Stop Losing Yourself In Relationships
It's time to regain your identity.
I never thought I’d put myself second in a relationship. Yet there I was in a committed relationship, getting along to get along. I watched myself agree with my partner when I meant to say no, it felt like an out of body experience. I deferred to him for all decisions, including those that affected my person. I once stood my ground. In the end, I became a caricature of myself that neither I nor my loved ones recognized.
Exhibit A of how shitty I felt before I found myself again.
Maybe you’ve been there too or you’re here now. Maybe you’re currently submerged in a relationship and desperately want to come up for air. Or perhaps it’s a close friend. Her need to please has shifted her personality so much she is unrecognizable. Everything has turned into a “we ”and she’s forgotten that “I” also matters.
Science even backs up the importance of women maintaining their identity outside of romantic relationships. In a 1963 study, Betty Friedan talked to hundreds of women struggling with depression. At that time, women didn’t have separate lives from their husbands and their marriage. Due to this, they felt they lacked personality and experienced an identity crisis. And, although women have become a lot more independent since then, we still have a default mode, where we give of ourselves despite ourselves in personal relationships.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can love our significant other without forgetting to love and be ourselves. Start by connecting or reconnecting with your friends. It’s easy to wrap ourselves up in our relationship when in love, and that usually means forgetting about our friendships. Like, we only call our girlfriends when there’s trouble in paradise or when we need something. That is a recipe for isolation, you’re living in a bubble. And when we live in a bubble we can’t see outside ourselves or our relationship.
If you continue to include your friends in your life when coupled up, they will keep you grounded so you don’t forget about yourself. Continue to have galtime regularly, even if you take a page from Sex and the City and have to pencil in monthly brunch dates.
You should also schedule me time as it is essential for self-preservation. Start with just 10 minutes a day. Set boundaries with loved ones and tell them you need alone time. Don’t pick up the phone or walk away if you need to. Verbalize that you need space (I do this with my son and have taught him to express the same needs when he wants his alone toddler time). During that time, listen to music, read, write, dance, meditate, or lay on the coach. If you’ve lost sight of your personal goals, write a list of all you wanted out of life when you were single and ask yourself, does my life reflect this? Do I want the same things? Review your list during your alone time. Adjust it accordingly because our goals evolve. This exercise will help you tap into your authentic self when the role of Mrs. and mami is all you see.
Don’t forget Love Trips
Love Trips is the perfect summer beach read.
And it’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Grab a copy here!
That’s all for now! Make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already and share this newsletter if it strikes your fancy. I appreciate your support. Till next time!