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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

This might be a controversial take, but your partner shouldn’t be your other half. Your relationship shouldn’t be what makes you whole. Both parties are losing parts of themselves by letting the other be their half. 

Couples should strive to be two wholes coming together to make a happy pair. 

It is easy to want to spend all your time with your significant other, and quality time is important, but free time is not by default “partner time.” In this article, I will break down all the ways one can take steps in order to maintain their individuality and prevent unhealthy codependency. However, please note that I am not a relationship coach and have no professional expertise.

  1. Keep up with own hobbies or find new ones

It’s more entertaining to do fun activities with your partner, especially if you guys share the same interests. However, having specific hobbies that you like to do on your own or with other friends is extremely beneficial in the long run. It helps you both maintain your own values and enjoyments. 

  1. Maintain your own personal friendships 

Friend groups don’t need to merge once a relationship is established. It might seem like a great idea because it’s like killing two birds with one stone — spending time with your friends and your significant other. Although this may seem like a good idea in theory, the possibility of a breakup must be considered, because it can be damaging to the bond and connection built within the friend group. Maintaining friendships outside of your relationship can be important if you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on if things start heading south. 

  1. Prioritize your alone time

Going back to the concept of wanting to spend all your time with your partner, prioritizing your personal time is a must. It’s easy to lose your identity or individuality when all your time is taken up by the same person. This can also be harmful to the relationship, as you can quickly get tired or bored of each other. Getting to know each other and building a strong foundation is supposed to be a lengthy process — rushing that by spending all your time together can only do more harm than good. 

  1. Support your partner’s endeavors and interests 

Encourage your partner to also take steps in maintaining their individuality. Your partner is their own person and has their own hopes and dreams. It’s important to not let the relationship derail these passions, even if it means spending less time with each other or going long distance. 

Toxic and unhealthy relationship habits can lead to codependency and abuse. If you find yourself spending significantly less time with friends and family, or feeling anxious whenever you are not around your partner, these can be signs of codependency. For the benefit of not only you, but the future of the relationship, I hope these tips I provided pushes you to reflect and find yourself again.

Avona Le

South Carolina '25

Hi! I'm the Editor in Chief at the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter. I oversee all articles published by our chapter and even write some of my own! I'm currently a junior at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, majoring in Marketing and Finance with a concentration in Business Analytics. I want to pursue a career in marketing analytics or market research. In my free time, I love to try new restaurants, hang with friends and go on walks. I am always down to catch an amazing view of the sun or the stars!