It seems that one of the most common goals for singles is to become a single plus one. For those of us who rarely say “we,” life can be lonely. But, in all my years and all my boyfriends, and non-boyfriends, Destination Couple isn’t always the best place to be.
The most common mistake I see among people looking for “the one” is allowing fear to rule your every move. That fear I’m talking about is the fear of being alone. This infamous phobia is seen among singles and couples alike.
Everyone has his or her reasons for wanting a relationship (new and exciting experiences, companionship, the cure for boredom, love, laughs, …whatever.) But, I will state the (hopefully) obvious and say the wrong reason for being in a relationship is simply because you are afraid of being alone.
This is a prime example of dependence. A person who is afraid of being alone is solely dependent on someone else to make them feel worthy or loved. Newsflash: this can be extremely annoying to your partner and therefore very daunting. That is a lot of pressure to put on someone; relationships shouldn’t be burdens.
There is nothing more liberating and powerful than being able to stand on your own two feet. Now, this is not to say that shutting the world out and trusting no one is a good idea; however, being physically and emotionally able to do anything and everything on your own guarantees success.
Being independent is the key to happiness. Being happily independent is the key to survival. Everyone else comes and goes but it is you that is there every morning when you wake up. Being able to depend solely on yourself frees up your mind. Less time will be spent worrying about the logistics of life and more time enjoying it.
Even in relationships, one of the most important things is to keep a level of independence. Having separate lives outside of each other helps keep life fresh.
This may seem like the most obvious advice someone could possibly give, but it is a lot easier said than done…especially in those first lovey-dovey months.
Dependence and Interdependence:
Dependence is something that has, and should have, a negative connotation (for the most part.) Chemical dependency? Rehab. Dependency in a relationship? Painful break-up.
Dependability is consistent loyalty, fidelity, and reliability. So what happens when we depend on lovers, boyfriends, and/or girlfriends? Inevitably, we are let down.
Even interdependence is dangerous in a relationship. While this concept does its best to weave the idea of being independent and dependent at the same time, it fails. The idea that two people may lose the capability to function in their regular routine without the other sets off an alarm in my mind. “Danger! Danger!”
The second our knight in shining armor shows up we have a tendency to lose sight of ourselves in a relationship—any relationship. It’s easy to slip into not taking care of yourself because you now have someone else who can or is willing to do it.
In a relationship but want to maintain independence?:
Give your partner a little “wiggle room.” Don’t expect constant reassurance; reassure yourself. Also, challenge yourself emotionally and physically to do things on your own. Go eat alone. See a movie alone. Go to a party or concert alone. After all, Chicago is a great place to be “alone” together.
Besides, from my experience, people seem to go for a partner who will not cling to their every move. Nothing is sexier than a person filled with passion, original ideas, intellect and confidence.