independent 3Independence is a positive thing, right? It helps you focus onto your objectives, it nurtures confidence, passion, and a feeling of ease and approval in your life and relationships. However, in line with the old saying, too much of a good thing can result into bad, and the same goes for your independence. But how do you know when you’re too independent? Are these familiar?

“I Don’t Answer to Anyone”

You are your own man or woman, you should have the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and shouldn’t have to answer to anyone about your dreams and decisions. It’s your life after all! However, a relationship requires communication, security, reliability and intimacy to be successful. A partner seeks answers because they care, worry, want to help, find you interesting, and want to know where they stand with you.

“It’s My Decision”

You’ve made it where you are today because of the hard decisions you’ve had to make in life. You get a lot of advice from different people and it’s generally not appreciated, but that’s okay, as you’ve learned to smile, nod and then do whatever is was you were going to do anyway. In a relationship, though, it’s not about avoiding the pitfalls of approval addiction. Instead, it’s about sharing your dreams with a witness and coordinating plans with a team member.

“No Can Do—I’m Having ‘Me Time’ Right Now”

independent 1 featuredNobody is going to get in the way of your alone time. For independent people, this time and space away from others helps them think, find appreciation for themselves, and quite frankly, it’s just the way they are, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is a difference between finding time for yourself and taking one minute out to acknowledge the importance of someone you love. One of the biggest predictors of a successful relationship is being true to your dreams and values, while at the same time showing support for your partner when it’s needed.

“I Don’t Care What You Think”

These words are direct, strong and certain—everything one might assume independence is supposed to be about. But if you’ve said them, the truth is that behind these words lies fear and insecurity. Love is the driving force in everyone’s life, and there’s plenty of research to back this up. You do care what your partner thinks, and if you say you don’t, you are avoiding a confrontation or barricading yourself from true vulnerability and intimacy, which is just another way of making yourself a prisoner to your fears. Caring what people think, within reason and with pure intention, is the only way we learn to love others so we can truly experience and receive love in return.

“It’s Because I’m Very Independent”

independent 2You’re strong, confident, know what you want and aren’t going to change, compromise, or apologize for it. And nor should you. But when you announce to the world (and your partner) that you’re independent, it might no longer carry the value you think it does. It might actually be perceived as more of an excuse to avoid commitment, control a relationship, remain inflexible or explain why you’re perpetually single. The message these words are sending is that you’re probably not the marrying/relationship kind—and you’re proud of it.

“No Thank You, I Don’t Need Your Help”

You can do most everything on your own, we know this. Asking for help is a weakness in your eyes, so you avoid it. The problem is, this kind of thinking actually weakens your relationships. Couples who forge a lonely path in their relationship, when it should reflect a supportive partnership, end up feeling unappreciated, unloved, unbalanced and disappointed. It’s a weakness to reject help from others because it hinders your learning, makes goals harder to achieve, and, again, you’re truly just avoiding fear of vulnerability. Avoiding ego fear like this might give you the illusion of being less dependent on others, as you believe your choices are governed by rationality over emotion, but it significantly obstructs your ability to connect in any authentic and long-lasting way with another person.