Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? Do you have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship? I certainly have! Looking back, it’s rather terrifying, how easily and completely depended on another for “life support”?
It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when you no longer recognize who you are. It can happen in healthy relationships, especially if you have unrealistic expectations about romance. In less healthy relationships, it’s not too difficult if your partner tries to pressure or manipulate you into becoming dependent on them. Research Narcissist Personality Disorder. It’s a real thing.
Learn how to balance love with the rest of your life. Try these tips for having a more fulfilling relationship with yourself and your partner. You can tell that you’re sacrificing too much if you know where to look.
Spotting the Warning Signs
- Maintain other connections. Neglecting your family and friends is one of the most common and obvious signs. Make time for them in your schedule. When you’re with them, be sure to talk about more than your new love interest.
- Do your job. Are you too distracted to meet deadlines and participate in meetings? Keep your mind on work when you’re at the office. Save personal calls and texts for lunchtime if necessary.
- Watch your spending. Maybe you’re celebrating a little too much with shopping sprees, overeating, or other indulgences. The sooner you slow down, the easier it will be to fix the damage.
- Enjoy your hobbies. It’s great if your partner introduces you to new interests but beware of giving up the things you love just to please them. For example, you can take a class while they go to a hockey game.
- Voice your opinions. Speak up for yourself. Let your partner know you like jazz more than hip hop. It’s natural to disagree sometimes.
You may have noticed that even when you start a new relationship, you soon fall into the same patterns you established with your last partner. If you want things to turn out differently, you’ll need to address your personal issues. Albert Einstein said: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting the same results is insanity”
Keep these tips in mind:
- Boost your self-esteem. Make yourself a priority. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect just as you are. Treat yourself with compassion and repeat positive affirmations.
- Create boundaries. In a healthy relationship, partners encourage each other to set their own ground rules. Explain what you need and what you find unacceptable.
- Set goals. You’re less likely to lose yourself if you’re excited about other aspects of your life. Develop passion projects that motivate you to learn and grow. As a bonus, you’ll probably make yourself more interesting.
- Practice self-care. Treating yourself well makes you stronger and more resilient. It also reminds you of your worth. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and deal with stress constructively.
- Spend time alone. Do you enjoy your own company? It’s important to have a healthy relationship with yourself in order to bond with others. Solitude gives you an opportunity to increase your self-awareness and center yourself.
- Take a break. If you’re dissatisfied with your love life, you might benefit from giving up dating for a while. Use the time to examine your dating criteria and form new habits.
- Consider counseling. Working with a therapist might help too. That’s especially true if you’re trying to recover from an abusive relationship or think that childhood issues are affecting your adult behavior.
Hold onto your identity when you’re in a relationship. Losing yourself is too high a price to pay for wanting to be a couple. You and your partner deserve to feel secure and loved for who you are.
Wishing You Well,