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Why Two Shouldn’t Become One in Relationships

Why Two Shouldn’t Become One in Relationships

Almost everyone has had someone else refer to their partner as their “other half.” It is a term of endearment used in relationships meant to show that you love someone so much, they complete you or make you whole.

The idea is romantic, and the aspiration of being the perfect fit is comforting. People looking for a relationship often go out looking for someone who makes them feel alive and makes them want to be the best version of themselves. Nevertheless, while the bond formed between two true partners is difficult to break, it also needn’t be all-consuming.

Having a strong relationship does not mean that you need to lose yourself in it. In fact, having a strong relationship means that you are free to maintain a level of independence. This autonomy is crucial not only for the health of the relationship but for your own life.

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As the saying goes, “before you love someone else, you must first love yourself.”

Independence gives you the strength to support each other.

Independence does not mean making decisions without considering your partner, such as undertaking expensive repairs for homeowners without consulting anyone. It also does not mean that you should put yourself above your partner or your relationship.

Independence means having your own life and your own individuality. Independence means spending time what are interesting and meaningful to you. Only so can one be self-sufficient and strong enough to support and love one’s partner.

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Interdependence lifts your self esteem.

Achieving a healthy level of independence actually means achieving a healthy level of dependence at the same time. It means intelligently allowing yourself to rely on your partner’s strong suits when you are feeling weak.

Interdependence is a lot like independence but it gives you the best of both worlds. Being independent can leave you feeling lonely. Interdependence allows you to be a strong person who is able to be in a committed relationship but still does not have to compromise your own values to do so.

According to psychologists, a mutually health dependency lifts both of your self-esteem. This healthy dependency requires trust and support and both of those things are fostered through togetherness.

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Being interdependent is the best way that you can interact with those close to you. Whether it is a partner, a family member or a close friend, maintaining the sanctity of the relationship while still leaving room for yourself is the best way to love yourself and love others.

It’s okay to ask for help if you need it.

Novelists, columnists and Hollywood screen writers will tell you that you are only in love if you get lost in your relationship. They are wrong. Love is the solid bedrock upon which a lasting relationship is built. But at some point, you need to move past that love that you have for yourselves as a couple. You need to begin to nurture your relationship as an entity that includes not only yourselves as a couple but both of you as separate individuals as well. Only when individualities are allowed to grow in an relationship can the relationship be long lasting and healthy.

When you are in a healthy relationship, you should never be afraid of struggling on your own. It is okay to rely on someone else sometimes. As long as you remember that part of the balance is loving the individuals in your relationship as much as you love the relationship as much as you love both people in it, you can have a healthy, interdependent relationship.

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As another old saying goes, “nobody can go it alone.” As it turns out, this is not a bad thing.

Featured photo credit: Matthew G via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 17, 2019

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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1. Recognize the Signs

If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

Some telltale signs include:

  • You’re always on your phones.
  • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
  • You aren’t together during important events.
  • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
  • You don’t make plans or date nights.
  • You’re not happy.

If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

2. Try New Things Together

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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5. Cook Meals Together

Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

6. Have a Regular Date Night

Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

  • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
  • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
  • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
  • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
  • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
  • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
  • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

Final Thoughts

The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

  • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
  • Lowers divorce rates
  • Improves communication
  • Reduces marital boredom
  • Bonds couples closer
  • Improves friendship
  • Boosts health
  • Reduces stress

These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

Reference

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