Staying independent in your relationship makes it stronger, according to Dr. Irene S. Levine, psychologist and professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. Here's how:
Having great friends takes pressure off your partner. No one can be your everything. Don't forget about your friends while you're head-over-heels for your boyfriend/ girlfriend.
Having a good social life outside your relationship keeps you from getting bored. Spending time with your besties allows you both to have new experiences that broaden your interests.
Having your own hobbies makes you feel more secure about everything. Research shows "self-complexity" (dividing your time more evenly between friends, family, relationship, career, hobbies, etc) eases symptoms of depression and lowers stress. Translation: if your life revolves around your dating relationship, a fight will feel like the end of the world. But a solid group of friends, strong family bonds and a job you’re passionate about puts things in perspective.
Spending time on your own helps you maintain the mystery. Relationships get boring if you never spend time apart.
If you break up, it won’t feel like the end of the world. Breakups suck no matter what, but “the hurt is worse if the relationship is your whole world,” Dr. Levine explains.
Source: Cosmopolitan; Getty Images