Sex and Relationships

The Importance of Individuality

Retaining Individualism in Relationships is Key to Keeping the Passion Strong

By: Brenton Mitchell

We live in a world of labels.

A society of categories, definitions, associations, organizations and anything under the sun that someone may subscribe to.

With so many ways to define ourselves, it becomes easy to get lost in them. To trade sovereignty for allegiance to whatever label captures our attention the most.

Normally this is not an issue, as there is nothing wrong with associating yourself with concentrations you are genuinely interested in.

What to be fearful of is the black hole that can swallow all labels: being in a relationship.

We have all encountered this beast at some point, whether as witnesses to close friends slowly consumed or as victims ourselves. It is scary how stealthily it can creep, starting as innocent as stolen sweatshirts only to grow as gross as joint social media accounts.

In extreme cases, the corruption can grow so severe that partners only refer to themselves as “us” or “we.” Even when their “other half” is completely unrelated to the subject at hand.

At this point, it may be wise to cut all ties with the afflicted individual, cleansing them with fire or prayer if other options are exhausted.

While an entertaining thought, there is truth behind the comedy. Maintaining individualism in a relationship is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and it is likely that these individual qualities created the spark of the relationship in the first place.

Sexiness and passion go hand in hand, and that passion is bountiful enough to relate to other interests as well as your partner. There are few things more enticing than watching someone you care for focusing intensely on something they enjoy. To be with them as they strive to achieve, growing as an individual, but choosing to share their experiences with you.

There is love in that choice, and it only serves to bolster the bond that both parties aim to nurture. A team will succeed more often than not, each element doing their own tasks for the betterment of each other. Partners who function as if they trying to merge into a single gelatinous mass are more likely to collapse under their combined weight.

The source of the issues usually stems from two places: insecurity and imbalance.

The former is as self-evident as it is common, often expressing itself in intense neediness. The more things that change from “theirs” to “ours,” the more solid the relationship may feel. There is security in combined experiences because it creates more assurances to the legitimacy of the relationship, at least on the surface level.

This is where individual outings become couples outings, couple social media accounts and date night every night.

This can be isolating from friends and family, and note that if done intentionally it can be described as a form of abuse.

Imbalance is the more subliminal of the two, and may not be evident for quite some time. Mostly, it relates to the differences between couples that eventually arise to become warning signs of impending doom. They could be success based for instance if one partner has a clear career goal they aim to achieve, while the other meanders about with a lack of ambition.

It could also be an imbalance in intelligence, interests or achievements. Essentially issues can form from anything that could create a divide between the two or creates a significant amount of inequal input. It is the difference between functioning as a team and “hitching a ride” on someone else’s success.

Of course this is not to say that every instance of either scenario ends in heartbreak, but by knowing about potential causes for contention steps may be taken to alleviate potential issues before they arrive.

Through knowing possibility there is clarity, and through clarity there is understanding.

At the very least, remember to tread carefully, as one false step may tilt you from being lost in love to losing yourself in the process.

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