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Individuality in Relationships: An Intrapersonal Truth

A woman enjoying with her boyfriend.
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

Individuality in relationships and its significance.

Relationships have a significant role in our lives. We form them, we depend on them, we embrace them, and yet we are amazed by their fragile nature, especially when two partners are unwilling to compromise their individuality to maintain a healthy relationship.

I have been in a relationship for a while, and I learned some valuable lessons that can improve your relationship status.

However, before diving into the topic, let us clear some doubts regarding individuality in relationships.

So, “What is Individuality?”

The quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind, especially when strongly marked, is called individuality.

You must be thinking, “Why do we need to elaborate on a term familiar to us? Isn’t that obvious?”

Yes, it is.

The fact is, we are aware of individuality and its influence on our lifestyle. But people misunderstand it as ego.

However, the ego is the unhealthy self-image that is fed by a person’s ‘pride’ every time a significant contribution is made by oneself towards his welfare.


You can also watch the video below by Lisa Nichols to know about How to not lose one’s individuality in relationships:

How To Not Lose One’s Self in a Relationship — Lisa Nichols

But then, “What is the role of individuality in relationships in the first place?”

To answer that, I would like to discuss some facts about individuality and its role in saving or sabotaging a healthy relationship.


Roles of individuality in saving a healthy relationship:

1. It helps us to seek identity in our relationships

Our identity differentiates us from the rest of the world. Besides, it is significant to understand that your identity does not depend on your partner’s identity.

Speaking from personal experience, I would say most people end up becoming a ‘doormat’ to their partners, serving their needs while neglecting their own identity.

For instance, I was this ‘doormat’ for a while until I realized the significance of my identity to establish a healthy relationship.

In other words, a person who understands himself is attractive to his partner as it signifies his confidence in being who he is, thereby preserving his identity.

A woman undergoing self-reflection.
Photo by Eric Torres from Pexels

Both the partners should respect and preserve their identity for a better understanding of each other and their relationship. Moreover, it will help them overcome the dark phases of their lives.

Relationships require collaboration and coordination between two individuals, which is useful to understand the delicacy behind couples embracing their bond.


2. It helps us to empathize with our partner

Empathy is the need for the hour, and we can’t deny it anymore. However, it applies to our relationships too.

Empathizing is the ability of a person to understand the problems or conditions of someone from the latter’s perspective. The term seems easy to remember yet difficult to follow concerning our relationships.

To be precise, “Your wound my pain” should be your way to empathize with your partner.

An empathetic partner.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

But then,

“What if you are not aware of your emotional state? What if you are not able to empathize or feel what your partner is going through?”

That creates problems, misunderstandings, a lack of communication, and an unnecessary mess.

Well, this is where individuality comes into the picture.

At its best, individuality in relationships helps you empathize with your better half during tough times.

In other words, a person who embraces himself understands his and his partner’s needs and desires. He is emotionally invested and recognizes the good and bad with his individuality, thereby empathizing with his and his partner’s emotional turmoil.

Hence, it is a gift to human beings, which, if used in the right way, can make us aware of people and their intentions, making it necessary to build a healthy relationship.


3. It helps us stand against wrong decisions of our partner thereby maintaining stability

To be honest, this is where relationships face the ultimate ordeal as it decides whether the relationship will stand the test of time or not.

Although many aspects of life influence us, yet nothing comes close to the decisions one has to make, to maintain a healthy and stable relationship.

My partner and I had to face this ordeal, and I would say it’s certainly not easy to make decisions that work best for both of the partners. Besides, these can also ruin the relationship in a matter of time.

So, “How should you save your relationship from falling apart, and what should you do to make sure that none of your efforts go waste in building a stable one?”

It’s obvious; once again, individuality saves the day.

While couples should support each other through thick and thin, there are certain areas where both of them do not come to the same conclusion as they enforce their ideas and perspectives on each other.

