Don’t Stop Being Independent Because You’re in a Relationship

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Love, especially new love, can be a rush. It becomes an all-consuming part of our lives as our infatuation and connection to our significant other deepens. This emotional response is not a bad thing by any means, and while you should absolutely embrace your newfound love, you should also be sure to remember that you are important as an individual as well.

This isn’t to say that it is your fault or your partner’s fault for me becoming we – that is a very important perspective to have in a relationship sometimes. Me doesn’t always have to be we, though. You and your partner aren’t going to agree on everything or have the exact same interests — and that is absolutely okay. You shouldn’t lose the part of yourself that makes you who you are just because you love someone else.

It’s important to remember that being independent doesn’t mean being distant. You can be as affectionate or loving as you want, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment together or share the exact same thoughts. With that being said, compromises will be made throughout a relationship, but no compromise should be as big as fundamentally changing who you are.

You can’t expect your significant other to satisfy every social need or to participate in every interest you have. There is no written rule saying that because you are in a relationship you need to do everything together and go everywhere together. There will probably be things that each of you want to do that the other doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them!

You should never abandon your hobbies or interests that you are passionate about for another person — and you should never expect someone to abandon theirs for you. Real love often takes form in the way of support for another person. You can be independent in the things you do, but you can still warmly welcome support — and offer support in return — from that one special someone in your life.

In a new relationship, the infatuation levels are very high and almost seem to be constantly rising. You may find yourself thinking about that person often, leading to the urge to text them all the time, but just hold on a minute before you send that text. Of course it’s okay to text them sometimes, but it is important that you spend some time on your own, too. Spend time doing something you enjoy, completely unreserved, no guilt necessary. Plus, by spending some of your time not texting that person, you’ll have some fun things to talk about when you do see them!

One other very important thing to think about is your friends — you know, those people who have been in your life for years? The ones who have listened to all of your troubles and shared so many memories and who care about you despite your strange quirks? It’s very important not to forget about those people. Sure, you won’t see them as much as you did when you were single, and you will spend a lot of time with your partner, but that shouldn’t mean that you never see your friends. Introduce your friends to that special person in your life, and meet their friends, too! It’s easy to neglect friends — especially because they’re going to love you unconditionally no matter what — but don’t take advantage of that!

The bottom line is that when you enter a relationship, the dynamics of your life begin to change. While this is a very positive change — and it is an exciting time of learning about someone in a very close and loving way — it doesn’t mean that you should disappear. You are important, your partner is important, and the best part of each and every one of us is our individuality and the love and support that we show for the ones who we care about most.

 

A graduate of SUNY Oneonta with a BS in Biology, and a current Master's of Public Health student at the University at Buffalo. Seanna Pratt is an aspiring writer who hopes to find her home someday in a big city. You can often find her writing in coffee shops or at home binge watching her latest TV obsession. Feel free to ask her anything! Contact: seanna@germmagazine.com

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