How To Gain Autonomy in Your Relationship

July 18, 2019
The solution to emotional dependence in a relationship is gaining autonomy. Although it's not easy to achieve, in this article, we'll share some tips to help you out.

Combating emotional dependence isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Breaking the chains that bind you to another person, setting boundaries, and doing solo activities are strategies that will help you gain autonomy in your relationship.

Now, it’s important to mention that during the first months of a relationship, it’s completely normal to count the minutes to see the other person. In the beginning, we’re always wishing to spend as much time as possible with them. This, however, starts to disappear when the infatuation phase comes to an end and, instead, a mature kind of love begins to emerge.

The problem occurs when the desire to be with the other person becomes a necessity. The individual may even begin to feel uncomfortable being by themselves. Emotional dependence is a big part of this. That’s when one partner stops being themselves to fulfill the wishes and expectations of their significant other. They basically chain themselves to their significant other until they lose their identity. Is it possible to fight this? It sure is. Let’s expand on some of the ways to fight this issue.

Do Different Activities to Gain Autonomy in Your Relationship

You may agree with your partner on many different aspects. However, there’s no such thing as two equal persons. That being said, it’s more than likely that you have certain differences and disagreements. It’s pretty much impossible to agree on absolutely everything. Perhaps you love hiking and your partner doesn’t. Maybe you like really loud music and they prefer a softer kind of music. You get the gist.

The important thing is to respect all of these differences. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean sacrificing your independence, your tastes, hobbies, or opinions, or being together at all times. A relationship is much more than being on the same page. It’s about respecting one another so you can grow together.

However, those who suffer from emotional dependence and fear of abandonment or losing a loved one may see it differently. If their partner isn’t involved, they’re willing to limit their activities and, ultimately, their whole world. The point is that this, although it seems harmless at first, negatively affects self-esteem. Hence, it’s recommended to continue doing what you enjoy no matter if your significant other enjoys it or not.

In addition, having that intimate and personal space also helps fight a very predominating belief in the world of love. You don’t need to stop caring for your partner to gain autonomy in your relationship. It’s just a matter of taking care of yourself and doing what makes you happy.

A man and a woman embracing in a deep hug.

Friends with and without Partners

While being a relationship, sometimes it becomes easier to befriend people who are also in relationships. This can be a very positive and enriching thing. However, what about those friends who are single? Are you willing to put them aside just because you have a partner?

Many people, especially those who experience emotional dependence, leave their friends behind because they don’t want to leave their partner’s side. This isn’t healthy at all. Actually, this attitude will most likely have very negative consequences in the long run. Do you no longer care about that friend who’s always been by your side? Did they do something to you? What’s going to happen if your romantic relationship ends?

Thinking that the latter can happen is hard, but it’s a possibility. You have no guarantee that what you have with the other person will last forever (another common belief of romantic love). Therefore, it’s important to make sure your friends are okay. Check up on them every once in a while, hang out with them, and talk to them. Friendships are important whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not. Moreover, it’s always gratifying to have people who you know will always be there no matter what; people who enjoy your company.

It's important to keep your friendships close to gain autonomy in your relationship. In this picture, two girlfriends hugging while grabbing coffee.

The Dangers of the “We Are One” Belief

Many beliefs and common misconceptions have harmed many relationships. One of the main ones is the ever so common “we are one”. This refers to doing what the other person does, thinking how the other person thinks, and so on. However, being in a relationship is all about teamwork, and teams are composed of more than one person. That being said, every partner is individual.

According to every belief about romantic love, this one may seem innocent. Nonetheless, it can turn into something very dangerous. This is so because, in certain situations, the different partners won’t know how to respond to their individuality. In the end, the relationship could end up full of irrational beliefs.

You must learn to gain autonomy in your relationship. Many people already do, but if you take a look around, you’ll see how many people don’t.

Everyone is different. Therefore, we all like experiencing love in different ways. Some people may feel happier when there’s no autonomy in their relationship. However, we dare to say that this isn’t a healthy thing. And this approach will work even less on people with emotional dependence. The only thing that’ll happen is that they’ll lose their self-esteem along the way.