As it's Independence Day we thought we would take a look at how you can remain your own person even when you're dating, living with or married to someone else.

Are you independent?

Are you independent?

Have your own space

If you have a partner this doesn't mean you have to spend every waking minute with them. It's not a piece of advice- this is a necessity for a successful relationship. Even if you love your partner dearly, if you spend too much time in each other's company it can turn things sour. We all need somewhere to think, calm down and have some well needed 'me time'. If you need a breather- take it- if you achieve this by being tucked up in bed, by sitting in the garden or going to the gym- it doesn't matter- just ensure you get some alone time.

If you like reading, while your partner likes playing on their Xbox or watching TV, use this as an opportunity to have a little break from one another while doing things you enjoy.

Have you OWN hobbies and interests

It's ok to share some but you still need something that's yours or that you share with other people.

This will help you to stay true to your passions and have outside interests to bring new things to the relationship to talk about as well as allowing yourself another vent for your frustrations and issues.

This can be anything from reading, volunteering, joining a writing group, drawing or maybe taking up some exercise.

Don't be afraid to do things on your own- better that you enjoy it than drag your partner along and be affected by their lack of enthusiasm for something you love.

Stay true to you

Compromise is a big part of relationships- yes- but you don't necessarily have to compromise over something that you don't believe in or are totally against. The smaller, less important things are up for discussion, there's no question, but don't give in to your partner if you're passionate about keeping something as it is or don't have the time to add in something new. You can always ask to trade responsibilities and negotiate over something you're willing to let go of or change to make up for the things you're not.

Tell your partner if you don't agree

'No' is a word you're allowed to use. If you don't agree with their point of view you can tell them as long as you don't try to convince them that your opinion is the right one. Opposite sides can encourage fruitful discussion. Start as you mean to go on and accept that you look at the world differently when it comes to topics, people or events. You should respect that each other has an opinion and let each other be heard.

If you let little niggles go, they can mount up and become something they're not, so nip it in the bud and it won't manifest itself as something bigger.

If you feel you can't tell them face to face, write it down and ask them to read it instead.

Cherish who you are

To be a good partner, you must first look after yourself and your own wellbeing. Don't be afraid to make a list of things you want to do without your partner, remember joint hopes and dreams are just as important as your own. If you are happy and achieving your goals- your determination, inspiration and positive mood will filter through to your partner.


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