We’re Together, but You Don’t Own Me



There are many reasons why anyone would want to be in a relationship or even be married to someone. Having a partner in life can be such a beautiful thing. For one thing, if we go about finding and being with our best possible match in the right manner, we can enjoy a very happy life with our loved one, calling them a partner, a lover, and a best friend. It’s important to put effort and love into developing a healthy and happy relationship with someone. 

Unfortunately, one problem that many couples face is the amount of control and freedom that each person experiences within their relationship. Many times as individuals we lose ourselves in trying to create peace, avoiding confrontation, and keeping a some would call it, “shalom bayit.” Having said that, it’s crucial to speak your mind, but also to listen to and acknowledge your partner’s feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.

Early on, most relationships go through a honeymoon type of phase where everything seems wonderful in the beginning. But, healthy relationships take a certain amount of maintaining, not just in the beginning, but for the entire duration of the couple’s life together. In relationships, we don’t own our partner. But instead, we’re supposed to embrace who the are, and what they bring into our lives, and into a relationship. Two halves create a whole, and we need to remember that relationships take two people that are open to learning, growing, listening to, and valuing each other’s opinions and feelings.

Do Things out of Love, Not out of Force.

Whatever you do in life should be done because it’s in your heart.
One thing that many people in relationships struggle with is understanding that just because you’re in a relationship or even committed to a person for life, doesn’t mean that you own them or that they own you. In other words, being in an exclusive relationship or married to someone doesn’t mean that you or they have to lose who you are at your core. You need to be yourself. You should be complete, whole, and be proud and secure enough to communicate your feelings, share your thoughts, and in a nutshell, speak your mind. As well, you should keep a certain level of independence.

Becoming one and sharing your life with someone, despite how close you become with one another doesn’t mean that you have to lose yourself, your opinions, your values, or your morals. As well, you shouldn’t have to stop doing everything that you enjoy in life that may be fun and interesting to you, even if they’re things that don’t interest your partner. You shouldn’t have to change who you are at your core or stop doing certain things that bring you happiness and joy. Even if those things only benefit you, you shouldn’t have to stop, just because your partner tells you to, nor should they for that matter.

Don’t get me wrong, becoming one with someone and sharing your life with that person means that change is bound to happen, and sometimes we give up certain hobbies or activities, because frankly, there’s not enough time for them (or for many other reasons as well). But, you need to remember this, and that’s that being with someone doesn’t give anyone, not you, and not the other person any rights towards controlling the other. For as long as you live, you’re entitled to have an opinion, a view, and the right to communicate your feelings to your partner, and you should.

Taking a Little Alone Time.

Space, independence, and a little alone time never hurt anybody. If anything, some relationships thrive and last alot longer because there’s a healthy amount of space and distance. I personally can’t be in that type of situation. However, I know many, many couples that prefer to have a decent amount of space. Usually those couples aren’t each other’s best friends, but who’s keeping track, and hey, as long as they’re happy. When you find out what works for you, go for it, do it, and by all means, don’t listen to me. But, if you want my advice, too much space and distance can destroy relationships. A healthy relationship is one that provides a close and steady friendship, and a healthy foundation based on honesty, trust, and healthy communication. But most of all, a healthy relationship needs closeness, warmth, and affection on a regular and stable basis.

There’s something important to remember, despite whether or not you enjoy a lot of closeness with your partner or even if you enjoy your freedom and alone time despite being in a relationship, and that’s that a certain amount of space is healthy. For me personally, when I have a partner, I try to embrace my alone time whenever my partner is busy. If anything, I love my alone time, but nothing is sweeter or more precious to me than sharing time with a special someone. That’s why I try to make my partner a priority, and embrace my alone time when he’s busy.

You don’t have to enjoy all of the same things, and you don’t have to share all of the same hobbies and interests either. You don’t have to do everything together. I personally enjoy spending as much time as possible with my partner, having him be my very best friend, and spending all of my free time with him. I’ve even been known to be the type that’s even able to work with my partner (which I’m aware that some people can’t handle, but I’ll write more on that later). My point is that some people (including myself) enjoy spending a lot of time together with their partner. As the saying goes, to each their own. But, remember that even the closest of couples need some alone time.

You Don’t Own Your Partner, and Your Partner Doesn’t Own You.

I know that many people either joke around or genuinely mean it in the most lighthearted way possible when they say things like, “I want you to be mine,” or “I want to own you.” I personally don’t see anything wrong with those types of statements, and many others of the sort when they’re said in a loving way. However, sometimes certain people take things very literally, and for those that do, you might find it hard to relate to what I’m saying. There’s something very loving and endearing about communicating your feelings verbally by being cute with your words.

But in all seriousness, when it comes to sharing your life with someone, whether in a relationship or when married to a person, it’s important to know that controlling others or being controlled by others isn’t right, and it’s something that should be stopped at the get go by nipping things in the bud when you see any signs of control issues.

No one should boss you around or treat you as if you’re feelings or opinions don’t matter, or don’t count. This doesn’t mean that you or your partner will always be right in different situations. No one is always going to be right, and no one is ever going to be perfect. We all make mistakes in life, in love, and yes, in relationships as well. It’s always important to nip things in the bud when you see that there are things that can be improved or if you feel that certain things could develop into bigger issues down the line.

Just keep in mind that in a loving, healthy, and happy relationship communication is imperative, and so is listening to and valuing your partner’s feelings, thoughts, and opinions. You don’t have to agree on everything. For many couples, they might not even agree on very much. As long as the love is there, and both people truly and genuinely care about maintaining the happiness of their relationship, being right or wrong all the time should never be an issue. What’s most important is for you and your partner to give one another the chance to speak, the chance to hear each other out, and the opportunity to listen, learn, and grow as a couple.

Anne Cohen
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7 thoughts on “We’re Together, but You Don’t Own Me

  1. Hi Anne! When I was younger I was probably classed as ‘needy’ in relationships. My self-confidence was zero so I needed to be assured all the time. Now happily into my second marriage of 23 years, I learned that I’m loved for who I am. I’ve grown more confident and am my own person as well as being in a partnership. Agree 100% with all of your points I perhaps have one regret that I didn’t think this way years ago.

  2. Truly. It’s sometimes so difficult to maintain that separateness when you get into a relationship and don’t forget who you are and what makes you happy. I think so many people struggle with this!

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