If you want to love others the right way, you have to love yourself first. And how can you expect to love yourself if you don’t even know who you are? In fact, how can you expect anyone else to love you the right way if they don’t know who you are either?
You meet a guy (or girl) and you think (s)he could be The One. You start spending more and more time with your significant other. You fall in love, and they’re all that you can think about. It feels so good to have someone that you can spend time with, talk to, have fun with. Until one day you can’t tell where one of you ends and the other begins.
Losing yourself happens slowly. You probably won’t even notice that it happened at first. But when you stop and think about it, you don’t know who you are anymore. Who are you, when you’re not with them?
For awhile, I was afraid this would happen to me. So I didn’t let it happen. I spent some time getting to know myself and figuring out what my own personal interests, goals, dreams, and hobbies were.
Everyone told me that I was too young to get married – that I needed to figure out who I was first before I became serious with a guy. I disagree with that advice because I believe it’s completely possible to find yourself even while you’re in a relationship – I did it myself.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but individuality is so important. I cannot stress that enough. It’s healthy! It’s an awesome feeling to know who you are when you stand alone. You don’t need to lose yourself just because you found someone else. It’s not selfish to figure out who you are. Like I said, you have to love yourself before you can expect to fully love anyone else. Your man/woman fell in love with YOU, right? It was your “you-ness” that attracted them to you! So you’ve gotta reconnect with the you that they fell in love with. (S)he’ll be so happy with you for it, too. I mean, there’s nothing more attractive than a confident person who knows exactly who they are – and what they want!
Here are a few ways that you can keep – or find – your sense of self when you’re in a relationship:
Have a Date Night (With Yourself)
Go out to a restaurant that you’ve always wanted to go to but your partner isn’t interested in. Go to a movie that you’ve been wanting to see that isn’t your partner’s taste. Go to a museum that you’ve been dying to go to. Do something that will make you happy – something that your partner wouldn’t be interested in. This will help you get a sense of your own individuality.
Spend Time on a Hobby (Or Find a New One)
Spend some time (alone) doing one of your favourite hobbies. If you aren’t sure what hobbies you like, try out some new ones. Take a cooking class, an art class, or any other type of classes that seem interesting to you. Get a gym membership, go to your local craft store – do something. Spending some time by ourselves doing our favourite hobbies gives us a sense of who we are, separate from our partners.
Spend Time With Friends & Family (Without Your Partner)
It’s awesome when your S.O. gets along well with your friends and family. That doesn’t mean that (s)he always needs to be around when you see them, though. People (generally) act different with their friends when their partner is around. And sometimes your friends and family members want to spend time with YOU. So make sure that you spend time with them alone once in a while.
Do Something Bold
Make a big change. Cut your hair, dye it, get a piercing – whatever you want. If there’s a tattoo you’ve been wanting to get, go for it. Changing something about yourself can remind you that it’s your body, plus it could give you your sense of unique-ness back. Don’t even tell your partner first or you might lose your nerve. Just go for it. If they love you, they’ll get used to it.
Care For Yourself
Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in making sure that our partner is happy that we forget to take care of ourselves. Don’t let yourself go. Make sure you make yourself feel good and happy. Make time to work out, pamper yourself, buy yourself gifts, etc. Continually work on your own self-improvement. Sometimes it’s okay to put yourself first.
Speak Up For Yourself
You don’t always have to do everything that your partner wants. I’m not saying to say no to everything – you should try to keep an open mind when it comes to trying new things. But remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes. At the end of the day, you need to make yourself happy and do things for YOU.
Check In With Yourself
Once in a while, I “check in” with myself (usually in my journal). I ask myself questions like: Are you truly happy? What are you unhappy with? What can you do to change that? etc. You can ask yourself these questions (or similar ones) once in a while to sort of figure out what you’re missing and what you can do to fix it.
The bottom line is, you can keep the “me” even when you’re a “we.” Spending time alone once in awhile, getting connected with yourself, will only make your relationship stronger. Don’t lose sight of your individuality. After all, YOUR happiness is what matters most.