When you’re in a serious relationship for a long time, it’s not uncommon to pick up some tendencies and ideas from your partner. Friends and family members might even start to look at the two of you as a “unit,” always associating one person with the other.
While there’s nothing wrong with adopting that mindset, there’s a difference between influencing each other in a relationship and losing your identity completely.
Unfortunately, it can happen easily for someone who deals with insecurity or self-esteem issues or someone who is codependent.
Thankfully, you don’t have to lose yourself in your relationship. If you feel like your “sense of self” is getting lost, it’s time to show up for you.
Signs You’re Losing Yourself
You might not be fully aware that you’re losing your true sense of self in your relationship. There might even be times you feel happy and fulfilled by finding your identity in your partnership. But, that can lead to esteem issues and can promote co-dependency. Plus, if your relationship ends, you’ll have a harder time picking up the pieces and learning to rediscover who you really are.
You can take back your identity now by recognizing some of the signs that you’re losing it. Maybe you feel disconnected from your own behaviors. You might not fully understand why you say or do certain things. They just don’t feel like “you.”
Another sign that you’re losing yourself in your relationship is that you let your partner determine who you are. You might think that would be easy to spot and put a stop to right away. But, when you value someone and want them to love you, you’re often willing to go along with things they suggest simply for validation.
Things like negative self-talk, a lack of self-care, seeking approval from your partner, and losing interest in things you used to enjoy are all signs that you’re losing yourself. So, what can you do?
How to Show Up for Yourself
You don’t have to avoid losing the deep connection with yourself. Identities can evolve over time, but what matters to you and what makes you who you are will always remain. It’s important to discover and rediscover that throughout your life.
With that in mind, some of the best ways to show up for yourself include regular self-care, journaling, taking time to do the things you love, and affirming yourself.
It’s also important to set boundaries in your relationship. Get comfortable with saying “no” to things you don’t want. Communicate clearly and effectively with your partner about who you are and what you need.
Finally, self-reflect. Mindfulness is a great way to keep yourself focused on the present, rather than letting the past dictate your behaviors or worrying about the future. Being mindful of the moment will allow you to see who you really are and who you want to be. It can strengthen you to stand up for your own identity in your relationship and with others.
Working to Find Yourself
Sometimes, “losing yourself” is a necessary burden. You might need to lose yourself in order to find yourself again. That doesn’t mean basing your identity on your relationship is good or healthy. But, if you’ve noticed some of the signs listed above and you’re concerned about losing who you are completely, consider this the perfect time to rebuild from the ground up.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it on your own. If you’re worried that you’ve lost yourself in your relationship or you just got out of a relationship and aren’t sure how to show up for yourself again, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact Valued Living Therapy to find a therapist who can help you.