An Independent Girl's Guide to Relationships ...

You don't have to give up all your independence when you enter a serious relationship, but you definitely do have to make some sacrifices. If you refuse to do so, then you're not going to be with your man for long. That's why you need to learn how to adjust your lifestyle a bit. Here are a few tips for independent girls who are in relationships:

1. Take Time Apart

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You two don't have to do everything together. While it's nice to know that your boyfriend gets along with your friends, you shouldn't invite him out with you gals whenever you hang out. You need to have separate lives if you don't want to feel suffocated.

2. Decide to Go Dutch

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If your man always pays the bill when you go out to eat, it'll feel like he's taking care of you. If you don't want to feel like you owe someone, then you can tell him you want to go dutch whenever you go out to eat. That means that you'll be splitting the bill. Of course, if one of you tends to spend more than the other, you can ask for separate checks, so that you don't feel like you're getting ripped off.

3. Couple's Communication

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Your boyfriend is going to have to accept that you want to remain independent, but you're also going to have to make some adjustments. You can't expect to leave town for a week without sending him a text and expect him to be okay with it. You don't have to ask him for permission to go out, but you do need to tell him where you're going so that he doesn't worry.

4. Slow and Steady

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You don't need to meet each other's parents and move in together after a few months, or even years, of dating. Every couple should move at their own pace. If your man wants to go faster than you're willing to go, just sit him down and explain to him that you love him, but you're just not comfortable taking the next step yet. If he loves you, he'll understand.

5. Don't You Dare Change

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You don't have to change in order to make your boyfriend love you. While some girls are happy to wear their hair down, because it's what their man prefers, you're free to do as you wish. Just don't be hypocritical and expect your man to dress a certain way, just because you like it.

6. Come to Compromises

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When you're independent, you do what you want when you want. While you don't have to change yourself for him, you should be willing to do things he loves to do. You can't force him to see the movie you want to see every weekend. You need to learn to compromise. He deserves to get his way every once in a while.

7. Together, as a Team

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Even though you want to be independent, you have to remember that you're part of a team. You can't make all of your decisions without consulting him. If you end up living together, you both get a say in what color the curtains are.

You don't need to rely on your boyfriend when you're part of a couple. You can still maintain a healthy relationship while keeping your independence. It just takes a bit of adjustment for the both of you. Do you struggle to remain independent when you're dating someone?

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