Independence In Relationships

Too often young men throw themselves head first into a new love and forget any semblance of maintaining a healthy independence in relationships.

Forget everything you have heard in love songs about two becoming one (the Spice Girls are to blame). Two don't become one.

In a healthy relationship two individuals should overlap but maintain their own sense of self, with some sharing in the middle. Much more like a venn diagram.

If you don't do this right from the start, very quickly you will lose yourself and your friends and family will start to wonder who you are becoming. Everyone will know what is happening except you, because you will have been blinded by love sickness.

When you wake up from your trance, whether it be weeks, months or years down the line, you will be disgusted that you allowed yourself to disappear into one amorphous blob with your significant other. It's embarrassing.

Trust me it's not cute or fun. It's destructive. You need to maintain boundaries and keep a degree of independence in relationships. Learn the lesson early in life and you will be just fine.

Don't Depend On Her For Your Wellbeing

You and you alone are responsible for your wellbeing. She is responsible for hers. Naturally you should try and pick each other up when feeling down but ultimately it is up to the individual to maintain their own happiness.

If you are a complete wuss and wail to yourself that "life isn't complete without her" then you are setting yourself up for failure. Life is complete without her, it's just better with her. But you cannot depend on her for your wellbeing and happiness.

A good relationship is a bonus in life, it is not the be all and end all. You won't die if she leaves, no matter how many 80s love songs you listen to.

She Should Not Be Your Number One Priority

Your number one priority is number one. You.

I don't mean this in a selfish way. You should always give selflessly to your partner as she should to you. What I mean is that the relationship is one aspect of your life, not your only aspect. You have to maintain an appropriate balance between relationship, family, friends, career, hobbies, fitness etc.

Of course your relationship is going to be right up there in terms of priorities, but at the end of the day you are only in the relationship because you get something out of it. Your happiness is your number one goal. You shouldn't stay in an unhappy relationship, so that means happiness trumps relationship.

Take your girlfriend off the pedestal and give yourself a dose of reality.

Maintain Separation

Healthy relationships do not share everything, but have a reasonable degree of separation. Not all your friends, hobbies and activities need to be shared.

Go out with your own friends, do your own things in your free time. Watch different movies, listen to different music.

Even take weekends apart from time to time. Your lives should have significant overlap but you should still be living your own life, not two people sharing one existence.

Keep Up Your Health And Fitness

This is one of the first things to go south when a naive young man tries to fuse himself into one being with a woman.

While it can be fun to work out with your significant other, make sure you get some decent alone time at the gym, pounding the streets or playing sport. This is an excellent way to clear your head, as well as making sure you have some separation in your life. Heavy deadlifts are something best done without the woman hanging around.

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