It’s no longer just about you anymore.
Everyone always says to maintain your independence in a relationship and to have your own life outside of each other. I agree with part of this. It’s important not to be completely dependent on someone else for your happiness. You still need to maintain your own sense of self.
However, now that you’re in a relationship, you will probably lose some of your independence because the truth is that you’re not single anymore. You now have someone else to consider besides just yourself. You can’t just do anything you want with no regard for your partner.
While I agree that you don’t need to be spending all of your time with each other, I do think it is important that you consistently include your partner in decisions and plans.
You should want to. There’s a reason why you decided to be with this person right? You should also want to feel involved in their life as well. Consider how you might feel if you were constantly left out of their plans or you always found out about things after the fact.
You wouldn’t feel like a priority. You wouldn’t feel special. You certainly wouldn’t feel like this relationship has any particular weight if you both don’t actively work to make each other feel included.
Once you’re in a relationship, it’s no longer just about you. Now, you’re on a team. Now you have someone that you’re choosing to do life with. Losing your independence can sound like a bad thing, but it’s really not.
All that really means is that now you have a teammate and you don’t have to do it alone. That is a great thing! Now you have someone who you know is checking in with you and looking out for you. You know that you’re being thought of and you have someone who will always be there for you.
I’m not saying you can’t keep separate friends or have your own social life outside of the relationship. It’s key to take your alone time if you need it. Being able to depend on someone doesn’t mean you can’t live without them.
By all means, maintain your individual identity, but realize that being in a relationship adds a new element to your identity. You’re now also identified as part of a couple.
You don’t lose who you were before just like parents can be parents without necessarily losing who they were before kids. Their life just changes to make room for the new addition. The same goes for being with your partner. Your life changed to make room for a committed relationship.
Knowing that you have someone else who’s counting on you for support and trust should change your mindset in a positive way. You get to consider their feelings in your choices going forward just like they consider you.
Instead of thinking of it as losing independence, consider the view of gaining a trustworthy partner. You now have someone new who you can truly depend on. Everything is easier when you have a little help.
In a healthy relationship where you both help to lift each other up, that dependency should be valued. That independence you felt as a single person shouldn’t be missed.When you’re with the right person, you shouldn’t feel like you lost anything, but instead realize that you gained everything.