According to popular dating advice, when you start a new relationship, it’s always very tempting to want to spend all your time with the new important person in your life. Whether it’s from a sense of obligation or excitement, many people find themselves at a point where their identity gets completely obliterated by their partners. As a result, they only exist as a “second half.” It’s difficult to notice this process happening, however. It’s so easy to become isolated and start ignoring other parts of your life for the sake of your relationship. You will, sometimes, forget to stay true to yourself.
There are many reasons why this is something you want to avoid. If you are not true to yourself, you might find yourself distancing from friends, family, coworkers, or your work. From everything that makes you who you are. Taking relationship advice is never easy, but you need to consider what makes you uniquely you and hold on to it as much as you can. Otherwise, you risk losing your sense of self and putting too much pressure on the other person too quickly. Take a look at some telltale signs that you’re losing yourself in a relationship – and what you can do about it.
Here Are 7 Signs You May Be Losing Yourself in A Relationship
“Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.” – Walter Winchell
1. You live through your partner’s problems like they’re your own.
Being empathetic is never a bad quality. On the contrary, it’s one of the best ones you can have to help you grow a steady relationship. But sometimes, empathy can go too far too quickly because you have forgotten to stay true to yourself. You might find yourself feeling obligated to suffer when they do or to take on any problem like it’s your own. Don’t blur that line. Your partner will need to learn how to personally cope with problems. It’s not your job or burden to take that on your shoulders. All you’ll be doing is bringing more stress to your partner’s existing stress. Empathize with them, but don’t make their problems your own. This is probably the best, and most truthful relationship advice out there.
2. You constantly ask yourself “what if”?
That kind of apocalyptic thinking is a telltale sign that you’re way too invested in your relationship. You’ll find that you’re constantly asking yourself what would happen if you don’t do what your partner wants you to do. You’re scared that one wrong step might end the relationship. That kind of constant anxiety is a trap of exhaustion and fear that you don’t want to fall into. Any dating advice will tell you to try to remind yourself why this person is with you and why they’ve told you they care about you. Remember that having a life of your own isn’t a betrayal to your relationship.
3. You lose your working out time.
Time at the gym or spent jogging is normally one of the few times where you can really be alone with your thoughts. If you find yourself slowing down on your exercise routine, that means you’re not making enough time for yourself. It’s very easy to find excuses not to go to the gym, and it’s even easier to pin those excuses on your partner. This is not a healthy habit, as you’ll end up resenting them for something that’s ultimately not up to them but up to you. Maintain your healthy living habits, even if it’s hard. You’ll be thankful for that time to unwind and chill.
4. You refuse life-changing opportunities for them.
In relationships, you often find yourself finding the right balance between priorities and compromise. If you find yourself disproportionately turning down more opportunities than your partner is, then something has gone wrong. Perhaps it’s a summer trip with friends, or a job opportunity. It may be a great opportunity to move abroad. Turning down any of these can lead to losing your personality and who you really are. It may indicate that you are immersing yourself in your relationship so much that you only identify as the other part of a couple. Talk openly with your partner about your dreams and ambitions to find a solution. Make sure you’re on the same page together.
5. You say “we” instead of “me.”
This might seem like a small sign, but it’s definitely not one to ignore. People who speak in the first-person plural about their plans and dreams, or even their interests, are already deeply invested in a relationship and might need to take a step back. Not only are you losing your own identity that way, but you’re also speaking on behalf of your partner, which they might not necessarily appreciate. Try saying “I” and “me” and “mine” more often. Reaffirm your own identity – because you matter and your individuality matters, too.
6. You feel overworked, guilt-ridden, or anxious.
There might be many reasons why you feel like this, but an over-investment in a relationship is one reason that’s not often talked about. Losing your identity is scary. While not immediately obvious, you will subconsciously know it’s happening and it will stress you out. When you find yourself snapping at your partner, your family, or your friends for no reason, maybe it’s time to reevaluate where you stand in your relationship. Consider how you can take a healthier approach to your relationship without feeling overwhelmed or guilty.
7. You change your opinions out of fear of confrontation.
There’s nothing wrong in agreeing with your partner but doing it all the time because you’re scared to share your own opinions is very unhealthy. If you convince yourself that your social and moral views don’t matter, then you’re really losing a part of your identity. Don’t give up on your thoughts and feelings just because they might be different from your partner’s. If your partner really loves you, they will accept all of you – even the parts they don’t necessarily agree with. If they don’t, then you’re better off somewhere else.
Keep an eye out for those signs that can show you you’re getting too invested in your relationship. Stay positive and remember that even if you see this, nothing is irreversible. If you can, try to talk to someone outside of your relationship, who can give you a balanced view of the situation. Enforce positive thinking. Ultimately, always make the best choice for yourself because losing yourself in a relationship might hurt you for as long as you’re committed to that relationship. Stay true to yourself because only you know what’s best for you.