How to Retain Freedom in a Relationship

· November 20, 2017

Can you really retain your freedom in a relationship? It’s scary how easy relationships can become controlling, even between people who consciously try to avoid it. Most people want to be free and don’t want to be in a relationship where they feel controlled, but at the same time, it’s important to feel united. They’re two sides of the same coin that can be hard to balance.

There’s something rooted within us that makes us want to form bonds with other people. It isn’t logical or even physical; it’s a spiritual need. The spirit wants to be free, but also in a relationship.

freedom in a relationship

Why do we establish controlling relationships?

The problem centers around insecurity and lack of faith in oneself. If you need someone else to give you approval for reinforcement, that is a big problem because you’re giving the other person too much power over your self-image. You’re putting yourself in a prime position for being controlled.

We let other people control us because we feel insecure and lack faith in our own perspective.

That kind of deep insecurity can develop in different ways. It tends to begin in childhood, within the family, but there are exceptions. It develops based on false beliefs and grows as the need for acceptance grows.

How does insecurity develop?

We’re not born as a clean, blank slate waiting for the first letters to be written. We’re born into this world with the hardware for life, so to speak, which includes the basic components for a gradually developing personality, a certain amount of intellectual potential, and a set of inclinations and predispositions.

We’re also not born with an innate lack of self-esteem. As infants, we didn’t have the slightest natural inclination to question ourselves, our abilities, or our worth. Children are born accepting themselves completely as they are. The seed of self-doubt is planted as a consequence of certain circumstances and people.

Parents are imperfect

Through the course of raising children, mistakes are made that have long-term consequences. That’s just life. Children need the unconditional love and affection of their parents, and when they don’t receive it, the seed of insecurity can start to grow within them.


Some children lack the affection and acceptance of one parent, but they receive it from the other. Others are born into homes where both parents are incapable of giving them the love and guidance they need so much.

Children need the unconditional love and affection of their parents, and when they don’t receive it, the seed of insecurity can start to grow within them.

They end up accepting this lack of love and guidance as a normal dynamic. They file it away in the folder of things they consider normal and acceptable in parents, significant others, and people in general, until they project it onto all the roles that they acquire throughout their lives.

Children who do receive support from their parents can also become insecure. When they arrive at adolescence, they experience rejection from their peers, as their confidence in their own judgment falters. They have no control over other people’s opinions, yet they take these subjective judgments as truth, which jeopardizes their self-confidence.

freedom in a relationship

How can you retain your freedom within a relationship?

Before you can enter into a healthy relationship with another person, there’s a little work to be done. Change starts from within, and it’s important to recover your own sense of self. This involves regaining faith in yourself and freeing yourself from self-doubt.

“True love is not self-love, it’s what you get when you open up to other people and to life; it does not harass, isolate, reject, or pursue. It simply accepts.”

Antonio Gala

When two people work really well together, the relationship should become stronger, closer, and more intimate. This is the meaning of building a long-term relationship: evolving together and developing a union where each person enriches the other over time.

Unconditional love

Romantic relationships should be based on solid and honest love and acceptance. Trying to control someone is trying to force them to be a different person. Authentic and unconditional love involves a commitment to respecting the other person’s freedom. In the same way, you always have the option to leave a relationship if you feel like it’s time.

Respectful communication

You have to communicate with each other respectfully if you both want to retain your dignity. Disrespect is simply intolerable. If you and your partner are free, you won’t allow disrespect from each other. In the balancing game of love, nothing warrants a lack of respect.

Accept each other’s differences

Accepting each other’s differences is essential for freedom within the relationship. If you reject them, then the relationship is not rooted in love.

freedom in a relationship

Learn from each other

You can learn from each other thanks to your differences. Disagreements are a part of the price you have to pay for the other person’s contributions. Take your differences as ways to help you both grow. All partners can teach each other something.

Learning from each other gives you the opportunity to be collaborative and enjoy your freedom, rather than feeling like a prisoner.

Accept your partner’s freedom

It takes a lot of courage to accept your partner as a free spirit, since the risk of losing them is enormous. When you feel like you don’t deserve what you have, you take care to preserve it, which can lead you to become controlling, even if you’ve been controlled in previous relationships.

It takes a lot of courage to accept your partner as a free spirit.

The more you accept their freedom, the more likely it is that they’ll stay by your side. If you want to be free and your partner does, too, you have to respect each other’s right to choose or leave the other. Only by respecting and protecting their freedom will you be able to develop a truly loving relationship.