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The Importance of Individuality in a Relationship

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Within the American culture, there is a strong belief that that romantic relationships complete us. Fairy Tales as well as popular songs tell us that the sun will shine brighter when we find our mate, all of our problems will dissolve into thin air, and we will live happily ever after. This is what I refer to as the "Disney" version of love. It is akin to our adolescent dream of a relationship that will complete us and provide a life time of euphoria which we feel at the sign of first or early love. 
 
While it's normal to feel intoxicated when we fall in love, over time we naturally return to our more individualized states. Doing so is a natural and healthy shift in a relationship.  I see many couples who struggle with finding the balance between connection and individuality.  Too much closeness often leads to codependency and an inability to learn and grow on our own.  Too much distance often leads to arguments, and in extreme cases infidelity, which are unconscious forms of protest over too much separation.
 
If you find yourself feeling angry or resentful because your partner isn't paying enough attention to you, it may be time for you to find more interests as well. Research shows that couples who have separate interests often have stronger marriages.  Don't let the presence or attention of your guy define how feel about yourself.  If your guy is spending time on something that brings them joy, encourage it and find the things that bring you joy as well.
 
Think back to a time when you were younger and more independent.  What did you love to do?  Dance, spend time with friends, exercise, read? Did you have interests and hobbies that you've let go of? Whatever you liked to do then, try doing that now and see how it feels. Think of dreams you had as a child and begin to incorporate some of those dreams into your life today.

As you become more joyful, you'll forget about being resentful towards your partner because you feel so much better about yourself. When two people are happy in their own lives, their relationship becomes much more dynamic and alive.  While it may seem counter intuitive to be away from your partner when you miss him, sometimes it can't be helped.  Rather than feeling rejected or abandoned, step up for yourself and fill your time with fun, nurturing activities.  Take responsibility for your emotional needs. You'll be amazed at how good it feels!
 
 
 

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