The Secret To Long Lasting Relationships Revealed

In the throes of new relationship, there is a tendency for one partner to slowly lose their identity; however, this is what will cause problems. Interdependence is key to avoiding this!

A new relationship is extremely exciting—especially in the early honeymoon stages. Everything your partner does is amazing, and you want to spend every waking moment with him or her.

While this feels great in the moment, it also creates a tendency for one person to give up parts of him or herself.

It is natural to change as your relationship grows, but sometimes people stop spending time with their friends or family, neglect hobbies they used to participate in wholly or simply stop having alone time.

This can eventually lead to many issues and, potentially, even a breakup. The “giver” may become frustrated with the other person or may feel suffocated while the “receiver” may seem confused by this resentment.

So, how do you avoid this and maintain a healthy relationship with your partner in the long-term?

Interdependence is the key, according to psychology. Basically, this refers to the idea of two people intertwining their lives, but simultaneously ensuring that they maintain their own identity.

They support and build each other up, but are also sufficient on their own. Psych Central offers a great article related to this, and explains the concept in more depth.

So, how do you develop interdependency as a couple without being entirely independent? How do you ensure that you are not becoming co-dependent? Here are some tips for success!

Schedule alone time

Close friends sitting together and laughing

Regardless of whether you and your partner live together or not, you will always need time on your own. It is also important to note that every person is different in regard to what constitutes alone time for them.

Have a conversation about this, discuss your different points of view and figure out how to make them work.

For example, my partner enjoys solitude in his home. I find that even just having a girls’ night out for a few hours, or coffee and writing on my own for an evening is sufficient, and I feel rejuvenated afterwards.

There is nothing wrong with either of these, but we recognize that we are different that way. Accordingly, we make allowances for the other’s needs by having two nights during the week where my partner can be on his own for the evening, and I make plans outside of my home with my girlfriends or on my own.

Plan “date nights” or have activities that you do together

It is important to have time alone, but your relationship will not grow or progress if you do not make time for each other. To make sure you spend adequate time together, first discuss the amount of time you would feel comfortable spending with your partner.

It is normal for one person to want to spend more time together than the other. Do not feel bad about this!

Plan “date nights” in this block of time. Perhaps you enjoy going out for a meal together, so plan to do this on one of the days. Go to a movie, an art gallery or watch a sporting event. If you are on a budget, you can have an at-home movie night, or cook a meal together.

Another alternative is to have certain activities you do together weekly. There may be a weekly television show you enjoy watching together, or you may like hitting the gym or exercising together.

You may also choose to try things with your partner that neither of you have done before. You can take dance lessons or a cooking class together. Studies indicate that by doing so, even in a marriage, you will have a better relationship.

Spend time with each other’s friends and family

Happy family portrait in Santa monica

Alone time is just as crucial as spending time together as a couple, but it is also important that you spend time with the important members of each other’s lives. Sometimes, our friends and family may see things in our partners that we turn a blind eye to.

Perhaps we are in denial about an addiction or anger issue that may be clear to our friends.

This is also part of intertwining your lives with each other. Your friends and family are part of your life for a reason, so, if you are to remain together, you need to make an effort to get to know the important individuals in each other’s lives.

In turn, you should want your friends and family to get to know your partner if you are serious about them.

Maintain your own hobbies

To maintain your identity separate from your partner, it is very important to have your own hobbies. You may enjoy painting or dancing. They may enjoy playing a team sport. Set aside time to do these things on your own, whether in your scheduled alone time or not.

These activities will help you to decompress and feel good about yourself. By maintaining your own hobbies, you are continuing to develop your interests, which will help you as you age.

This will also help to increase your comfort with being alone, which can be a struggle for some people, typically those who are extroverted.

It is vital to take an interest in your partner, but also to look after yourself and your needs. In a healthy relationship, you should feel comfortable expressing what you require in order to be the best version of yourself you can be.

Your partner should never criticize you about this or make you feel bad. If they do this intentionally, perhaps it is time to call it quits.

Communication is very important to establish interdependence, but once you can put this into play, you will find your relationship will blossom and reach potentials you never thought possible.

Do you feel that your relationship is healthy? Have you established interdependence with your partner? How do you maintain your independence while ensuring that you and your partner have time together?

About the author

Lisa H.

Lisa is versatile, being a Psychology-trained addictions worker by day, writer by night. She enjoys traveling, dance, & can squat her body weight. Her dream is to integrate her education & love of writing into a sustaining career.

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