It happens to the best of us, and before you even realize it, there is a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship when you invest your time and energy with your significant other 24/7. This in turn leads to an unhealthy co-dependent relationship. You move away from the "I's" to the "We's", and are constantly joined to the hip, much to the dismay of your friends, and in some cases even creates a rift. That is why it is necessary to be independent and self-reliant even whilst being in a relationship. Here are three sure-fire simple and easy ways to maintain your independence.
1 Some much-needed me time
Often we end up placing everyone else's needs before us, and when it gets too much, we become easily overwhelmed and the resentment builds when we're unable to meet our needs, or have our needs met. Hence, it is imperative that one takes out some time and space to unwind and relax. This could range from some good old fashioned retail therapy to some much-needed spa pampering that help you relax and rejuvenate before getting back to the grind.
2 Have your own set of friends
Remember the time before you became a couple? You had friends you called your own. But once you become a couple, your friends were shunted to the backseat. But that doesn't have to be the case. Schedule a catch-up session with your girlfriends or mates, sans your partner. Take time out to meet them and hang out with them. It could be as simple as getting a coffee and catching up to playing a game of football or basketball over the weekends, or even going away for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday.
3 Do activities that interest you
Have a particular hobby or activity that interests you, but never got around to it, or you didn't do it because your partner wasn't into it? It's not the end of the world if you and your partner have dissimilar interests. Here's your chance. Sign up for that class - be it pottery, dance, music or an art class, or groups that are into theatre or driving enthusiasts. If group activities are not your thing, then do something that does not involve your partner. It could even mean going for a walk or cycling to your neighbourhood park, or checking out the latest art exhibition, or taking a personal session in yoga or meditation.
So, here's your opportunity to unhinge yourself from your significant other's hip, and do these small yet significant things that you've meaning to, and reclaim your independence.
By Simran Mangharam. The writer is an expert on relationships and co-founder of www.floh.in , a curated network that helps singles find a life partner.