Tips to Keep Your Sense Of Self While DatingMar 10, 2023
When starting a new relationship, it is easy to get lost in the excitement and want to spend all your time and energy on your new partner. How many friends have you seen stop going out or only go out as a couple? Now look back at some of your relationships. How many times did you do that? How many hobbies, girls' night out, or friends did you drop so you could spend time with your new partner?
People can lose themselves in their relationships for a variety of reasons. It could be as simple as the strong energy and feelings that flood you when you're in a new relationship. It could also be due to codependency.
When you are in a codependent relationship, you will often prioritize your partner's needs over your own. You rely on your partner to fill you up. You rely on them to feel validated and loved and tie your happiness to their happiness. Recognizing that you are in a codependent relationship or if you lost yourself in your partner might not be as easy as you think. Some signs that you lost yourself in a partner include:
- You no longer prioritize yourself or "me" time.
- Your main focus is your partner, and you need your partner to be happy with you.
- You are canceling activities and hanging out with friends and family to do what your partner wants.
- You are afraid to say no to your partner out of fear of disappointing them or fear that they will abandon you for not doing what they want.
Now, how can you protect yourself?
You can do several things so you can keep your sense of self and not lose yourself in your partner.
Keep Seeing Friends And Family
Having your network of friends and family is important. Not only are they a support network to lean on, but they can also help you stay true to yourself. You want to keep going out and seeing the people that were there for you before your relationship started. When in a relationship, it is easy to fall into our own little world with our partner, which is okay for a small amount of time. But we must remember to crawl out of that relationship bubble and keep in touch with the people that matter most to us.
Do Your Own Thing
You need to take the time and do the things that matter to you. When we get into new relationships, we focus on the hobbies that fit us as a couple instead of what we ourselves are interested in. Keep doing the activities, hobbies, or special trips that you did before getting together. Whether it is the Saturday morning Starbucks treat, traveling during the summer, or day hikes during the weekend. You want to keep up with the activities that are special just to you. Having that little bit of independence, alone time, or girl time is huge not only for our sense of self, but for our mental health.
Keep Your Identity
Don't replace "I" with "We." Grouping yourself in with your partner is so easy because you do so many activities with them. But it is okay to only refer to yourself. Not everything needs to be done as a "we," and you shouldn't only make plans as a “we.” It may seem like such a small thing, but taking that little step to keep the "I" can have a huge mental impact.
Part of keeping your identity is doing what you enjoy, even if your partner doesn't. This is more than just doing your own thing. This is about doing something regardless if your partner likes it or understands it, as long as it does not violate them or your relationship. Some people really enjoy Cosplay and Comicon, writing and art, foraging, etc. It can be anything that your partner doesn't understand or see the value in. They don't understand why YOU would put the money, time, and effort into this passion, which can be disheartening and push you away from the activities that you enjoy. These activities, niches, or subcultures may not be for you as a couple, but it is for you as an individual.