All too often when people get into a new relationship, they begin losing themselves.
They start letting go of other people or activities that previously helped meet their needs.
For example, in a relationship, your partner satisfies your need for connection so you stop investing in friendships or meeting new people.
We lose ourselves by valuing the comfort of the relationship over our own growth, and we no longer pursue certain goals that we had before.
Many problems can arise from losing ourselves in a relationship:
We start to feel bad after we cut off so many sources of things that had been making us feel good.
We often start to lose attraction in the relationship because all of the things that were contributing to our life before are what made us attractive to our partner in the first place.
If you’re no longer pursuing new hobbies, passions, or growth, the relationship will begin stagnating as well.
So why do people lose themselves in relationships, and what can we do to stop it?
1.) Losing ourselves is the path of least resistance.
It takes less effort to mold ourselves into the relationship than it takes to be intentional about balancing the relationship with our friendships, our goals, our hobbies, and our passions.
It takes more effort to be growth-oriented than it takes to get into a habit of watching TV with the person you’re most comfortable with.
The solution to this is to be more intentional.
Schedule your time at the begging of the week or month to see where your friends, partner, and hobbies fit in.
Ask yourself what kind of relationship you want to create 10 years from now, and what kind of woman you want to be in that relationship.
Do your current habits support that?
2.) We think losing ourselves in a relationship is ok.
We think it’s acceptable and normal to immediately forget about those closest to us because we are in a relationship.
We have this sneaky belief that other aspects of our life can’t fulfill us as much as a relationship can.
It’s not something we usually think about consciously, but on some level we believe that the solution to life’s challenges is a romantic relationship, and once we get that we won’t need the other stuff anymore.
If you notice that you tend to be the person who drops off the radar once you’re in a relationship, you might have some beliefs that prevent you from realizing how important all the other aspects of your life are.
3.) We don’t know how to set boundaries, and we are people-pleasing in our relationships.
We don’t want to disappoint our partner when they ask us to spend time with them, even if we already have plans with friends.
We go along with things that we aren’t comfortable with because we are too afraid to have an honest conversation about what we need.
Working on having uncomfortable conversations and even being willing to disappoint your partner every now and then is important, and so is choosing a partner who doesn’t guilt trip you every time you try to do something for yourself.
When we are intentional about the kind of relationship that we want to create and we feel confident in our skills of speaking up and setting boundaries, we are able to create a fulfilling, interesting, and fun relationship and not lose ourselves.
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This content was originally published on the Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.