It’s fantastic being in a relationship, especially if it is your first. However, a lot of people (especially girls) tend to get so lost in their relationships that they often forget they have a life beyond their partners. They end up being unhealthily dependent on their partners, and more often than not, that ends p destroying their relationships.
This is why it is important to know how to be independent in a relationship, so that both you and your partner can be happy with each other.
10 Quick Tips to Help You Be Independent in a Relationship
Understand your needs and feelings first
It’s fantastic that you want to learn about how to be independent in a relationship. And the first step for you in this journey would be to understand the difference between independence and codependency. If you’re confused, here’s a simple example to help clear things up:
Independence: Taking care of all the bills yourself
Normal/Preferred: Splitting the bills between you and your partner
Codependence: Expecting her or him to pay all your bills
So now, take out a pen and a sheet of paper, and write down every activity of yours that is dependent on your partner. Can you do it on your own? If yes, then achieve those activities little by little on your own. Sure, it will be difficult in the beginning, but then again, there’s not much in life that comes easy. And if it’s easy, it’s seldom worth it, right?
Accept your flaws
Look. Every human being on the planet is flawed – including those super hot supermodels you see on the big screen. If you don’t like something about yourself, make an effort to change it. And if you can’t, then accept it. Criticizing yourself and being constantly harsh on yourself is going to make you insecure. And when you’re insecure, you will always be in the need for one person or the other to depend on.
Start hanging out with your friends
If your friendships suffered because of your relationship, it’s time to mend those bonds. To work on how to be independent in a relationship, you need to have several people in your life you can trust and depend on, not just one. Don’t let that one person be the center of your universe. Your world is much bigger than that and all you need to do is prove it to yourself.
Get in shape
To nobody’s surprise, having a fit body leads to increased levels of self confidence and self esteem. So if you’re finding it difficult to work on your emotional troubles, don’t worry. Work on your physical self first, especially if you’re overweight. Go to the gym, eat healthy and stick to your schedule. The sooner you look better, the lesser you will need to depend on your partner for validation of your self-worth.
Learn to be alone
Maybe the reason you’re so dependent on your partner is because you hate being alone. Well, guess what? By being in the life of your partner 24x7, you’re pushing your relationship into becoming unhealthy and toxic. And such relationships don’t last. Learn to spend time by yourself. Begin with an hour, and then if possible, extend that time period to a couple of days. It’s a slow process and difficult, but it’s worth it.
Don’t place too much importance on your relationship
I mean, it’s important, but…that’s it. It should not be the most important thing in the entire world for you, because that would emotionally chain you to your relationship, to the point where it could develop into an unhealthy obsession. Realize your self-worth, understand you have your own identity which doesn’t involve you being in a relationship, and know that even as relationships will come and go, what shouldn’t change is your opinion of yourself as an independent person.
Let your partner do their own thing
How to be independent in a relationship isn’t just about your independence – it’s about your partner’s independence as well. The ability of two people in a relationship to be able to spend time apart from each other simply shows how secure they are in their relationship. So go ahead and encourage them to hang out more with their friends and family too.
Don’t rush things in your relationship
Especially if this is your first relationship. Don’t rush into having sex or moving in together. Take your own sweet time, because you have nothing to lose when you’re taking things slow. If anything, it encourages you to develop deeper bonds with your partner and getting to understand them as a person. Don’t let society pressure you into doing something you’re not 100% comfortable with. If it takes you one year of dating before having sex with them, so be it! It’s your first time – of course you need to prepare yourself before taking such a big step.
Develop a new hobby
Or a passion or an interest – whatever works. If it’s a class for something, that’s even better because it will force you to not only attend more classes, but to become more regular with your schedule. If that doesn’t work for you, then you can always work as a volunteer at your nearest animal shelter. Whatever it is, just make sure you’re spending time on an activity that helps you learn something new, or something that makes you happy. Or better yet, both!
Remember that there’s no shame in asking for help
Friends, family or professional help – remember that you’re not alone in this. You have people who love and support you, people who don’t want you to fail. Talk to them and discover fresher perspectives of the same situation that you’ve been stuck in a rut for a while! Remember – you don’t have to walk down the road of how to be independent in a relationship alone.