It’s perfectly okay to share similar interests and passions with your partner. However, things become tricky when you get so consumed in all that your partner is that you begin to lose sight of what makes you, you.
In this article we look at possible reasons you could be losing yourself in a relationship, the effects thereof, and how to develop and maintain your sense of self, aka ‘your individuality’.
Reasons you could be losing yourself?
You will not able to identify your values, preferences and needs when you don’t already know yourself before entering a relationship. When you have no sense of individuality, you just do any and everything your partner wants you to do, causing your needs and wants to become a second priority to yourself. You then start to miss out on your happiness because you’re busy tending to your partner’s.
Another reason it may be difficult to maintain individuality in a relationship could be because of codependency. This is an excessive reliance on another person for approval and a sense of identity. In this instance, you don’t think that your opinion matters. You also don’t trust your own judgment to make decisions. Codependency could stem from past traumas and upbringing.
People with codependency traits aren’t always aware of it and it isn’t always something they intentionally do. In most cases, it’s a survival mechanism.
The possible results of losing yourself
I believe the most detrimental consequence of not being an independent individual in a relationship is that you forget to live your life and make things happen for yourself. You lose sight of your other relationships, goals and ambitions.
The relationship becomes one-sided. Only one partner calls the shots and this could result in the decision-maker to either become fed up with the relationship or decide to take advantage of the situation and use their partner for personal gain.
Sometimes your partner knowingly or unknowingly encourages your codependency. Note that it can be possible for both partners to be codependent.
How to develop and maintain your sense of self
Be real with yourself and your partner. If you recognise any potentially toxic traits that either of you could be showing then it’s important to communicate it and find healthy ways to remedy it.
You do not need to share the same social circle as your partner, nor do you need to have the same hobbies and interests. Hang out with your friends without your partner and do things without them. Having different things to do apart gives you guys something to talk about when you link up.
You need to set the tone for how others treat you by how you treat yourself. Here’s something I need you to remember: You don’t need a partner to feel that you are worthy. You surely do not need to sit in an unhealthy and unfulfilling relationship because you’re scared to be single. You most definitely should never feel the need to make a change on yourself for somebody else to appreciate you.
Individuality is the quality or character that sets you apart. Individuality in a relationship is when are two people embrace their unique identities, interests and voices.Nandi Tjiurutue
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mindBernard M. Baruch
Trust me, you do not want to look back on your life and realise that a chunk of it was completely invested in one person and nothing else at all. You cannot get back wasted time.
With time and consistent, daily work you can significantly change for the better. But change is a process that you should stick with it even when things become uncomfortable.
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