual need for independence in a relationship. When you spend time with yourself and make choices that make you feel great about yourself, you are filled with positive emotions which in turn gives you confidence and practically ensures a happy relationship.
2) No inferiority – superiority fights
Sometimes in relationships, there may be situations in which one person is at a higher position at their work, or might be earning more than the other person. This can create a certain level of insecurity in the relationship and can fuel resentment and inferiority or superiority complexes.
However, when there is independence in a relationship between two individuals, there will be a stronger sense of equality and support between the partners. The partners support each other and there is an absence of insecurity as both of them respect the other for what they do, thus eliminating any inferiority or superiority complexes.
3) Greater financial security
With increasing job opportunities, it’s almost apparent that anyone of any age group can work and earn. In many relationships, money often becomes a cause for stress. It can be either because you or your partner are insecure about your finances, or because you don’t want to talk about such a ‘real’ topic in the relationship. Or maybe you never wanted to discuss finance with your partner in the hope that things would figure out.
However, financial security is a very essential aspect of a relationship with independent individuals. Money impacts most decisions of an individual’s life, and in a relationship, money affects several decisions and choices that you and your partner make. But that doesn’t mean that you only search for someone who has the same financial standing as you. Rather, this kind of compatibility has much more to do with your respective attitudes towards habits surrounding money.
When there is independence in a relationship, there is added assurance of greater financial security, not only because both of you have separate jobs but also because you trust your partner to be equally financially responsible. This helps ensure both the partners to make decisions that can be beneficial for both of them and doesn’t cause an imbalance.
4) Open communication
Open communication is perhaps the most important aspect of any relationship simply because it plays directly through trust. When you trust a person unconditionally, you find yourself wanting to tell them things about you, about your life, all the happenings in your life, etc. In relationships, communication allows you to explain to someone else what you are experiencing and what your needs are. This not only helps meet your needs but also helps you be more connected in your relationship.
Independent individuals understand the need for open communication, simply because of the fact that it helps put your ideas and emotions across in a much easier way. This way, partners share another level of intimacy and companionship which helps them accept each other and find common ground on different aspects of their relationship. This helps both of them to grow as individuals and as partners and growth in a relationship is crucial if you want it to be satisfying and long-lived.
5) Independence helps in boosting personality and confidence
In a relationship, when you have personal space, open communication, and trust, when you have independence in your relationship, you will feel more confident and secure in your personality. A relationship tends to bring out the best in a person because you want to be the best possible version of yourself for that person. This helps in boosting confidence and also helps you in finding and owning your own personality.
When you know that you have someone’s unconditional support with you, you feel as though you can conquer anything you want, thus making you fearless and sanguine. It helps you be whoever you want to be without conditions and that is the kind of freedom a person needs in their life.
6) Learning to say and accept ‘no’
“Can I come too?” There are times and situations where this is fine and others where it is simply not appropriate. One crucial key to independence in a relationship is the ability to say and accept “no” as an answer without inflicting or getting unduly hurt. This is a healthy means of dealing with this situation without hurt feelings. The rejection has nothing to do with not wanting the person there and everything to do with knowing the other person’s tastes well enough to understand they won’t enjoy themselves.
Of course, it relies on both parties to be completely truthful about their intentions. The person who asked may not be entirely happy about the answer, but accepts the refusal and the implicit need to assert independence on his or her partner’s part. Because of this, this person thinks of a way in which the partner can do something as well. And in the end, no matter what they do throughout the day, it is obvious that at the end of the day the two of them will be together at their home, in each other’s arms. Being independent sometimes means being able to reject the other person’s company gracefully and accepting that rejection with equal grace.
7) Freedom to do what you want without judgment
One of the benefits of independence in a relationship is that your partner is your equal. You can always trust your partner to support your decisions. Sure, he/she will have their own opinions about the decision but the fact remains that your decision will still remain your own and your partner will not enforce their opinion on you.
Being independent means being who and what you are, not someone else’s version of what you should be. If your partner insists you change your hairstyle, wardrobe, or friends and interests to better suit their vision of who you are, something clearly is amiss. In the same way, love your partner for all they are and not in spite of it. No two people are the same, and trying to force someone into a narrow mold is unfair to both sides in the relationship. You cannot be yourself and someone else’s version of yourself at the same time.
Independence in a relationship ensures that you live your life your own way and freedom in a relationship ensures that you remain grounded at the same time. This helps you be who you want to be without judgment or criticism and thus makes you emotionally stronger and mature while still nurturing the child within you.
8) Much more peace in the relationship
If we are able to completely depend on ourselves, we can focus more on creating happiness and self-love. With no scapegoats to blame for issues that occur in our lives, we shift our concentration from getting angry or sad to improving our lives and finding our passions. This is instrumental in keeping peace in a relationship.
When you do not play the ‘blame-game’, you stand more of a chance of seeing situations clearly and accepting your fault if there is any. This ensures proper communication between couples and fewer fights or unnecessary drama which ensures more peace within the relationship.
9) You don’t lose sight of your dreams
Dreams define us. They make us what we are and give us something to strive for. Just because you enter a relationship with someone does not mean you should sacrifice your dreams for them. In fact, the exact opposite is true. A truly good, loving relationship is based upon both parties having dreams and desires within and outside the relationship.
Conversely, a good partner is someone who is willing to allow his or her partner their dreams without nay-saying or ridiculing them. Knowing mutual support is available if it is needed and the understanding that both partners need space to strive for their dreams is the hallmark of a strong relationship.
Ultimately, your dreams are an integral part of who you are. Losing independence in a relationship is scary, and then gradually becomes toxic. If your partner insists that your dream should take a back-seat to what they want, it is time to reevaluate whether this person is really someone you want to be with.
10) You have more to contribute to someone else when you are whole
The feeling of being whole — feeling comfortable as your own unique self — is an incredible, beautiful and powerful tool we can use to improve our lives, as well as the lives of our loved ones.
Think of it like this: You have a beautiful, full pitcher of homemade lemonade. You pour a tall, ice-cold glass for yourself and the sweet drink reaches the brim. Now, you’re able to share this with others.
It may seem selfish at first, but balancing independence in a relationship ensures your own happiness. It will empower you to do whatever is necessary to make yourself happy. You will then be able to do the same for the people around you. Thereafter, you’ll be able to boost someone else’s happiness because your underlying positivity will glow on the people you love and support. If you are not one confident and looking for independence in a relationship, you will miss out on exploring so many other sides that can invest in a healthier life together.
Doesn’t it seem like independence in a committed relationship isn’t a myth?
What is your opinion about independence in a relationship? Let us know your thoughts! If you love your partner but have been looking for a way to communicate this one issue, then feel free to share this write-up with them. It may speak to your loved one and convey what you are unable to!
Stay subscribed to www.lovesmitten.com, because we have a lot of interesting stuff coming up this month centered around our theme “Independence in Love.”