It’s important and a sign of a strong, healthy relationship to be able to lean on your partner from time to time and ask for help when you need it. However, no matter how comfortable and confident you are in love, self-reliance is still a very important part of life. The smartest thing anyone in a relationship can do is never to rely on their partner for these things.
- Self-worth It’s natural to feel an ego boost when you get in a new relationship, but ultimately, your confidence and positive self-image should be something you provide for yourself. It’s not fair to expect anyone to maintain and provide self-esteem for someone else, and it puts a whole lot of pressure on your partner when you rely on them to do so. Not only that, but your worth needs to come from within if you want it to remain consistently high.
- Making major (and even minor) decisions There’s a huge difference between asking your partner’s opinion on a decision you’re trying to make and expecting them to make it for you. You should be independent enough to be able to make a final decision about things on your own. If you constantly defer to your partner, it may put a strain on your relationship if the outcome isn’t what you wanted or expected. Furthermore, we should all be in control of our own lives and take responsibility for our choices, actions, and outcomes throughout it.
- Defining their identity People have the tendency to lose their personal identity when they get into long-term, committed relationships and instead develop a hybrid, joint identity with their partners. Having your own interests, passions, and goals is vital to your happiness and future. No matter how close and connected you are with your significant other, both of you should maintain your own unique quirks and preferences rather than melding into one.
- Taking care of their personal responsibilities Sometimes, you may need help with something, and asking your partner to give you a hand with them from time to time is normal. However, depending on your partner to assume complete responsibility for major things, such as a pet you adopted before you knew them, is not cool. If you took on the responsibility then you should be the one primarily fulfilling it.
- Providing complete financial support Of course, if you have a family together and you’re at home with the kids while your spouse works, that’s a different situation. However, smart people don’t rely on anyone to take care of them financially, including their significant others. Being self-sufficient when it comes to your finances gives you complete freedom and avoids putting extra stress on the relationship. There’s nothing wrong with dividing bills and expenses according to who has a higher salary, but you should be able to support yourself financially if needed.
- Finding solutions for any and all problems Part of being self-sufficient is taking initiative and dealing with any problems that arise. It’s unfair to expect your partner to figure out every predicament or fix any issue alone. Ideally, tackling problems and figuring out solutions to them should be a joint effort in a relationship. That being said, being able to problem-solve on your own is a vital skill that will also boost your self-confidence.
- All of their productivity and downtime plans When you’re in a relationship, especially a long-term one, it can become easy to follow your partner’s routines and plans for your days off from work. This is one part of a relationship where balance and compromise are key. If you rely on your partner to cure your boredom or to outline a productive afternoon, you’ll feel lost and lonely when they’re not around. Being able to make plans on your own and do things by yourself will make sure you don’t lose your own identity.
- Fighting all of their battles Your partner should defend you and have your back, but that doesn’t mean losing the ability to stand up for yourself in any situation. This can be something small, like letting your waiter know that your steak is overcooked when you’re out to dinner rather than asking your partner to say something for you. Or, it could be something much bigger like confronting a toxic boss. It’s an important part of self-sufficiency and independence to fight your own battles and speak up when someone treats you badly or unfairly.
- Their own happiness When your happiness is dependent on anything other than yourself, it’s always going to be unpredictable and fleeting, especially another person. Of course, your partner will make you happy and should bring joy to your life, but real, genuine happiness has to come from within. If you rely on your partner for your happiness, you’ll likely be upset or even angry with your spouse when you’re feeling down. You’ll have unrealistic expectations for your partner and will likely put a strain on your relationship. Give yourself more credit and more importance in your own life and you’ll be grateful you did.