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How To: Stay Independent in Your Relationship

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Posted by Girls Guide To on July 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

While there’s no “I” in “team,” there is an “I” in “relationship,” and sometimes it’s good to take that “I” out of there every now and then. Couple and relationship therapists have long said the key to a great, stable relationship is that both people need to maintain a healthy amount of independence. And men definitely find strong, confident, independent women super sexy.

But it’s not just good for your relationship. Be independent and you'll live a richer life. Why? Because you'll not always be thinking about your every move to make sure he's there to hold your hand. And by not always mentally editing your actions, thoughts and feelings to make sure he “approves,” you'll have more inner confidence too.

You'll also have a better relationship because no man wants a clingy, dependent woman. Just like you would run far away from a clingy man! He wants a partner with her own ideas, her own passions, her own life; someone who stays because she cares, not because she’s scared of being alone. The bottom line is that while too much is a bad sign, some interdependence is vital in love.

It’s not always easy to strike a balance when in the throes of a new romance, but here are some tips on how to stay independent:

Don’t Forget about You

Remember who you are, especially your likes, dislikes and hobbies so you can keep them up when you are in a relationship. Yes, common ground and interests are important with your significant other. Equally important though, are the things that make you, you. If he doesn't share these, there's no need to abandon them; if they fulfill you, keep them in your life.

Get Away

It's great to be together but 24/7 bonding creates dependence. A short trip every once in a while with friends or family will give you a bit of a relationship break. Nothing like a few days to help with perspective and when you get back, you’ll feel refreshed.

Be More Self-Reliant

Don't ask your man to do things you're unsure about, whether it be changing a plug, calling room service or challenging a rude waiter. Bite the bullet, and even if you fall flat the first time, it will reinforce your idea of yourself, and his idea of you, as an effective and independent woman.

Keep Your Friendships Up

These are so often the first area to go when a new relationship starts to heat up. At some point, you’ll need your friends to vent with or to laugh with so try to keep up regularly with them. Arrange a night once or twice a month and stick to it. You’ll end up having a different kind of fun.

Project Yourself as Independent

When with others, make an effort to say “I” instead of “we.” Offer your own point of view rather than letting him speak for both of you. Fix work and social arrangements without always checking back with him first.

Follow Your Dreams

Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean your goals come second. Don’t forget what you want to accomplish in life and avoid continually putting another person’s needs/attention before your own. Why not try bungee jumping, public speaking or even a fire walk?

How do you maintain your independence?

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