Don’t Lose Yourself In Another: 12 Ways To Maintain Independence In A Relationship

by Kelly Hoffman

In a world that lacks a universal "dating rule book," it is universally agreed upon that behind every strong couple exists two strong individuals. The most compatible people are those who share interests and passions, but differ in some ways to cultivate a balance.

Before you and your main squeeze can jump to power-couple status, each partner must maintain a strong sense of self and independence.

The necessary relationship factors of communication, trust and intimacy must be consistent, but before any of those fundamentals moves to the forefront of priorities, both individuals must harness sight of their own lives.

The famous saying, “before loving another, one must love the self,” has been thrown around for years and holds a great deal of truth. Yes, you have committed yourself to someone else, but you also have a commitment to yourself.

You relied on the reflection in the mirror for years before you met this new love interest and that internal connection is important, not only to keep sight of your personal happiness, but also to allow it to flow into a strong relationship.

Take it from the awkwardness of a first date; after normally allowing a drink to socially lubricate the conversation, it’s common to plunge into basic icebreaking topics, one of which revolves around ambitions and hobbies. It’s wildly attractive to sit across from someone who is passionate about creating a successful life.

The maintenance of your own independent drive is crucial when continuing to develop a relationship. It’s common and easy to get caught up in the infatuation with each other while getting to know someone, but amidst that process, certain aspects of your personal life should remain a priority, as well.

Remember a few things while starting a relationship. Remain respectful of each other as individuals while making sure the fire from that first date stays lit throughout any length of commitment. Here's how to stay awesome individually, which will make your power-couple status skyrocket.

All hail girls'/guys' night out

Do not underestimate the power of "Bravehart" and cigars, or "Bridesmaids" and wine; girls' and guys' night should never be forgotten.

Don’t neglect your personal health

Maintain good shape and a balanced diet. Between dates at the bar or ordering Chinese takeout together, don’t forget to honor your usual health maintenance routine.

Set individual goals and reach them

You will maintain a sense of pride and accomplishment from having independent dreams. It’s important to have personal goals, and it feels good to reach them alone.

Separate work and play

Hold different jobs from each other, no matter how much time you want to spend together. Bringing a relationship into an area of professionalism is a recipe for disaster.

Maintain financial independence

Bring home your own bacon. There is no sense of security when you rely solely on your partner for financial support.

Spend time on solo hobbies

Your own interests are important and should be nurtured; they keep you unique.

Vacation your phone

You don’t need to be reachable 24/7. Put your phone down and focus on what is in front of you.

Keep your guilty pleasures

Ain’t nothing wrong with cookies in bed or stalking Kim K. Your partner's habits will sometimes differ from your own and that's okay.

Agree to disagree at times

You are entitled to your own opinions. Understand other viewpoints without sacrificing your own.

Create your own space

Behold the man cave and walk-in closet.

Treat yourself

Spend money on a spa day or fishing trip. Reward hard work; you deserve it every now and then.

Compromise without settling

Stand firm to your own morals and views. You can support one another without losing sight of your own standards.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It