The Importance Of Interdependence For A Healthy Relationship
Published on 19th July, 2023
When it comes to romantic relationships, most people dream of having a deep, intimate, and long-lasting relationship with someone we consider our soulmate and lifelong partner. This is mostly because humans are social creatures who crave connection and intimacy with the important people in our lives. The quality and level of emotional connection are important factors that make sure a relationship has the potential to be long-term.
So, the question is, how do we build relationships that provide us with the intimacy we need while allowing ourselves to grow as a couple and individually? The answer lies in the importance of interdependence in a relationship. An interdependent relationship refers to a type of relationship dynamic where both individuals recognise and understand the importance of their emotional connection while having a strong sense of who they are as individuals outside the relationship (What Is an Interdependent Relationship? | Paired, n.d.).
Read on as we delve deeper into the meaning of interdependent relationships and how it can play a part in forming a healthy and successful relationship.
What is interdependence?
The word 'interdependence' is often confused with 'independence'. Although these words sound similar, they refer to two different concepts. While independence emphasises individual self-reliance and autonomy, interdependence highlights the interconnectedness and mutual reliance between individuals or partners (Resources to Recover, 2022).
Interdependence in a relationship allows partners to freely confide in one another. When partners know and appreciate each other for who they are, they do not feel the need to hide or compromise on their own values or beliefs to make the relationship work.
Why is interdependence important in relationships?
Having true interdependence in a relationship is key in ensuring healthy communication and interaction in the relationship. This is only possible when both partners strive to be present and meet each other's physical and emotional needs appropriately and meaningfully.
In a relationship where there is interdependence, each partner has the space to maintain a sense of self, the flexibility to move towards each other in times of need, and the freedom to make decisions without fear of the repercussions.
How to build an interdependent relationship
A healthy romantic relationship is not formed out of the blue. Building a foundation for your relationship to cultivate interdependence takes time and effort. Here are a few steps you can take to build a more interdependent relationship:
- Speak up for yourself
It is important for you to speak up on your morals, beliefs, values and opinions when you are in a relationship. If you feel that you’re unable to voice your opinion in the relationship, it may signal that there is a power imbalance between you and your partner.
While it is crucial to express yourself, remember that you can validate your partner’s point of view even when it differs from yours. Even if you may not agree with their perspective, understanding and accepting their experiences can strengthen your bond. However, when there is a lack of agreement, it is necessary to reflect upon whether the differences in fundamental values are a personal dealbreaker.
While similarities and common interests do help to foster a bond between you and your partner, know that it is normal and healthy to have differences as well. Accepting and appreciating each other's differences is the key to a healthy relationship.
- Be supportive of your partner
Notice and show support for your partner's passions and interests. Healthy relationships are those in which partners support each other and know each other's successes and challenges.
Supporting your partner's passions and interests fosters a sense of validation and belonging, enhancing emotional intimacy. As most people feel the most fulfilled when doing something they like or take interest in, having a supportive partner cultivates an environment where personal growth and fulfilment thrive, nurturing a deeper bond. Mutual encouragement strengthens the relationship, creating a shared journey of shared successes and an enduring connection built on love and understanding.
- Maintain quality time with friends and family
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your friends and family is just as important as building a healthy relationship with your romantic partner. Your friends and family are usually the ones who are there for you even before you step into a romantic relationship. Therefore, it is important for you to treasure them and know how to maintain healthy friendships even when you’re in a relationship. Your friends and family also provide an outside perspective on your relationship, providing you with honest and objective advice when you need it.
Suppose you spend significantly less time with your friends and family after being in a relationship. It might indicate that your relationship is leaning into co-dependency, where there is little to no autonomy, as you rely too much on your partner for self-worth (Cmp, 2022). Consider speaking to an adult counselling service in Singapore if you excessively depend on your partner for happiness. Counsellors or therapists can help you navigate your relationship and your personal growth and development.
Relationships based on interdependence often leave individuals with a strong sense of self-worth, trust, and intimacy towards their partner. Interdependent relationships don't just happen; for any relationship to be healthy and successful, it takes a lot of work and effort from both parties.
If you find yourself struggling with a lack of emotional intimacy or overwhelming co-dependency in your relationship, consider seeking professional help from relationship counselling in Singapore. Relationship counsellors can help you understand the root of your relationship issues and advise on the steps you should take as a couple moving forward.
What Is an Interdependent Relationship? | Paired. (n.d.). Paired. https://www.paired.com/articles/interdependent-relationship
Resources to Recover. (2022). The Importance of Interdependence in Relationships. https://www.rtor.org/2022/09/05/the-importance-of-interdependence-in-relationships/
Cmp, A. E. (2022, April 21). How to Build a Relationship Based on Interdependence. Medium. https://psiloveyou.xyz/how-to-build-a-relationship-based-on-interdependence-dbd245f6a6f