Don’t Lose Your Identity in a Relationship
It is said that love blinds you. When you find the person that makes you melt, connects to your mind, and adores you, it can be easy to do anything to keep the relationship going. This can easily lead to losing yourself in the relationship. Many people have this happen, even the strongest of individuals. While all relationships will eventually require some type of compromise and sacrifice, this should not all be one sided or completely. No one wants to wake up after years in a relationship to find that they are far from where they started, but in the wrong direction. To avoid this, there are eight ways to keep true to yourself while loving someone else.
Whether you are just getting out of a relationship where you lost yourself or are still in one, remember to do you. Sit down and make a list of all the things that make you, you. Include passions, hobbies, and the must-haves in life. Keep the important things alive so you can keep someone awesome in your life while also having an awesome life. Even if you are not dating, just do you.
Invest in Yourself
Utilize your resources to pour into your own life for job advancement, health, passions, and education. Money and time are both finite, so make sound decisions about where they go. While any relationship takes some of these resources, it should not take all. You should never try to pour into someone else’s empty tank.
Spend some time alone doing the things you love. Even if it is just one night a week or a month, take time just for you. See a movie you really want, sit home and binge on chocolate, or go for a solitary hike. Make sure whatever you choose makes you happy. Learning to be alone is healthy and should become a routine so you do not become totally absorbed by someone else. When you learn to be happy on your own, you will not need someone to complete your life. You can choose when someone is allowed in.
Keep Friends Close
Your circle of friends is your tried and true tribe. Stay close to them as they invest in you and offer their wisdom. When you are in a relationship, you need these people you consider your brothers and sisters. These are the people that will speak the truth even when it may be tough. One fatal relationship mistake is to spend all your time filled up with the new person and leaving your friends behind. If the relationship goes bad, then you have one to fall back on. Allow your partner to be a friend, but not the only friend.
Families are often quirky and somewhat dysfunctional, but they are family. No matter what your romantic relationship brings into life, you need those connections. Always stay connected to your roots because they are forever. They will be there to pick up the pieces if things go south in the relationship. Stay connected to the family members that keep you most grounded.
Boundaries are not walls, so you do not have to push people away, but set up healthy boundaries in the beginning. Lay down the rules of what parts of your life are off limits, the amount of space you need, and what is important to you. A partner who wants a healthy relationship will have their own boundaries as well. Two independent people can come together while keeping their own interests intact. Boundaries keep one person from consuming the other. A partner wanting to change you is not in love with the real you. Find someone who respects your identity. While we all have odd quirks and flaws, the relationship should be based on the real you.
Though the heart tends to take over in new relationships, do not shut the mind off. Emotions are great, but logic is also necessary. Take time to figure out what is most important to you and what you are willing to fight for in a relationship. Then view your partner through both love and logic. Long term relationships are not all about romance, but they can still be highly loving. The heart is better off when the head is not ignored.
Though it is not a pleasant topic, not every relationship is healthy or long-term. There will be times we have to let go of the wrong people. This is still hard and can cause us to cry or binge on ice cream, generally feeling bad. Still, it is better to lose someone who is not good for you than to stay in a bad relationship where you lose yourself. When you figure out things are not right, make peace with letting go and split up. This takes confidence, but you can do it.
Navigating through romantic relationships is tough be there is no one size fits all type. Still, we must keep ourselves through it all so we can learn and grow from each mistake. It may require some sacrifice, but never lose all of yourself.