4 Ways to Maintain Your Independence in a Serious Relationship
posted on October 15, 2018 | by Heather Bien
Coupledom is wonderful. You have a partner in crime. Someone with whom you can share your big dreams and those small everyday moments. However, that doesn’t mean that your entire being should become wrapped up within your identity as an “us.” Maintaining your independence in a long-term relationship is essential to both your own well-being and your happiness as a couple.
We’ve so often heard over the years that your significant other will complete you – that two halves make a whole. But, as independent thirty-something women, we know that’s 100% not the case. You are a complete person before you meet your partner and you’ll remain one after. Here are 4 ways to maintain your independence in a committed long-term relationship.
Schedule Time with Your Friends
Maybe it’s because you’ve all entered into serious relationships, or maybe it’s just a casualty of 30 year old hangovers. But, gone are the days when it was assumed that you and your closest friends would go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights… with a boozy brunch on Sunday to recap it all. Now, it’s up to you to schedule time with your friends to make sure that you actually see them. Set up that girls’ wine night or book a group cooking class – and encourage your significant other to do the same!
Make Time For Yourself
Introvert or not, we can all use some alone time to relax and recharge. I’m sure many of us in long-term relationships know the bliss of a night to yourself at home. You draw a bubble bath, read a book, maybe even tackle some productive projects around the house. Having that time to spend with your thoughts is so essential to maintaining your sense of self. So, carve out that time whether it’s in the early morning, late at night, or on an evening when your partner is out friends. Resist the temptation to call a friend and just enjoy a few hours with your own company.
Cultivate Your Own Hobbies
You and your significant other may have shared hobbies – and that’s amazing! There’s nothing better than a weekend spent hiking, cooking, or traveling together. It’s likely part of what brought you two close in the first place. However, you also want to cultivate your own hobbies. Things you can do when your partner is out of town for the weekend, or even when you just need an afternoon apart. Whether it’s painting, reading, or yoga, hold on to the activities that will remain solely your own.
Stand Up for Your Own Beliefs
We’re all familiar with chameleons – those people who change their politics, their appearance, their tastes and sensibilities to match whoever they’re dating at the moment (remember Runaway Bride?!). Don’t do that. It’s totally healthy to maintain your own identity and your own opinions in a relationship – it’s part of what makes it interesting to spend your days with another person! So, flex your own beliefs and stand up for your own decisions. Because you, as an independent thirty-something woman, are 100% complete as is.
Are there any other ways you find your sense of independence in a serious relationship?