Sharing your life with someone you love is great. You have a constant partner in crime, you support each other through highs and lows, and you share responsibilities. Being somewhat codependent is part of any long-term relationship, but it’s important to have your own independence, too. If you feel like you’ve become fully dependent on your partner, rather than just receiving support from them, try some of these tips to regain your independence and strike a better balance between living your own life and sharing it with your partner.
Method 1 Method 1 of 10:Create more boundaries.
Be honest with yourself about how codependent you want to be. Signs of too much codependence can include fears of abandonment, an obsessive need for approval from your partner, and low self-esteem. If you feel like you’re too codependent, sit down with your partner and discuss it. If you live together, schedule time to be apart. If you don’t live together, pick some days of the week that you want to be just for you.
- For example, maybe you’ve only been seeing your partner for a few months now, but you’re spending every night together. If it feels like too much, try setting a limit of spending weekends and 1 night during the week together every week.
- Or, if you live together, you could decide on 1-2 hours a night to spend time in separate rooms and decompress from the day.
- Having boundaries also helps prevent resentment in a relationship, which can really help make it last!
Method 2 Method 2 of 10:Spend more time alone.
Being able to spend time alone helps you feel more independent. It also gives you time to relax and connect with yourself. Take some time to just be by yourself at home and think, reflect, read, journal, or whatever else makes you feel good. Or, go out and do something that you love by yourself.
- For example, you could go for a run by yourself through a nearby park every day to get some quality time alone with yourself and your thoughts.
- Or, you could sit in a sunny corner of your home with a good book and a cup of tea for 1 hour a day to unwind by yourself.
Method 3 Method 3 of 10:Do separate social activities.
This gives you time to switch yourself off from relationship mode. Go out for dinner with friends once a week without your partner. Or, meet up with friends from work for happy hour on Fridays before you go see your significant other.
- You can also spend time with family on your own. For example, if you have siblings that live nearby, go over to their house once a week to catch up and spend some quality family time without your partner.
Method 4 Method 4 of 10:Maintain personal projects.
Do something you love that’s only for you. Personal projects can be hobbies, learning a new skill, or launching an entrepreneurial pursuit. If you stopped doing something you’re passionate about at some point during your relationship, pick it back up again and make time in your schedule to do that by yourself.
- For example, maybe you used to paint in your free time, but you gradually stopped doing it when your significant other came into your life. Take up painting again and make time to do it in the evenings or on weekends.
- Encourage your partner to pursue their own personal projects, too. That way you can both share the cool things you’re working on with each other and create an encouraging, supportive environment to do them in.
Method 5 Method 5 of 10:Set personal goals.
Having your own goals to work towards is crucial to being your own person. These could be financial, fitness, educational, professional, or travel goals. Share your goals with your partner, but don’t rely on them for support to accomplish them.
- A good romantic partner should encourage you to pursue all your goals. If your partner is not supportive of you having your own personal goals, you might want to reevaluate the healthiness of your relationship.
Method 6 Method 6 of 10:Prioritize your needs.
It’s easy to overlook yourself when you’re in a serious relationship. Personal needs can be mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Identify your needs and find ways to meet them independently of your partner.
- For example, if you’re feeling out of shape, sign up for some aerobics classes or join a gym to get back on track with your fitness goals.
- Or, if you are feeling lonely, make time to call your family and friends every day.
- Looking after your partner’s needs is great, but don’t let it get in the way of yours.
Method 7 Method 7 of 10:Practice being assertive.
Develop your ability to tell your partner what you want or don’t want. The next time your partner asks you to tag along for an errand or a social activity that you don’t feel like going to, practice saying no. Or, practice making it more clear to your partner when you really want to do certain activities or when certain things are really important to you.
- For example, if your partner always chooses the restaurants you eat at on Friday nights, start picking the restaurant once or twice a month.
- Or, if you always say yes to watching football with your partner, but you really don’t care for the sport, explain to them that you’d rather let them go do that with their friends and use the time to do something by yourself.
Method 8 Method 8 of 10:Keep your finances separate if you want.
Financial independence can be a big part of feeling independent. If you’re serious about being in a long-term relationship with your partner, sit down and talk about finance with them. Make it clear that it’s important for you to maintain your own bank accounts and be financially independent from them in order for you to feel good about yourself and your relationship.
- It’s totally okay if you want to make a joint bank account that you both put money into for things like vacations or home expenses! However, you may still want to keep the majority of the money you need for living and personal expenses separate to feel more independent.
Method 9 Method 9 of 10:Take a solo vacation.
Traveling alone is a great way to connect with yourself. Instead of waiting for you and your partner’s schedules to align to take a vacation together, book one for yourself! Go on that backpacking trip across Europe you’ve been dreaming of or head to an all-inclusive beach resort for some pampering and relaxation.
- Being apart while you’re on vacation also gives you and your partner time to miss each other. The romance is bound to feel more intense when you get back!
Method 10 Method 10 of 10:Work with a therapist if you’re struggling.
If you think you might have codependency issues, a therapist can help. Find a therapist who specializes in relationships. Talk with them about how you’re feeling and try to discover where your lack of independence is stemming from. They can help you come up with additional strategies for becoming more independent in your relationship.Internet Explorer Channel Network