Who are you without him?
Being independent while in a relationship doesn't have to be a negative, quite frankly I think it's essential. Do you ever see those couples that are so wrapped up in one another that they lose sight of who they are as individuals? Those couples that if and when things go south, they've forgotten what it's like to put toothpaste on their own toothbrush because that's what their significant other did for them? Yeah, those couples. There's nothing wrong with genuinely having the same interests and being invested in your relationship, but to lose yourself in favor of it? Nixed. You have to be a whole one before you want to become a two with someone else. So why let that "one" be lessened to a fraction to be in a relationship?
I like to see myself as an independent woman who isn't afraid to let a man be a man for her but is content doing for herself what a man can't or for generational purposes, won't do for her. In a relationship, it's no different. I expect my man* to have areas of his life that don't necessarily involve me, hobbies that we don't have to share, interests that don't interest me, friends that aren't mutual, projects that I don't have parts in; essentially, his own life because I will have these things as well. As much as we like to pretend love is a fairytale, it's not. It's hard and more importantly it's work and no matter how much you love your job, you'll need a break. An escape if you will, your own hobbies, your own friends, personal goals of your own that you want to work towards – that's your escape.
It is tragic to watch young women sacrifice themselves to be with men. They literally become their men, changing their choice in clothing, music, hobbies, etc. to be more like their men. Who are you without him though? If he dumped you today, could you survive? Could you make it a day without reminders everywhere you turn? Would you have friends to call that he hasn't already called? Would you have something to fall back on, something that takes your mind off of him that you two didn't have together? You don't have to have a life completely detached from the life you share with your significant other, but have a life that is your own. Stay true to you, because there's no guarantee that the person next to you today will be next to you tomorrow.
*I have no man, as Tupac says "will the real men get up?"