Friends and media tell us about breakups where people emerge with no sense of self. Who am I now that I’m single? Healthy relationships thrive on both partners being able to maintain a clear sense of self, especially when it comes to their most fundamental needs and desires. Even knowing this, however, it’s still easy to accidentally find yourself giving more to the relationship or your partner than is ultimately sustainable.
We can wear ourselves out in relationships through the best intentions and desire, and so often it’s because we want what a loving relationship promises — love and acceptance — that we’re willing to give up our own independence and perspective in order to have it.
With this in mind, it’s important to ask — how can you maintain your independence while in a relationship?