Why Am I Feeling Unsure About My Relationship? 7 Signs You're Not Really Being Yourself With Your Partner
A lot of people will tell you that one of the biggest things to look for in a relationship is the ability to be yourself with your partner. But whether or not you've found this may not be as obvious as it seems. Some of us are super comfortable showing parts of our selves but not others to our partners, and some of us change so much for our partners, we forget who we are.
If you're not sure if you're being yourself with your partner, therapist Kimberly Hershenson tells Bustle she recommends making a mental or written list of what you believe. "What are your values? What are your thoughts about political, economic or social issues?" she suggests asking yourself. "Instead of saying to yourself 'what would he or she think?' ask yourself 'what do I think?'" Stand up for yourself. If you disagree with something, be polite but express what your thoughts are on the matter."
When we're not ourselves around our partners, we end up either completely losing ourselves or resenting them for keeping us from being our true selves. Either way, it's not a good situation to be in, so it's important to identify these signs as soon as possible.
1. You Hold Back With Your Style
A lot of us hold off from doing things like dying our hair or getting tattoos because we're afraid of what others might think. Our partners should leave us feeling free to do these things and, in the best relationships, help us find the courage to do them. If yours doesn't, you may be subconsciously feeling like you have to tone yourself down around them, says Hershenson.
2. You Stay Quiet To Avoid Conflict
If you hold back your opinion because you're scared of how your partner will react, you may not be feeling safe to express your desires, says Hershenson. Whether you don't want to see the movie they've proposed or you disagree with their opinion about politics, being yourself requires being able to disagree without causing conflict.
3. You Seek Your Partner's Approval For Decisions That Don't Affect Them
It's normal to want your partner's approval before doing something that directly affects them, like making food they're going to share or spending money in a joint bank account. It's also normal to seek their advice about major decisions. But you should feel free to make choices that affect you alone without their permission. If you don't feel that way, you may be secretly worried about what they'll think of you, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Christine M. Valentin tells Bustle.
4. You're Always Primping Up Around Them
It can be fun to primp up for date night, but you shouldn't feel like you have to in order to look more attractive for your partner. If you can truly be yourself with your partner, you'll feel comfortable around them the way you woke up, says Valentin.
5. You Act Differently Around Your Partner & Your Friends
If you're not sure whether you're being yourself in your relationship, ask your friends if your behavior seems to change when your partner's around. If you act differently around your partner than you do around your friends, there may be a whole side of you that your partner's not seeing, says Valentin.
6. You Do Everything With Them
When you're in a relationship, you should also be keeping up an active life with your friends, your family, and yourself. Giving up hobbies you had before your relationship could especially be a warning sign, says Valentin.
7. You Never Argue
It may look on the outside like a couple that never argues has made it. But in reality, it could mean you're holding back. "If you can’t recall a disagreement you had with your partner, chances are you are not being yourself due to complacency," says Valentin. "A relationship consists of two individuals coming together with different interests, viewpoints, and perspectives."
Being yourself in a relationship might be scary, since you could find that your partner doesn't like you for who you are. But if they don't, it's better to realize that so you can go find someone who appreciates your true self.