Individualism in the couple relationship

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Louise Hay
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Individualism in the couple relationship

While it is advisable to maintain a certain individualism in the relationship, there are those who take it to the extreme. They are people who seek only their own happiness and who exploit others.

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2022

“You in your house and I in my house. You organize that I already have my plans. If you have problems, solve them yourself and don't expect me to solve them for you ”. Individualism in the couple relationship is an increasingly common and often discouraging phenomenon.



It is true that it is always good to maintain one's independence, a space within an emotional relationship. However, it seems that relationships have reached an extreme where healthy individualism easily results in harmful selfishness, one in which one seeks only one's own well-being.

Extremes are never good, but it seems these two poles have drifted further apart in recent years. Psychologists and sociologists define "super singles" as those who seek to satisfy only their own needs.

Far from establishing a mature, adult and conscious bond, they seek only their own happiness, showing that they have an almost childlike ego.

Maintaining a certain individualism in a relationship is healthy until it gets to the point where the other just becomes a tool to use when it suits us.


Individualism in the couple relationship: why does it occur?

Individualism in the couple relationship would not be a problem if both partners saw things the same way. It is true that everyone is free to build the kind of bond she desires, as long as the other person agrees. In this case we are talking about polyamory, weekend couples and other modalities that are rewarding only when they are consensual.



However, sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we had not foreseen or imagined. We start a relationship with someone who, for example, always finds excuses not to live together.

They are people who take into account only their problems, their points of view and their needs. They are men and women who do not give importance to the feelings of others because only their emotions matter.

Some say couples should come up with a trailer - like in the movies - to know in advance whether or not that relationship is worth starting. Because having an individualistic partner is living with someone with a clear tendency to decide and act without thinking or considering others.

Super single: I don't want responsibility

Before moving on, we would like to point out once again that individualism, when overdone, is beneficial in a relationship.

Integrating your own spaces with those of your partner to create a satisfying and healthy "we", in which both win without losing their identity, is the best choice. When it comes to super singles, individualism reaches undesirable extremes:

  • Selfishness also manifests itself from a sexual point of view. Individualistic men and women only care about themselves when it comes to enjoying sex.
  • When difficulties arise, they disappear and avoid all responsibility. The obligation to solve problems is the sole responsibility of the partner.
  • The individualist wants an easy life and tries only to satisfy his immediate needs. He shows little tolerance in the face of frustration, feels overwhelmed by nonsense and neither knows nor wants to share concerns, tasks or plans.
  • Individualism in the relationship also manifests itself in not wanting to make future plans. These people prefer to focus on the present rather than thinking about the future.

Individualism in the relationship and liquid love

Individualism endangers the relationship when meeting one's needs becomes a top priority, at any time and in any circumstance. These are relationships in which there is only one "I" and never one "we". This portrait fits perfectly within the theory of liquid love enunciated by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.



Consumer society models also affect how we interact. It is as if people today bond with the same dynamics used to purchase an item: looking for the momentary boost and rush of endorphins and dopamine.


The partner turns into a product that is fine as long as it satisfies needs. The moment she asks for too much or doesn't offer a satisfactory level of pleasure and well-being, she chooses to end the relationship.

Individualism in a relationship means escaping the delicate but rewarding task of building an emotional bond. Those who seek only to satisfy their own needs do nothing but escape from everything that involves effort.

Can commitment and individualism in the couple coexist?

Individualism is not a characteristic of millennials or the XNUMXst century. In fact, it's a behavior that has been quietly developing over the past few decades.

The baby boomers, the generation born between the 50s and 65s, had already shown a more independent character and less conditioned by family ties, a sense of duty and conformity.

All of this undoubtedly allowed and consolidated many of the social advances we enjoy today. However, sometimes this trail is taken to the extreme until it reaches the purest selfishness and in the narcissistic materialism of those who take into account only themselves and their needs.


The study conducted by the University of Notre Dame indicates that individualism and mutual commitment can and must coexist.

It means having the ability and the will to create a common space in which to take care of each other, but without losing one's identity. Only in this way can we build an "we" by ensuring that the "I" does not vanish completely.

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