The term emotionally dependent customarily connotes failure as an independent individual. But that isn’t always the case. We are all slaves to human nature. And even though some of us are, for the most part, strong-willed independent beings, we are still dependent upon a soul that craves human connection. To understand, and be understood. Julie Delpy really did hit the nail squarely on its proverbial head with these brave yet honest words, “I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making it look my whole life is revolving around some guy. But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”
Yet it has historically been the woman who has been pegged as the emotionally dependent, dithery, supremely apprehensive and clingy of the two sexes. Delpy evidently agrees. But it isn’t the fairer sex alone that exhibits these qualities and more in an irrational manner. Men are not far behind and can be just as high strung.
But where there are clingy, over-worked couples riddled with self-doubt, there are also strong, and independent couples. And independent doesn’t necessarily equate to reclusive and taciturn. That’s a myth created by insecure folk in a bid to ameliorate their lot. So, without any further adieu, permit me to present to you these 7 things that we could all learn from independent people in relationships.
7. They don’t mind being alone
Independent people don’t mind spending time by themselves. Hell, they enjoy it! Whether it’s taking a walk by themselves, binge-watching Netflix, or making a reservation for one, independent people enjoy being left to their ruminations. And why not? They know that it is going to be an amazing party for one!
6. They cultivate friendships outside of their relationship
This is something plenty of us believe we do, but don’t always do. Friendships are delightful. But it is essential to cultivate friendships that are separate from your relationship. To quote Dan Savage, “One person simply can’t be all things to another person.” And frankly, neither should we demand them to be. Therefore, it is in your best interest to maintain healthy friendships outside of your relationship.
5. They don’t get over-involved
Independent couples don’t feel the need to appraise the partners of their every move, neither do they have that sort of unrealistic clingy expectations. Going to the bathroom? Great. You just don’t need to keep me posted on it. Oh, but don’t you see? There is a benefit to this as well. Not only will your thoughts now not be consumed by an over-analysis of your relationship, but you will also now have a whole host of new and interesting aspects of your life to discuss with your partner each time you two meet.
4. They let their partners be themselves
Independent couples and their ever penetrative minds grasp the fact that they are not confined to each other and their lives together. This is crucial to maintaining their own distinct identity and realizing that there is a world out there outside the realm of their relationship.
3. They stand up for themselves
This does not mean they are domineering and feel the need to browbeat or strong-arm others into bending to their will. Don’t mistake confidence for arrogance. Independent people are merely self-assured individuals who are comfortable in their own skin and unafraid of being assertive. They know when they are right, and they are willing to take a stand for it. But also, they understand that the world abounds with people too mercurial for any sane man, and so they realize that if you can’t speak up for yourself, who else will?
2. They don’t hasten into living together
They value their time spent by themselves, and so they know what a great commitment it is to cohabit with another person. So, when such independent people do ultimately make the leap and move in together, it is because they do truly an honour and cherish the other person.
1. They love traveling by themselves
Independent people are not constrained by their relationships. They have as much fun traveling alone, as with their lover. The two are separate and the experience of each brings with it a sense of unbridled exhilaration and ebullience. The feeling of free-spiritedness while traveling solo is something we all ought to experience at least once whether or not we are in a relationship. And just think, after you arrive back home, you shall have a whole new collection of stories to share with your partner. Not to mention, the chance to long for your partner when away from home and love them all the more when you get back.