The Paradox of Separateness and Intimacy
Let me respond to your post about this. When your partner treats you as being a different and separate individual, that gives you several freedoms. One is to act independently of them according to your own desires. It might be something like seeing your favorite local group at a bar, playing golf with your buddies or going to jazzercise; whatever it is for you, it is something that brings you joy, and yet your partner does not share that pleasure. When your partner can see you as a different person, understand that you have different satisfactions and interests, and give you the freedom to indulge them, then you can venture off without the guilt of abandonment.
The other freedom that occurs when you are fully accepted by your partner is that when you are together, you can offer your thoughts and feelings without reserve. You can reveal yourself to another; you can fully express yourself. Such acts of vulnerability and sharing are the gateway to closeness and intimacy.
It is the acceptance of each other as individuals that permits both this intimacy and the freedom of autonomy. It is a paradox that two such different states arise from the act of acceptance. This blending of separateness and union expands your world – the mental space you live in. Maybe that yin-yang thing is more than just a pretty design?