I wanted to write a few thoughts this morning on the importance of individuality in relationships.
We often hear or use phrases like “other half”, or “becoming one” when talking about relationships. It conjures up the image or idea that in a relationship, we are both two parts of a whole. That might sound romantic, and you might feel that it shows how as a couple, you can be unified, working together as a team and sharing your lives together. And of course there’s nothing wrong with feeling so connected with your partner that you have a strong sense of unity or completeness.
However, there is also a strong case for having a separateness in a relationship too. And by separateness I don’t mean disconnection. What I mean by separateness, or individuality, is the sense that you can each be independent individuals in your own right, with your own ideas, thoughts, interests, friendship groups, and so on, and still maintain a strong, secure connection. Connection with your partner and individuality are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, the more anchored you feel in your relationship, the more you will feel able to each explore the world around you independently, knowing that you will be there for each other whenever you need to be.
Even though some things in Nature look very similar, everything is unique and special in its own way. Each leaf from the same tree has the same features but are not identical to each other, just as each of us have our own fingerprints.
So next time you find yourself:-
- feeling guilty for wanting to spend some time on your own
- worrying that your partner wants to spend some time alone
- worrying that yours and your partner’s interests don’t match
- having a different viewpoint or way of seeing things from your partner
– just remember that it is normal and in itself does not have to mean disconnection from your partner.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this, so please feel free to post your comments below.
And remember – maintain your relationship to watch it thrive!
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