As we celebrate Nigeria Independence, I guess it is fair enough for us to bring in the conversation of independence in our relationships – There is a need to be more independent and less dependent.
The dependency, in this case, is not about money, but more about not being overly reliant on your partner thereby living an entirely co-dependent life. There are certain people co-dependency work for, but for some, it brings boredom and a feeling of being suffocated and losing self.
It is very important to have independence in your relationship – time for self, space to think, and space for growth. Form a type of bond which helps you grow together and also independently. It also means that your significant other trusts your sense of judgement and being, enough to be apart and make great decisions.
Decisions that would ordinarily not harm the bond. Below are five ways to be independent of your partner. But like I always say, there is no one size fits all when it comes to relationships. What worked for your friend may not necessarily work for you. It is advisable to have these conversations with your partner to understand what they want, need and expect.
What are your core values? What are you passionate about? What are the beliefs you hold dear? What are your point of views on personal, corporate and social issues? Are they based on facts or feelings?
Are they cast in stone or can a better argument change them? Are you empathetic? What makes you tick? It’s okay to say your relationship or the love you have for your partner makes her happy. But it is imperative to find life beyond your significant order.
Have hobbies you indulge alone. Build a life that does not revolve around him or her. As humans, we naturally want to be attached and it is not a bad thing, but re-examining and understanding yourself will help you find interesting things to engage in and sometimes, spice your relationship.
As cliche as this sounds, many do not love themselves. And sometimes, loving oneself comes with a level of vulnerability. Being able to let go of all the baggage and hurt. Being open enough to share your fears and worries.
We can say that most people are open to the idea of self-love and are willing to go on this journey but many aren’t there yet. Sometimes it takes the help of friends, family and even your significant other to help achieve this great deal of peace.
Solve Your Problems
A relationship comprises of two imperfect people who have decided to work towards perfection. And there is no standard for this – You define your perfection. Understanding that communication and sincere decision to put in the work is all you need, will go a long way.
Let no one tell you it is not achievable. The only problem is the fact that you cannot decide for two, and it cannot work if it is one-sided. However, you can start from your own end by knowing that your partner cannot solve your problems and you have to solve them yourself. He or she might help, it is not wrong to expect their help, but solely understand that you are your own responsibility and liability. Together you are strong but individually, you should be whole.
Ironic right? Why come together to build a perfect relationship if you cannot depend on each other. Sometimes, being too independent reflects a fear of dependence or commitment. Your partner will always feel left out and not considered.
There will be discomfort and compromise, but how you communicate and what you say to make your partner understand how much you appreciate their compromise is the key to a lasting relationship. ‘Babe, I know you would rather be with your friends than go on a date with me but I appreciate you doing this and I would love for you to choose”.
Let him or her know they are needed and loved. Balance is the key to living a happy life and growing a good relationship. Each partner must put the relationship first; put your partner’s emotions and wellbeing first.
In being independent, it is important to not give room for doubt. Assure your partner of your commitment to the relationship and be open about what you are up to. You don’t shut your partner out because you want some solitude and space.
He or she can be in the same building with you but because you need at the moment is understood, you are allowed to enjoy your space apart. Don’t use this as an excuse for secrecy. Unfaithfulness and secrecy are very different from solitude and privacy.
Have the capacity to be your own person while also being concerned about your partner’s well being. If you are all about you and not interested in your partners’ happiness, then it reflects your insecurity.
By Elsie Godwin