To be independent is partly defined as ‘thinking or acting for oneself.’ What does this look like in relationships? I acknowledge it is hard to find the balance in being deeply connected though separate. As I think about relationships, especially in a marriage, I reflect on where there is space, or space that can be made, for independence:
- Independence can be fostered by having your own friends. Practice taking time to plan things with just you and your friends.
- Independence can look like having separate hobbies and interests. Your ideal day might involve being outdoors, while he or she would rather watch a movie.
- Independence might involve having different opinions and beliefs. Just because you are connected, does not mean you have to adopt each other’s views.
Most of all, when seeking independence in relationships, remind yourself that you are you and that is adequate. You are not defined as attached to someone else.
Written by Caroline Racher