It is human nature to adapt to the circumstances you're in, but what happens when being single becomes too comfortable? Is it hard to imagine fitting someone else into your already busy life? Taking a leap into the unknown doesn't have to be scary and may end up being the smartest thing you ever do. You can do it without sacrificing your independence at any stage of your life.
In the Beginning
If you haven't been meeting anyone who interests you, be honest with yourself about whether or not you're really giving people a chance. If your driving force is fear of giving up your independence or fear of being hurt, then you're liable to stay single forever. Give yourself enough credit to know that you've built your life around yourself and your interests and that you're capable of letting someone else in — if only for a day or a few months. Not everyone you meet will be the love of your life, but everyone you meet has the potential to make a positive impression on your life. Even if that positive lesson is just to show you what you don't want. The best part is that you choose the rate at which you jump in. Some may benefit from total immersion while others may just need hundreds of small experiences to lead to just one breakthrough.
In the Middle
If you're currently in the middle of being courted by someone special and you're starting to feel your defenses crumble, that's perfectly normal. It's natural to want to give yourself fully over to the person you care about. While it's scary, it can also be an exciting time to savor. However, if you start to feel too wrapped up in your partner, you may want to take a step back. This can be done by spending a night alone, taking a mini-vacation or just seeing your friends on a night when you could be seeing your significant other. Don't give up on clubs or hobbies simply because they cut into time spent with the other person and don't mandate your partner to join you. Never assume that the time away will cause the other person to act out or find someone new. Independence in a relationship strengthens the bond rather than depletes it. Just remember to show your partner that they're as special as your alone time is.
In the End
If you happen to take your commitment with that special someone to the next level, you can maintain your independence through conscientious action. Any partner you choose should have enough trust in you and in your connection to allow you to take time to yourself. This doesn't mean that you're entirely unplugged and unavailable to them either though. Being around and reliable for those unplanned events is part of pulling a partner closer to your heart. Also, be aware that there may be extenuating circumstances to every relationship that wouldn't necessarily fall under the normal categories. For example, severely depressed people have a habit of pushing people away even when they need support more than anything else. Professional help and constant support can turn things around, but they won't prevent the rocky times.