Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
8 Ways To Avoid Losing Yourself In A Relationship
Published Jan 7th, 2021 & updated on Jun 17th, 2021
Relationships are wonderful. Being in a relationship can feel like you get to hang out and make out with your best friend all the time. It’s pretty great! But that can sometimes become our whoooole world! You don’t connect with your friends as much, you stop doing activities you love, all because you’re totally infatuated with this one person. You might even feel like you’re losing yourself in a relationship, which can be a little unsettling.
And we knowwww how exciting it is when you’re first starting to combine your life with another person. Love can be like a pair of magical glasses that you put on and the world around you seems to change. Colours seem brighter, food tastes better, the songs on the radio finally make sense! It’s awesome.
Of course, you’re going to be head over heels with this person at first! The honeymoon stage is a real thing. But the important thing to remember is to not lose yourself in this new and magical endeavour or lose who you were before you entered into this relationship. How do you do that? Let’s dive thru it!
1. Prioritize Yourself
Self care is still so important when you’re in a relationship. It means that you’re still looking after you. Self care could come in the form of keeping up with your passions, staying true to your goals, and continuing to do what you enjoy.
Don’t rely on another person to fulfill you. You’ll find that you have so much in common and you looooove doing things together! Which is awesome! But you still need to fulfill your own needs by staying true to yourself and what you love. Fulfilment can come from many different parts of our lives, so just because we are content romantically doesn’t mean that we won’t eventually need to feel content in other areas of our lives as well.
2. Don’t Replace “I” with “We”
Remember that you are still an individual no matter how long you and your partner have been together. If you’re invited somewhere, like JUST you, don’t assume that your partner is invited too. If you like chocolate, don’t say “We love chocolate!”
You are both your own people and have your own interests and likes. Try to keep your identities separate from each other (even though you’ll feel like you share a brain sometimes).
3. Don’t Compromise Too Much
Obviously, it’s good to compromise in a relationship to accommodate the people in it, but what’s not ok is if you’re the only one making these sacrifices.
Soon the little things become everything and you don’t have yourself shining through anymore. It’s important to know when to bend in a relationship, but make sure you don’t bend so much that you break. (and if you feel like you’re being pushed to that breaking point, maybe give our article about relationship red flags a quick read.)
4. Keep Seeing Your Friends and Family
Combining your life with someone new is so exciting and wonderful! Meeting their family and friends can be nerve-wracking the first time, but soon it feels like you’re part of the gang.
Even though these new people you’re meeting are kind, fun, and you get along great, don’t forget about your own friends and family. It’s natural to want to hang out with your partner all the time, but your loved ones probably miss you!
5. Do Things Without Your Partner
Keep connecting with yourself and your own likes without your partner participating in activities with you.
Maybe you love to go for runs in the morning, but your partner doesn’t. Keep going for those runs! Perhaps you love to go bowling with your friends every Saturday but your partner is terrible at bowling and doesn’t want to go. That’s ok! You can keep going bowling with your pals because that allows you to both connect with your friends and yourself.
6. Have Boundaries
Having boundaries will also help you maintain your sense of self. They protect who you are and your identity. Just be sure to communicate your boundaries with your partner so that they can know what they are and respect them.
Healthy boundaries can help you feel stronger, confident, and empowered within yourself and your relationship. If you don’t have any boundaries, you’ll feel the exact opposite! You’ll feel drained, exhausted, and honestly, kind of defeated.
It is completelyyyyy reasonable to have boundaries in a relationship. Everyone has things that they will and won’t tolerate from another person, and that’s ok! You shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice your boundaries just because someone wants you to.
Everyone always says that open, honest, and kind communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and we agree! Don’t be afraid to tell your partner how you feel. If you think that you’re losing yourself in the relationship, don’t be afraid to say something about it. Maybe you and your partner could find things to do separately and inspire each other to find cool things to do on your own.
Talking openly with your partner can be scary because you don’t know how they’ll react and you hate to hurt their feelings. But if they really care about you, they’ll support you and your needs as much as you support theirs.
8. Stay True to Yourself
Don’t change who you are and try to be someone you’re not. Maybe you hate sports but your partner is allll about them. This is one of those scenarios where “fake it ‘till you make it” does not apply. It’s not in your best interest to try and act like you think they want you to. Be honest with yourself and your partner about who you are.
Otherwise, you’re going to end up faking who you are and you’ll probably be soooo miserable if you have to sit through sports games every day and wear a jersey for a team you don’t even know the name of.
Take a minute and think back on your current and past relationships. How have you given parts of yourself? How can you get them back? Take ownership of who you are and be confident with yourself. Your partner will still love you no matter who you are and will be proud of you for being true to who you are. We’ll be proud of you too!