Here’s a typical relationship scenario: You start out feeling like the very best version of yourself that you have ever been and before you know it, you are digging around in the relationship looking for some remnant of that person you were when you first fell in love. Where did I put that person? Where is that “me”? And how did I get lost in the “we” that you and I have become? And come to think of it, where did you go? I haven’t seen that person in a long time either!
So, how can you be in a relationship and not lose yourself; how can you be part of a “we” without losing “me”?
In fear, we automatically separate from our true selves. Fear makes us doubting, confused, and disoriented. Fear also makes us feel smaller than we actually are, and it makes us act in ways that aren’t quite authentic.
Your ego is the part of your mind that operates from fear. One of it’s main messages is: you are incomplete (and therefore not good enough). When we believe this message (it’s translated consciously and unconsciously) we start acting in ways to try to make up for this perceived lack. And in doing that, we lose ourselves.
Pay close attention to what is going on inside you. Consciousness is key. When you start to feel “off,” notice it, and then make small changes to adjust your behavior and experience.
Are you acting in a way that feels a little inauthentic? If so, try to adjust your behavior so it’s more real. Are you saying things that aren’t quite honest? If so, start speaking your truth. Are you shying away because you’re scared? If so, contact your heart within and know you are safe. Then be brave and go for it. Are you feeling like you are not good enough? If so, take some time to reconnect with the truth–that you are absolutely, positively enough. Stay as firm as you can in this belief.
When you’re enamored with a feeling and a person, it can be tempting to shove everything into the background and give all your attention to the snuggly feels. It becomes easier to not lose yourself in a relationship when you keep in mind you’re not actually the “half” of anything. You’ve built an interesting, full life up to the point where you met this person, and because of it you have a lot you bring to the table. There’s nothing about them that will “complete” you — they just make you happy.
When we think of the word “love,” we think of this “I’ll give you anything and everything” mentality. Just look at your grandma and how she gives you second, third, fourth, fifth servings of her delicious food to prove her devotion to you. But to keep a sense of self while you tip head first into love, check your over-giving.
You know that weird feeling you get when you tell your SO that you want to go do something without them? You get all apologetic, as if stepping out with your friends without them tagging along would hurt their feelings.
It shouldn’t, which is why you should make a habit out of it — and planning solo trips once a year will get you into the mindset that hanging out separately isn’t weird, but necessary.
When you really love someone, it becomes a scary thought to think that they could leave you sometime in the future. Because of that, it can become tempting to not do anything to rock the boat. But that type of thinking gets real dangerous, real fast. Then you’ll become complacent, easy to mold, and will lose the nerve to stick up for both what you need and want.
This is a process. It takes effort. It takes commitment. But this is what you are here to do.
You can do it. Stick with it. Baby steps.
If you keep these ideas in mind — that you don’t need anyone to “complete you” and that you should keep on living a separate and happy life, no matter how in love you are — then you should be able to keep your sense of self. Which you really should fight to do, because you’re 100 percent amazing.