7 Ways To Avoid Losing Yourself When You're In Love
Falling head first into love is a dizzying experience: You can't stop thinking of their name throughout the day, and want to spend every single waking moment with them because #lovehigh. But during this crazy time, how can you keep from losing yourself while in love?
When so enamored with a feeling and a person, it can be tempting to shove everything into the background and give all your attention to the snuggly feels. Where friends were once your everything, you find yourself canceling regular dinner dates. Where you once spent your evenings lacing up running shoes and beating personal bests, now you find yourself canoodled in restaurant corners with your beau. Where before you had a strong one-year plan that entailed you kicking butt on side projects till midnight, now you close your laptop and watch Netflix while snuggled into their arms. And so the loss of your wonderful self begins.
Granted, sometimes this slide is temporary, and we just let ourselves dabble with this love-sick phase for a week or two before we get our priorities back in order. But if you're the type of person that finds themselves losing their character and goals every time they find a new beau, then I'm here to help. Below are seven tips on how not to lose yourself when you fall in love.
1. Keep In Mind: You're Not Half Of A Person
It becomes easier to not lose yourself in a relationship when you keep in mind you're not actually the "half" of anything. You've built an interesting, full life up to the point where you met this person, and because of it you have a lot you bring to the table. There's nothing about them that will "complete" you — they just make you happy.
Daryl Lindsey from lifestyle site The Everygirl explained, "You don’t need a 'better half' because you are not half of a person. You are a whole person. A healthy relationship isn’t made of two broken, incomplete halves becoming one. It’s made of two wholes, both fully formed with their own plans and dreams and ideas, choosing to navigate the world together." If you live by the mantra that you complete your own self — and that your significant other is just there to keep you company on this awesome ride — then you'll be less likely to let yourself blend into them.
2. Map Out Plans That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Each Other
Since you're a bomb individual that has a lot going for them, you should continue to sit down and draft plans to meet all those goals you've set for yourself pre-relationship. Literally sit down at your desk, grab your favorite notebook, and write down aspirations you want to meet that have absolutely nothing to do with your partner. Then, get the beginnings of a battle plan ready to go about reaching them all.
Lifestyle writer Sahaj Kohli from Huffington Post recommended, "Spend some time charting short-term and long-term goals that have nothing to do with your significant other. Make sure you're aware of what you won't give up for anyone." Having big things on the horizon to focus on that have nothing to do with your beaue helps you stay rooted in a "me"— and not a "we"— type of mentality.
3. Schedule Friend Time Straight Into Your Planner
What do you think is the first thing to go when you shack up with someone you're crazy over? Yup, Friend Night. Whereas before you'd grab brunch every Sunday and cocktails every Friday a la the Sex and the City squad, now you've got Netflix-and-chill dates taking up your timetables.
Which is why you need to open up your planner and, at least once a week, schedule a friend date right in there. Lindsey pointed out, "As you start seeing someone new, double your effort to maintain connections with loved ones. Ask yourself, “Am I saying ‘no’ to them more than ‘yes?'"" By physically penning their name into your Friday night, you make it a priority and turn it into routine.
4. Put The "Over-Giving" Thing Into Check
When we think of the word "love," we think of this "I'll give you anything and everything" mentality. Just look at your grandma and how she gives you second, third, fourth, fifth servings of her chicken carbonara to prove her devotion to you. But to keep a sense of self while you tip head first into love, check your over-giving.
Lifestyle writer Lori Pinkerton from relationship site Your Tango, "Understand that love and giving are not the same as over giving." Giving someone all your love, time, attention, and affection to an obsessive point isn't the same as a healthy, loving relationship. It's over-compensating for something, and the reason for it could be telling. Keep that in mind the next time you're tempted to cancel on an evening class or bail on a group of friends..
5. Find Other Relationship Role Models
It becomes a lot easier to do something if you follow by example. So in order to get your bearings on what a healthy relationship looks like, find yourself some role models. Lifestyle writer Marlene Kelly from Oprah offered, "Look for healthy relationships that encourage you to have your own life." It doesn't even have to be in real life — follow a couple of people on Twitter or Instagram that have successful relationships, but lead separate, fulfilling lives. Watching them step out for Girl's Night, take separate summer getaways, and hustle for their goals — all the while being madly in love with their partner — will teach you it's doable.
6. Make It A Habit To Take Separate Trips
You know that weird feeling you get when you tell your SO that you want to go do something without them? You get all apologetic, as if stepping out for drinks without them tagging along would hurt their feelings.
It shouldn't, which is why you should make a habit out of it — and planning solo trips once a year will get you into the mindset that hanging out separately isn't weird, but necessary.
Lifestyle writer Kylie McConville from EliteDaily explained, "There’s nothing wrong with wanting him there, so why should you feel guilty not wanting him there? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, y’all." Whether it's a small weekend trip with your best friends or a full blown European excursion during the early fall, book those trips. Get used to the idea that having a separate life doesn't mean that you're drifting apart.
7. Speak Your Mind Without A Hitch
When you really love someone, it becomes a scary thought to think that they could leave you sometime in the future. Because of that, it can become tempting to not do anything to rock the boat. But that type of thinking gets real dangerous, real fast. Then you'll become complacent, easy to mold, and will lose the nerve to stick up for both what you need and want.
So push yourself to speak your mind without hesitation. Kohli offered, "A functional relationship makes room for what both of you need, and your partner can't know what you need if you don't voice it. If he or she walks when you do express yourself, better that than losing yourself to someone unwilling to hear you and meet you halfway." Your partner deserves to know what you think and what you need, so you're not doing anyone any favors becoming a welcome mat.
If you keep these ideas in mind — that you don't need anyone to "complete you" and that you should keep on living a separate and happy life, no matter how in love you are — then you should be able to keep your sense of self. Which you really should fight to do, because you're 100 percent amazing.