Living in a close relationship with your special someone is invigorating, exciting and fun. Maybe you’ve heard this described as, “when two become one.” But this isn’t the whole picture.
In reality, a healthy relationship is made up of two mentally strong people. They each lead independent lives and have the desire and ability share their lives as well.
These are a few of the reasons why this balance of separateness and togetherness is important:
1. Independence makes the relationship more intellectually stimulating. If each party brings his or her individual interests to the table, they’ll have some fascinating and different subjects to talk about with one another.
* Perhaps he’s interested in kayaking and she’s intrigued with studying history. They can each engage their own pursuits fully, but also enjoy the other person’s passion.
2. You can depend on your partner for support when you need it. If each partner is independent, each one is comfortable depending on the other when the going gets tough or when life gets hectic. A relationship is, in essence, a partnership. Knowing you can count on the other person is wonderfully supportive.
* Having confidence that your partner can “be okay” without you while you’re at work or otherwise engaged relieves you of having to worry about how your partner will manage in challenging situations.
* Relationships do have an ebb and flow that requires that one partner lean on the other occasionally.
3. Two independent people in a relationship can mean a more balanced relationship. When you’re both independent, the relationship is healthier. Nobody is exclusively relegated to a specific role.
* When balance isn’t present, one partner might take the role of “the strong one” in the relationship while the other partner is consequently “the weak one.” Equilibrium in the relationship means no one partner is more or less powerful than the other.
4. Your relationship becomes stronger. When two independent people make a decision to have a relationship, their time with each other is more special and sacred. Even though a sense of independence is important for each partner, being willing to share with the other what you love to do is a great way to spend quality time together.
* Bringing independence to your relationship promises a deeper, more lasting partnership, since it’s built on acceptance of each other as a whole human being.
5. A sense of independence makes you more emotionally secure. This works for and benefits both partners.
* If a partner is emotionally secure, they’re not afraid to show their strength and their softer side at the same time.
* Each person’s sense of independence can help facilitate more openness and honesty in the partnership. No matter what you say or do, you know that your mate will ultimately be okay, since their independence already shows that they’re able to take care of themselves.
* When you come together at the end of the day, maybe one is tired or bored. The other can step in and revive the other or bring some ideas to the table.
* Neither partner will feel threatened by their mate’s autonomy and sense of personal strength and emotional security.
Partners in a relationship will enjoy a much deeper, longer lasting connection when they each have a sense of independence. Bringing up different interests for discussion, feeling like you can depend on the other and having a balanced relationship all stem from both parties having their own sense of autonomy.
For these reasons and more, independence is integral to healthy relationships.