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Independence and Interdependence in Relationships

Relationships play an important role in living a happy and fulfilling life. Right from the early childhood till retirement years, we establish emotional ties with our family and friends. As we pass through different phases in life, our relationships change. Some important phases in life are early childhood, young adulthood, coupling, parenting, sending away grown up children and senior years. During early childhood, a child is completely dependent on parents. A secure and happy childhood lays a strong foundation for successful relationships in later phases of life. It has been observed that children raised in stressful environment or dysfunctional family find it difficult to form healthy relationships when they grow up.

To develop and maintain happy and long lasting relationships, it is important to feel emotionally secure and physically, socially and financially independent. A unique individual identity and feeling of independence helps in developing relationships with peers outside the family.  A person with healthy self esteem and sense of unique self identity can easily bond in intimate relationships. Some qualities required for intimate relationships are commitment, compatibility and chemistry.

It is an obvious fact that, relationships require mutual understanding and adaptation. A committed union or marriage requires combining your values, expectations and outlook with that of your spouse. It is an admirable quality to put your partner’s likes and dislikes before your own. However, it is essential to achieve a balance between independence and interdependence. An individual should not lose himself or herself totally in a relationship. Here are some tips to maintain a successful relationship without losing your independence.

Cultivate Quality Relationships

Both the partners do not have to remain connected with each other all the time. It is alright to have different sets of hobby or friends. You can spare some ‘me’ time and spend it with your friends or indulge in your hobbies. This helps in your personal growth and when both of you are together, you really enjoy each other’s company.

Develop effective communication

Communication is a great tool to avoid misunderstandings. Communicate about your goals and aspirations in life. Speak about your like and dislikes. Also, talk about you expectations from the relationship. Some of your ideas or expectations may not be possible to achieve, but some adjustments can certainly be made, so that one partner does not have to make all the sacrifices. Effective communication helps in reshaping of goals and creating new options.

Get inspired and have some common spiritual or personal development goals

Apart from nurturing your relationship, maintain common spiritual or other self development goals. As time passes, sexual intimacy and passion subsides in a marriage. Inspiration and higher goals motivate you to experience happiness and fulfillment in life. Include your parents, in-laws and other relatives in your life. Strong family ties create healthy support system. Involvement with community and philanthropic work creates a feeling of satisfaction.

By exploring personal interests and career aspirations, maintaining physical and emotional health, getting involved with extended family and community, you can successfully maintain independence in your relationship and at the same time you can strengthen your most significant relationship in life.

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