Autonomy in Relationships and How to Achieve it

Different types of connections can happen within a relationship.

One type can be codependency, where the partners would fulfill the role of their parents and try to fill up the missing hole.

Then there is the interdependent type, where besides the financial dependency that might have, the couple might stop realizing where their energy ends and the other’s energy begins!

Then there is the anti-dependent, where the partners are not really dropping into the connection and resist surrendering into melting into it.

Finally, there is the autonomous relationship or a healthy relationship where two people are still individuals and support each other in going deeper.

I think every relationship can go through many of these stages at certain times. It is important to constantly reflect and look at the relationship objectively so that we can have a different look at the dynamic happening each time.

The healthier type of relationship for me is when two individuals are still individuals and maintain this individuality when coming together to create a third entity: the relationship.


What is needed for this is respect for each other’s personal space and needs and unconditional love.

Giten Tonkov


For me, autonomy means being in charge of yourself. It is a Greek word combined with the words “auto” and “nomos,” which means being able to live under your own conditions!


When we are in a relationship, we are not only two but four people.
For example, it is me, my inner child, my partner, and his inner child.
In a relationship that lacks autonomy, each partner gives the responsibility of the inner child to the other. They expect the partner to fulfill the needs of the inner child!
So a very important element to achieving autonomy is being responsible for all the needs of your inner child and finding a way to fulfill them yourself.


Something else that is important to achieve autonomy is self-love!
As Don Miguel Ruiz says in his book “The Mastery of Love,” imagine that you are hungry at home with your kitchen empty and cannot fill it up. Then a pizza man knocks at your door carrying a free pizza for you but with the only condition that you will have to do anything he asks! If you are starving, you will probably accept the deal, but if you have your kitchen full of food, you won’t!

This is the same thing with autonomy in relationships; If you have “food” for yourself which can also mean love, you will not need to compromise on anything unhealthy that an external partner will offer to give you.

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