Marriage Counseling DC Series: The Independent Relationship Style
Independent Relationship Style
Your relationship style directly impacts the type of relationship that you seek, and the types of things you’ll do to create it with your partner. Think of your style as a colored lens through which you view close relationships. The shade of the lens influences how you view and emotionally reach to your romantic relationship. This style influences the way you seek closeness and connection with your partner, and ultimately determines what feels right and comfortable to you in a relationship.
Relationship researchers and marriage counseling DC therapists recognize that each of the four relationship styles is defined by typical psychological and behavioral patterns.
Have you taken your Relationship Styles Assessment yet? We recommend that you take the Assessment now and then read on about each of the Styles.
In this post, I’ll describe the Independent relationship style pattern.
Dr Brenner described the Trusting and I wrote about the Brooding styles in two previous posts. The last of the four styles, Wary, will be described in the next posting on the District Psychotherapy Associates blog.
Individuals who have an Independent relationship style are most likely comfortable in relationships with a great deal of autonomy and independence. Their independent nature reflects an ability to look inward for comfort and reassurance during stressful moments in life. Their preference is to be self-sufficient and avoid dependence on others. They are uncomfortable having others dependent on them as well.
While they may see their independence as a source of pride, in relationships this may become problematic. Typically, individuals with an independent relationship style do not seek much intimacy with their partners.
In our couples counseling DC practice we find that partners of Independent style individuals often construe that independent nature as aloof, distant, or emotionally unavailable.
When relationship difficulties arise, they may be more likely to withdraw from their partner and hide or suppress their feelings. In the worst of times, they may question the value of being in a relationship at all, feeling that it is not worth the effort.
The Independent relationship style may seem a bit unbalanced in the area of emotional expression. However, if this is your relationship style, your relatively low need for emotional support and reassurance may be refreshing to your partner. Your partners may perceive you as “low maintenance” in relationships and may appreciate what they see as your easy relationship style.
Understanding which of the four styles you have will help you understand why you tend to react in similar ways in different relationships, and sometimes even pick the same type of person again when you know it won’t work.
Until next time,
Dr. Keith Clemson
Not sure about your own style? Take our free self-assessment here.