Some relationships consume us completely, but we often realize this too late. The other person may become the focus of all our thoughts, but not usually in a good way. Suddenly, you realize you have lost your identity and your life has started to revolve around that other person. Shared below are signs you have lost yourself or are in the process of doing so. Hopefully, if you are aware of the signs, you can slow things down before you are nothing more than a shell of your former self.
When you find yourself giving up the things you love so you can spend more time with your partner, then you may be losing yourself. While time together is great, keep your own time as well. Space is good for a relationship. Combat this by setting aside time weekly to do something just for yourself. Allow your partner the same time. You guys can share the new experiences. This works because there are two people in a relationship that both need attention and time. Taking this time will make you less likely to lose yourself as you rediscover your loves in life.
All consuming relationships are tough, but one of the most common and saddest parts is when you forget your friends to let your life revolve around a partner. When you realize you haven’t seen friends or often cancel plans just to be with your partner, then you are losing yourself. Be strict with yourself and remember that friends are for life, take time for them.
While we need to put effort into a relationship, it cannot and should not be the only thing in our lives. Reconnecting with friends is healthy and good, especially when trying to find your true identity. You will be able to relax and unwind, finding your old self. This also takes the pressure off your partner to provide all your interactions as outside things can also make you feel good.
Losing Me, I, and Mine
While it is great to be part of something special with another person and talk about “we” enjoy things together, when the words I, me, and mine start disappearing from your vocabulary then you are losing yourself. This can start with not being able to express your feelings about something because everything has merged. Start using your personal pronouns regularly as a way to take ownership of yourself and your life. It can be a tough habit to break, but if needed write out facts about yourself as a reminder. Co-dependent relationships are toxic, so we all need some individuality. As you practice personal pronouns, you will remember more about yourself independent from the other person and feel more worthy.
Cannot Remember Alone Time
Spending spare time with a partner can be good, but not all spare time. We all nee our own time. Set boundaries, even if you do not feel the need. Take a few nights a month to stay home alone or go out with friends for a few hours. Plan some time away or simply enjoy a morning coffee alone. You exist for your own being and alone time gives us time to process all that is happening in our everyday lives. Being with someone at all times can be exhausting and frustrating, take your own time as well. Self-care is a top priority.
While it is normal, fun, and necessary to consider a future with your partner, we also need to take time to think about ourselves and what the future holds for us. Use alone time to think about those future things that excite you whether your partner is there or not. Think about career moves, an upcoming event, or anything else that brings on strong feelings. When we do this, we can encourage new brain connections to form.
The brain is like a machine that learns. The more we think about one topic, the more connections are made. If we only think about our partner, then that person will ultimately be connected to everything. Think about other things to connect with over time, not just a single person. This creates a life, not just a relationship.
Who Is It For
Planning the future is normal, but you may miss the fact that you are already doing everything based on just the two of you. This is fine sometimes, but you nee time to be yourself as well. When making plans, ask how you will benefit from the plans. While you do want to enjoy each other’s activities, make sure this goes both ways. Do not let a partner dominate.
While merging opinions is common, you must also keep your own identity. Make sure you really know what you believe and feel because you are a separate person. Take charge of your beliefs so you can grow in yourself and then build on the relationship. This is not about distancing yourself, but knowing who you are.
Anxiety affects everyone, but losing yourself in a relationship can be highly anxiety producing. You may know on some level that it is unhealthy, but you allow it to happen an anxiety grows. When you feel stressed and guilty about not standing up for yourself, take charge and correct things when possible. This isn’t about control as much as relying on yourself and trusting in your choices and actions. This will leave you more secure and stable over time.
Not Your Priority
When you start limiting or forgetting self-care, you are losing yourself. Though looking good for a partner is great, self-care is more important. Never forget your personal wants and needs because it is up to you to make yourself happy. Self-care is a way we show ourselves that we matter.
Sometimes, we are naturally control freaks, but sometimes this trait is adopted as a way to feel better about our situation. When you start trying to control everything just to have some power, it is a red flag. Acknowledge your behavior and take responsibility so you have the courage to change and adjust where needed.
You are likely not being “happy” just in your relationship and feel unwanted because you are so involved and so needy in the relationship. Take a step back and realize your identity has been lost in the relationship an you need to regain it. Though you do not necessarily need to break up, do find yourself again. Be honest about what you want and need.
Are You a Ghost
Going through life on autopilot or numb to most things can be a big sign that you are losing yourself. Embrace your feelings and then move forward into who you are meant to be. If needed, make note of what you are doing daily an see how much revolves around the relationship. Remind yourself you exist.
When we become too involved or overly emotionally invested in someone, it can be bad. You cannot live a partner’s experiences for them, you need to live your own. Do not let their ream become yours because they could not succeed. Find your own success and hobbies and friends. While it is fine to be happy for another person, you are not them an cannot take credit for their success or take the fall for their failure. Find your own meaning. This will make you feel better about yourself.
Constant Relationship Talk
If you have ever been so into someone that you talk about them nonstop, it can be cute. However, this gets boring over time. We often talk about the things that make us uncomfortable and we need to get out. We may even be trying to be hide our own feelings with positive talk. If you are constantly focused on the other person an must talk about it, you will ruin yourself and the relationship. Don’t get fixated. Instead, make a conscious effort to limit time spent discussing the other person. Feel free to tell your partner how happy you are with them, but limit talk to outsiders to no more than five times a day.
Though we all have a strong connection to our phones, a growing phone obsession so that you are always available to your partner, is problematic. In fact, this is codependency. Set some boundaries and do not be afraid to miss a call or text. If you are fearful of anger if you do miss a call, then leave immediately because this is an abusive situation. Life should not revolve solely around a partner.
Only You are Willing to Change
While making positive changes is good, you should not feel the need to change completely for the other person. You should not always be willing to change or compromise when they are not. Stand up for things that matter to you, be it hair color, over exercising, or staying away from friends. If it is not something that matters to you, then compromise, but o not feel the nee to change for their preferences all the time. When a partner suggests a change, it should never be critical or unfair, but a genuine love or concern. You both need to learn to love each other for who you are in life.
Avoiding Highlighting Differences
You will never agree on everything, but do not be afraid to state your opinions to your partner. Stick up for what you believe in, not to argue, but to keep your identity. This requires setting boundaries and calm conversations. Your values matter and should never be set aside for another person.
Family and Friends See a Change
Not all change is bad, but when friends and family are constantly saying how much you have changed in your opinions, ways of dress, or other areas, then you are losing yourself. Maybe you have withdrawn or not spending as much time with people outside the relationship, either way, listen to these people that love you because they are worried. Take time to consider what they are saying and find yourself once again.
Fantasize About Being Single
If you have started fantasizing about being single, creating a whole other life without your partner, ask yourself why. Perhaps it is because you have lost your identity. If you are simply bored, spice things up, but if you need a long-term escape, figure out why. Be open and honest with your partner and then deal appropriately with the issue.
The Relationship is Not Good
When you have put lots of time into a relationship, it can be hard to admit it really is not good. If your needs are not being met, be honest about it. Write a “Pros and Cons” list if needed and talk it out with friends or family. It can be nice to get an outside perspective. Take a step back an evaluate your relationship objectively.
This list is not exhaustive or relevant to everyone, but you can easily lose yourself in both good and toxic relationships. Never give up on yourself, even if the relationship is great. Both people need fulfilled, safe, loved, and happy.