How Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship as published on Personal Development Cafe.
It can be so tempting to get wrapped up in a new romance and forget about single living, but it is important to honor your independence and identity while in a relationship. We want to maintain our hobbies, lifestyles, friendships and other independent aspects of life so that we can still care for ourselves. Our partners, or any singular other individual, can never meet all of our needs.
It is important for the health of your relationship that you and your partner are interdependent, not codependent, and are able to exist as individuals, not just as a part of a coupled whole. If you rely on your partner for your entire identity and emotional needs it will put a lot of pressure on your partner and on your relationship. As adults we need to be able to sustain ourselves individually no matter our relationship status.
I encourage you to focus on what is important in your life and on the things that you need as an individual to be happy. These are things you will want to hold onto as your relationship grows and evolves.
Make sure to maintain the friendships that you have for support! Remember that each relationship plays a different role in your life, and that your partner may not be able to be the friend to you that your best friend is.
Don’t stop doing the things you enjoy! Do not give up your interests, as your partner’s interests will not nourish you intellectually. There may be barriers or extra effort required, but it is important that you are able to do the things that make you feel good and alive individually, as you deserve it!
I know sometimes people jump into a relationship because of feelings of loneliness, and it can certainly feel wonderful to have a companion, however it is important that we all can spend time with ourselves, and that we are able to be “alone”. Time with ourselves is unlike any other time, in that we get to focus on self-care, build a spiritual connection with ourselves, and allow for self-exploration. Being able to be alone is a key way to enrich our relationship with our self. In order to be truly happy, the most important relationship to have is the one with yourself. Be secure in your self-love, and you will never find yourself insecure with others.
It is important to continue having a similar social life to the one you had prior to entering a relationship. We do not want to change who we are to be in a relationship, we want to be us and to have another person join us where we are, so keep being where you are, and doing what you like to do!
A relationship should not change you, except for the better, and should not require you to become someone new. We do all have to make compromises in relationships, but we should not have to compromise who we are. To be in a healthy and happy relationship maintenance of independence and identity are so crucial. To have a good relationship with others, we must first start with a good relationship with our self.