Losing yourself in a romantic relationship is setting yourself up for a disaster.
You may be asking yourself, why is that? It’s because only a stable person who is getting their own needs met is ready to be involved in a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
Unfortunately, “losing yourself” in a relationship can happen much quicker than you think it possibly could. You begin a relationship that holds promise, you soon fall in love, and you’re blissfully happy…for six months or so. But then, things change. You change.
You want your relationship to thrive. Most people tend to think that one way to achieve this is to neglect our own needs in favor of eagerly pleasing our partner—in other words, we take care of their needs before we take care of our own needs.
Is that wrong? Are we supposed to put ourselves before others in relationships? It’s a simple question, but it’s not a simple answer.
The answer is: not necessarily.
Relationships are about giving out more than you expect to receive back. But this give-and-take should never be at the cost of getting your own most essential individual needs met. If you neglect your own most important individual needs, you will lose touch with your true self. The result is unhappiness, insecurity, and neediness. You become a “people pleaser.” Also, if relationships like this fail, and they very likely will fail, you will lose everything.
So how can you make certain that your own needs are being fulfilled first?
First of all, you must have an honest view of who you are as an individual person. You have to know yourself first. This is crucial when it comes to unconditionally loving yourself. Based on this view, you can begin to list your fundamental personal needs as an individual.
After you have this list in hand, you can start to express them to your significant other in an articulate, concise and clear manner. This process forces you to actively learn how to clearly articulate your feelings and thoughts to your spouse.
Note that this process can lead to issues if your partner is controlling—somebody who likes to criticize you and desires to mold you into their own idea of what a “perfect partner” is.
At this point, it’s important for you to understand that not all confrontation is a negative thing. If confrontation is handled in a healthy way, it can actually lead to better and more open and honest communication.
During my research for a new book, I discovered a brief poem about relationships that I like. One line describes the one thing that every relationship will need in order to survive. That line is a lot like a mantra:
To accept your partner for who they are, you have to accept all their shortcomings and flaws.
Using it as a mantra, you could read it both to yourself and to your partner every now and then. Try to find balance in taking care of your individual needs as a person, and the mutual needs you share in the a relationship.
This process is the best way to make sure you don’t lose yourself in love!
I’d really like to know: What are some thing you do to make sure you’re not losing yourself in love? Have you ever put somebody else’s needs in front of your own? Have you ever lost everything in a relationship like this? Tell me about it in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you!