We all know couples who seem to live in complete harmony as best friends. They do everything together, and seemingly agree on everything. You would almost believe that they merged into one person.
As romantic as this may seem, having an almost symbiotic relationship can mean that much of the variety in the relationship is lost. That could be a loss of the individual character traits, personal interests, and even the friendships that each partner has brought into the relationship.
For example, if one partner loves to play chess but the other doesn’t, then chess will probably no longer be part of the program. Or if one has a good friend that the other can’t stand, then that connection will fizzle out over time. Perhaps you need regular alone time to restore your energy and enthusiasm, but if your partner doesn’t need quiet time and prefers to spend all their free time with you — do you simply have to accept life with a little less energy and inspiration?
When couples reduce everything to the lowest common denominator, they lose opportunities to create something new and better together as a pair, and the creative spark of the individual goes by the wayside. Instead of broadening both partners’ horizons as they discover one another’s worlds and interests, their shared life becomes smaller and smaller.
The desire to spend all our time with our partner is actually a selfish wish because it denies them the opportunities to develop and grow through their own experiences beyond the relationship. If I want the best for my partner, then I have to let go and give them the freedom to explore. That old cliché phrase, “If you love something, set it free” turns out to be true. This is the best way for each person to experience new things that will enrich the relationship and keep things interesting.
Of course, it’s always a question of how much is too much. Just as it’s unhealthy to always be together, it is equally unhealthy to never see each other. Generally speaking, each person is at risk of becoming either too connected or too independent.
By making it your goal to create an atmosphere of freedom and acceptance within the relationship, it is possible to love your spouse as the unique individual they are. Dr. Manfred Engeli puts it this way: “If we want to be loved, we have to give our spouse freedom. To love another person, we have to have an inner attitude of freedom towards our partner.”
Moving to the Next Level in Our Relationship:
Think about ways to give your partner the freedom to develop to their full potential.
Toucan Together can help you improve many aspects of your relationship: discover deeper ways to communicate; find positive approaches for resolving arguments; learn to speak each other’s Love Languages®️; build friendship, intimacy and a great sex-life. Get started by taking the‘Pulse’ of your relationship with our short research-based quiz and see the health of your relationship across seven key indicators. GET STARTED NOW | LOG IN