Therefore if one of them makes a wrong decision, the other has to take a stand for the right thing to maintain stability in a relationship. Individuality helps us in our cause.

Need of stability in relationships.
Photo from Pixabay

In other words, individuality in relationships imparts us with the freedom to embrace our values, principles, and ethics. Besides, it helps us stand against the wrong decisions of our partner by adopting them as our moral code.

It may not be suitable for every situation. However, when it comes to decisions, it is wise enough to let individuality meddle in such matters and decide what is best for the relationship.


Role of individuality in sabotaging a healthy relationship

1. It makes us ignore the emotional needs of our partner

Yes, it does.

One of the biggest problems in relationships occurs when partners do not care for each other’s emotional needs. They become aloof and difficult to understand at best and manipulative at worst.

But, “What does this have to do with the whole individuality thing?”

Well, what if we say that individuality is the reason for these problems.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

The picture becomes clear. Every relationship depends on emotional needs, and we should take them seriously. However, too much focus on it ruins the relationship in the long run, i.e., unhealthy individuality.

In other words, unhealthy individuality makes us too self-absorbed and self-centered to accept our partner’s emotional needs and desires.

Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on at some point in his/her life. If partners do not attend to the emotional needs of each other, it can lead to complications, and relationships ultimately fail to endure.

To avoid these situations, both the partners have to be considerate enough to understand each other’s troubles and must cooperate to prevent instability in a relationship.


2. It makes us neglect the practicality of life

It may sound weird.

However, individuality sometimes contradicts the practicality of life. It happens when a person becomes too introspective and contemplative to consider the practical matters and neglects reality to retreat to his inner world.

You must be thinking, “What does this inner world have to do with individuality, and why having an inner world is considered impractical?”

Well, the inner world is a rich source of inspiration and idealism. A person’s individuality drives it with the way he perceives things around him. However, taking this too far makes things even more complicated as they begin to embrace it and live an illusion of reality.

A woman wondering about individuality in relationships.
Photo by Dana from Pexels

If partners become obsessed with their inner world, they can consume themselves with a desire to remain idealistic. In the long run, it leads to despair and disappointment.

In other words, the tendency to fantasize relentlessly makes them incapable and impractical to face reality leading to resentment and disappointment when they do not meet their needs.

It causes misunderstandings and results in ineffective communication between couples. To counter it, they have to come to terms with reality and acknowledge every aspect of life.

They can do this by accepting their differences and practicing ‘gratitude’ as much as possible. Besides, finding the good in partners and focusing on real-life issues is the best way to prevent complications in a relationship.


Also read: Why do we lose ourselves in relationships?


3. It makes us self-critical and apathetic towards life

No matter how good individuality is, it still has certain drawbacks. When it comes to relationships, it can create rifts between couples as it adopts a false sense of identity on both sides, which makes the partners self-critical and apathetic.

But, “Why would someone try to live with a false sense of identity?”

The reason is that individuality depends on values, emotions, and principles. However, if partners form a pseudo perception of these values and principles and try to become perfectionists, they deliberately berate themselves for not holding up to their standards.

Moreover, they believe in their ‘inner critic’ to a fault and follow what they feel is the right thing to do.

Unhealthy individuality tends to criticize the individual itself and forces him/her to suffer from self-doubt and self-pity. The partners often fail to see the brighter side of their relationship in this process.

Photo by Vera Arsic from Pexels

In other words, both the partners tend to become too detached and withdrawn with absolutely no control over their negative feelings, making them cynical, broody, and melancholic creatures filled with apathy and pain.

Therefore, to avoid self-neglect, couples must communicate with each other to help overcome their inferiority complex.

With compassion and love, they can heal even the emotional and mental wounds caused by apathy and pain.


Final Words:

Individuality is significant to save a healthy relationship. However, it can also be very sabotaging and detrimental if not used in the right way.

Still, individuality is too valuable to be ignored in relationships. Above all, we have it within ourselves. It depends on how we use it that ultimately decides the fate of our relationships.

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