Individuality is the state of being independent, where one individual is separate from the other because they have their own needs, desires, and goals. Although some people try to maintain their individuality in a romantic relationship, others compromise and loose their sense.
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They forget to take care of their needs and concentrate on the relationship and tend to think that their partners will take care of their needs. This may create a break up in a relationship. People who are in love often struggle to impress each other and loose their individuality in the process. Some of them may feel good after the compromise while others feel suffocated by it. Carver and Scheier (2004) argue that there is a need to maintain individuality, especially when one feels suffocated after losing individuality.
According to Giles (2000), it is always good to remember that a good relationship is one which you are not supposed to change yourself, but where you will grow together. Therefore, a person who is ready to accept you just as you are is a true partner and so, instead of striving to change your individuality try to accept the relationship. It is even possible to lose the interest of the other person after losing your own individuality.
However, self-care and strong sense of self may make the relationship become strong and enhance sustainability and happiness. It is always good to enter into a relationship as a whole person with your preferences and boundaries because the other partner will always be attracted with your individuality and self of sense.
When one starts to lose the sense of self, it is likely that the partner will loose interest. Brad (2007) says that when you loose a sense of self in a relationship, you are likely to start blaming your partner and the relationship as well. A person should try to maintain individuality in order to avoid self-blame in both personal and other things in life. It is always good to think positively in order to maintain individuality and also avoid getting obsessed with others and care for self.
According to Solomon’s views, love lets lovers to redefine themselves in a relationship. He supports this point by arguing that romantic love is a concentration and an intense focus of shared definition on an individual. Solomon sees love as a plan for individual’s recreation for himself/herself and for the sake of the relationship.
In essence, lovers combine their interests, virtues, role, and share the same identity without forgetting that each individual has a role in recognizing their identity (Halwani, 2010). However, Nozick’s theory does not recognize autonomy and individuality and he argues that both individuals’ identities are destroyed and they are ‘reborn’ to the world with the same senses to their partners.
People should always be involved in mature and stable love, instead of the symbiotic type. The difference between mature and symbiotic love is that mature love is stable and involves two people who respect each other. Symbiotic love on the other hand is needy and dependent and stipulates that one person should rule over another. As a result, both partners loose integrity (Fisher, 2004). LaFollete (2000) argues that mature love enhances individualism between partners as opposed to symbiotic love, where there is fear of separation.
Lewis, Amini, and Lennon (2000) conform that symbiotic relationship causes one person to give their major part to retain a successful relationship. However, the person who is driven by fear of being alone ends up sacrificing his or her identity to keep the relationship whole.
These individuals make sure that there are no conflicts in order to maintain the status quo, which leads to loss of independence. If one individual idolizes over the other, then he sacrifices himself for the sake of the other and ends up being under control of the partner.
When there is no balance in power, the relationship becomes unproductive for both and it is likely to end. Despite the fact that many people know the consequence of ending a relationship, they are still willing to give up their individuality in order to avoid being alone. They are ready to give up what they need and who they are just for the sake of love.
Moreover, individuals who lose their individualism when in a romantic love are unable to maintain a mature relationship. One should start with self-love to be able to love others because giving up individuality will bring anger, hatred and resentment at the end. When resentment comes in, the relationship starts deteriorating. Individuals need relationships that will bring in personal growth through achievement of their dreams together with their partners. Individuals should also understand that when one is in a relationship, their life does not stop just because they are with another person (Wood, Ellen, and Boyd, 2005).
In essence, a person has to maintain his/her own individuality and strive to achieve personal goals. This also means that you are is supposed to do the hobbies you used to have before you met as well as maintaining your self interests because if you give up on your interests you are likely to give up your life (Zimmer, 2008).
One should always keep in mind that when he/she met the partner, they were first attracted as individuals and thus there is need to retain your individuality because that the reason why your partner was attracted to you. Maintaining other’s individuality will build up a mature loving and healthy relationship (Halwani, 2010).
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According to Sterba (2001), there are many ways of making a relationship work; one is by speaking your truth. It is not advisable for lovers to keep quite and hence they should communicate their feelings to each other. Each individual should own his/her feeling – your partner needs to know when you are angry, disturbed or even when you are happy. Withholding your feelings to your partner will bring in more problems.
You should not let your partner speak for you or allow him/her to guess what is on your mind. Instead, you are supposed to share them and in case your partner takes liberty with them, you should be able to stop him/her and let him know what you are going through. Lastly, a person is supposed to reconnect with other friends for joy or fun rather than letting your partner dictate on what to do. This may involve going out with a group of friends whom you used to go out with to do some activities or hobbies.
Many relationships end because one person has surrendered to the other. Nevertheless, it is always good to love yourself first before loving another person. Giving up on all things that identify your individuality will make you lose your identity and you will not even be able to give into your relationship. Brad (2007) stresses that it is always good never to confuse flexibility with individuality when in a relationship: individuality is what makes people to be who they are.
Flexibility is all about compromise and is necessary in a relationship through honest communication of each other’s needs and feelings whenever you are together.
However, compromising too much will lead to anger and resentment, which is likely to end the relationship. Individuals should avoid giving up too much in their relationships because it will haunt them later. The get-togethers and friends bashes you decide not to attend just because you do not want to leave your boyfriend or girlfriend will make yourself left out since you have distanced yourself from your own friends.
In conclusion, honest communication is good because partners are able to solve their problems and build a mature loving relationship. Nobody should give up on anything that brings out uniqueness in each individual. Loving partners should find a balance that they both need to build a long lasting relationship. In addition, it is always good to determine what is needed in life and take actions accordingly.
This will help maintain individuality while also striving for personal happiness and contentment rather than trying hard to make a partner happy through sacrifice. Nevertheless, maintaining individuality right from the beginning of a relationship is healthy because it is one of the reasons for love.
However, if an individual takes away these traits through compromise, then they become a different person to their partner rather than the one he/she started dating. Nevertheless, this does not mean that one is not supposed to compromise in some circumstances in their relationship; things keep on changing as the relationship grows just like life itself, but one should never despair.
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Halwani, R., 2010. Philosophy of love, sex, and marriage: An introduction. New York: Routledge.
LaFollete, H., 2000. Moral Psychology. In: The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
Lewis, T., Amini, F., and Lannon, R., 2000. A general theory of love. New York: Random House.
Sterba, J.P., 2001. The moral self in the face of injustice. In: Social and Political Philosophy: Contemporary Perspectives, London: Routledge. pp. 45-67.
Wood, S.E., Ellen, W., and Boyd, D., 2005. The world of psychology. 5th ed. New York: Pearson Education.
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