The Balance between Independence and Commitment

My whole life, I have been non-committed to romantic relationships. I am committed to my family, friends, my passions, sure. Partners? Relationships? No thank you. I love to hook-up, to meet and talk to different people.

Despite this lifelong belief, I have been in a on/off relationship for about a year, something I NEVER thought I would say.


Said partner in Amsterdam with me this past March.
Said partner in Amsterdam with me this past March.

We have spent the majority of our time apart from each other, and it has been an extremely difficult process. We have had more than our fair share of trials and tribulations, each different than the last. But we have matured greatly and our love for each other grows with each day we are apart.

This time around, the problem is where I am: I have spent the last four months in Italy, and he has stayed in Chicago, working. Living in Italy by myself has more than boosted my independence: I have grown to be a much more confident person, both in daily life choices and my future career goals and relationships. I have also learned that one of the things I value most is my need for space, to be myself and process.

What is the balance? When do you become too independent for your partner?

I know that my partner and I often clash because one of us needs more attention that we simply cannot give at the time. Lately, my partner has been seeking attention that I not only can’t give, but also don’t seem to want to. I am here for one more week; I am trying to make the most of my experience before I am forced to go back home (I say forced because I never want to leave Europe). Am I selfish for wanting my space? Am I a terrible partner because I want to do my own thing, have my own space, and that is something I inherently value? When does compromising come in?

All these questions I feel I cannot answer by myself. I only hope that the pieces fall where they may. I love the kid, I do. I just love my space too.

Ci vediamo,

Hannah

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