4. Respect your partner's independence. Value who your partner is rather than trying to make him/her into what you want them to be. No one has the right to change someone else and this will only lead to conflicts. Research has shown that the more we can give positive regard to our mate and their individual strengths, the better the relationship will fare.
5. Accept changes in your relationship. A relationship is a constantly evolving entity. As such, each of you may change. One of the best things each of you can do for the other is to reinforce and "cheerlead" the accomplishments of your partner as he/she has made independent strides.
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Finally, I'd also like to address the ultimate "Independent YOU!" Though as I mentioned, our society tends to be "couple-minded," being part of a two-some may not be right for you ... or at least, maybe you haven't found the right partner yet. Relationships are only as good as the people who are in them and the work they put into them. So value who you are and only enter into a relationship when it's right for you!
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