How To Be Independent While in a Committed Relationship

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My husband and I dated for 10 years before we got married. For six out of those 10 years, we lived in different cities. We met in high school and then went to separate colleges. After college, I moved to New York City for six months while he finished college in Oklahoma. Then I moved to New Jersey for three months while he started a job in Texas. One thing that I have always loved about our relationship is how independent we are, while also being unwaveringly committed to one another.

This hasn’t always come easily to us and it is definitely something we work at, but it is always worth it. The biggest driver for us has always been that we wanted the other to chase their dreams, even if it was something we couldn’t do together. So he was happy for me when I moved to NYC, even though it meant a lot of time apart. It is so important to be happy for your significant other and to want them to be happy, even when it means long periods of time apart. It shows the other person the depth of your love for them and that you support them no matter what.

Committed Relationships Take Work

This doesn’t come without its challenges. We missed out on a lot of our relationship together by being so far apart. I desperately missed seeing his face and being able to meet up at a moment's notice just because we wanted to; instead, we had to plan and spend a lot of money in order to be in the same place. He didn’t get to come to my graduation from pastry school because he was graduating from college the same weekend. We had to learn how to do things alone that the other would normally be a part of.

However, our relationship grew so much during our times apart. It is easy to have a relationship with someone when they are sitting in front of you; it is really different when all you’ve got are phone calls and text messages. We learned how to comfort each other, celebrate big wins, and have meaningful conversations without all of the normal nuances of in-person communication. Our marriage has greatly benefited from our independence, and all of our time spent apart was worth the end result.

Tags: Marriage, Dating, Personal Growth

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Written By

Ellie Haley

 Ellie Haley is a food photographer, recipe developer, food blogger, and pastry chef based in Waco, Texas where she lives... See Full Bio

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