When it comes to relationships, there’s a whole gamut of ways we rely on each other. Some people are independent, others dependent and some are codependent. But there’s a sweet spot that exists that contributes to the healthiest relationships of them all: interdependence.
Interdependence is where two strong and complete individuals come together, not to lean on each other, but to build each other up. They’re involved and dedicated, without sacrificing themselves.
It’s total #relationshipgoals.
The relationship is far greater than the sum of both parts – or in layman’s terms, the relationship consists of two awesome people coming together to create a life and experience that surpasses what either of them would create on their own. They add to each other’s awesomeness rather than drag each other down.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most relationships. But with a little awareness, you can make the shift.
Start with enjoying and being totally comfortable with doing some things alone. This means doing some things solo sometimes, and other times, with friends and family.
For example, if I want to go on a spiritual retreat – I wouldn’t be asking my husband to join. That’s just not his jam. BUT, I would ask my best friend or sister – AND, if they couldn’t go, I’d be totally game for going alone.
Although my mister wouldn’t have any interest in joining me (which I respect), he would support me and encourage me to go. Mutual support doesn’t have to equal mutual interests across the board.
And to this point, the next thing you want to do is set boundaries.
Just because you love each other, doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. You are two distinct individuals with your own interests and ability to function on your own. You do not need each other to survive, but you do complement and make each other better. Be open to that person’s life, but do not let it take over your own.
Next, you want to acknowledge the beauty in being your own unique individuals. Even though you’re headed in the same direction, you each have your own needs and wants, unique likes and dislikes. It keeps things interesting and allows for a natural (and healthy) space to occur between the two of you.
That being said, you also want to acknowledge your common interests. The “dependence” part of this equation is just as relevant here. Identify common interests where you can naturally and joyfully come together.
Although Jack (aka my husband), would be less interested in joining me on an Abraham Hicks conference, he would be very interested in going on a walk with me by the canal. So we do a lot of that together.
We have many common interests and many different ones too – which keeps things really fun. Again, it’s all about balance and finding your own place of alignment.
Like for instance, I wouldn’t be super interested in watching a basketball game with my man and his friends at a bar (which he likes to do during the finals), but I will go from time to time because a) I love being with him and b) I enjoy watching him be in joy. I just don’t need to go every time.
I have my own commitments, and ways I like to spend time – and he digs it.
Beyond interests and things you tend to do together like errands, identify a common purpose or passion, and live it. Maybe it’s raising a family, or creating a business, indulging in artistic endeavours, or contributing to world peace – find a “thing” you guys love to do together that feeds your fulfillment in this life. It’s a beautiful way to bond.
Now sometimes life throws us curve balls. And although one partner’s needs doesn’t take precedence over the other’s, sometimes, one of you may have an immediate need. Be willing to acknowledge the times where your needs can wait because taking care of what your partner needs now, is for the greater good of the both of you.
All of this of course, takes communication. Interdependence, includes just as much sharing and communication as it does time in peace and solitude.
And finally, at the core of this all is a commitment to consciousness. To be in a mature, harmonious relationship with someone who’s self-aware enough to practice the above, you need to bring the same level of consciousness to the relationship you have with yourself, and with that other person.
So I hope you can see that interdependence is not only healthy, it truly is the key to a balanced relationship.
Peace & love,