The word “codependency” refers to an individual being emotionally and/or psychologically reliant on their partner. These kinds of codependent relationships are more common than one would think and not every individual can realize they’re in one. As a feminist, the main focus is on finding individual power and being true to one’s self. This blog will talk about how one can be in a healthy relationship while still being independent.
From watching social media and hearing from my friends, the trend seems to be that it is normal to have an obsession with your partner. While being in love is great, it can be easy to lose sight of yourself if one is not careful. Being in a relationship of almost two years myself, the most important thing one can do is communicate. Sometimes finding your power is simply about being open with your partner about your feelings at all times. One way I find my power is by letting my partner know when I need alone time. Alone time can be a great way to get your independence back and get you comfortable with being by yourself without feeling “alone”. For example, I would never go to stores by myself in the past and now I look forward to my weekly grocery shopping on my own. These tasks are simple, yet make such a difference between feeling like you need versus feeling like you want your partner in your life.
Another common theme I see is individuals cutting off their friends when they are in a relationship. Feminism is not only about the individual themselves but also about the community they surround themselves with. One of the worst things one can do is to stop making time for friends because that partner might not always be there but friends will. Taking some time for yourself and spending time with people outside of your partner is another way I have found my power. This is also a great way to build trust with your partner and at the same time, you can assess how your partner reacts to you spending time away from them.
While spending time by yourself and friends is beneficial in a relationship, focusing on your personal goals is equally as important. Whether one is in college, has a full-time job, stay at home mom, etc; meeting personal goals should always be a priority. Making yourself a priority, not only benefits you but can benefit the relationship as a whole. Personally, one of my priorities is going to the gym and staying healthy. When I can meet that goal, I find my power and want to help my partner meet their goals as well. Additionally, these goals can be tied into alone time and/or friend time as well.
Obviously, no relationship is ever going to be “perfect” but these few things have helped me maintain my independence with my partner while still being a healthy couple. Every relationship is different but the most important thing is to always do what is best for yourself at the end of the day.