How To Maintain Your Independence in a Relationship

Being in love is one of the most spectacular feelings in the world, but it is easy to get so blinded by date nights and couple time that some you end up neglecting the person you need to take care of the most: you!

Not only is setting aside time for yourself and your interests important to staying healthy and happy, but it is important for keeping your relationship healthy and happy, too. If you are looking to make a long term relationship last, making your well-being and self-sufficiency a priority is crucial from the start. Whether you are taking time to go out for drinks with friends or setting aside time every week to do something alone. Check out our favorite ways to schedule some much needed you-time.

Focus on Your Hobbies

Remember all of the things you loved doing before you were a couple, like taking painting classes or volunteering at the animal shelter? You should keep doing those things! Your hobbies and interests are important to maintaining your personality, something that your S.O. fell in love with in the first place. Even if you can only pencil in your favorite hobbies once a week or once every few weeks, having this time set aside for yourself will help your life feel balanced.

Make Time for Friends

One of the biggest mistakes people make when entering a relationship is spending little or no time with their friends. Sure, your guy is great and if you could spend every minute with him you would, but your friends are also pretty great. Let’s face it, spending too much time with anyone is a sure fire way for them to get on your nerves. Connecting with friends will help keep the other important relationships in your life strong while helping you not put too much strain on your love life. When you’re out with your friends, make sure to put the phone down. Being out with friends and constantly texting your boyfriend about what you are doing and how much you miss him is essentially like being with him instead of the people you’re currently with.

Put It On the Schedule

With a new relationship, a career, friends, family, and other obligations to juggle, it is perfectly normal to not be putting yourself first. That being said, just because life gets hectic doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make time for your interests, it actually means that it is even more important to give yourself enough time to do what makes you happy. If this sounds like you, make sure to physically pencil your plans into your calendar, so you have no choice but to schedule the rest of your life around them. This will keep you from constantly scheduling over your own plans and make sure that you have as much time as you feel you need to be alone.

Turn Tasks into Alone Time

This is especially important if you are living with your S.O., because sharing a living space can make it even harder to get time to yourself. Instead of doing everything together, choose some tasks that you like or don’t mind, like grocery shopping or running errands, and do them alone. This is a great way to spend time with yourself and your own thoughts while getting things checked off of your to-do list.

Communicate Your Needs

Communication is key to a healthy relationship, so if your partner is feeling neglected or if you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, be sure to talk about it together. Chances are that your guy would also benefit from some time alone, and will be willing to do whatever makes you happy. Remember, you are not doing things without each other because you are sick of each other. You are simply doing this to keep yourself, and your relationship, healthy and happy.

Realize Co-Dependency is Unhealthy

We see way too many messages in society and media about our significant other “completing us” or being our “other half.” We’re here to tell you that you’re totally, utterly, and absolutely complete already -all on your own. A healthy relationship is one that allows individuality and maintaining a sense of one’s own identity.  Being attached at the hip for everything is co-dependent and suffocating to your healthy ability to be alone. Realize that you give away your power in life when you begin depending on someone else. You may find sometimes in relationships partners will try to get their partner emotionally and financially dependent on them. Whether they realize this or not, it’s about control and power. This is why it’s important to always carry your own weight (both emotionally and financially) in relationships because independence equals power. The power to control your own life and leave if you need to. A women with her own money and her own life can do whatever she wants, when she wants.

The harsh reality is all relationships end; whether by death or breaking up. You have one person in this world that will never leave your side, and that is you.  Do not forget about that person in a relationship, because when you’re taking care of yourself and at your best, you’re the best to everyone around you, too.



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Brooke Schuldt

Brooke Schuldt is a freelance writer interested in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and feminism topics. Her work has been featured on various print and online outlets, including Parents Magazine,, Ed2010, and Deux Hommes. When Brooke is not focusing on her magazine career goals, she can be found knitting, teaching herself French, or updating her personal blog. Her bucket list includes traveling around the world, a shopping spree at Kate Spade, and writing a New York Times Bestseller.

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