A woman can lose her personal identity in a romantic relationship – and not realize it until it’s too late. These tips on how not to lose yourself are inspired by George Eliot, a prolific writer who lived in the 1880’s. Her real name was Mary Anne Evans (she used a male pen name so her work would be taken seriously).
George Eliot was a big believer in not losing yourself, in standing up for yourself, in following your heart, and in achieving your goals.
“Be courteous, be obliging, but don’t give yourself over to be melted down for the benefit of the tallow trade,” she said.
My friends, a long-term committed romantic relationship can be the best thing that ever happens to you. Or it can be the worst thing – if you lose your personal identity in that relationship. If you’re struggling with life, losing yourself, and figuring out who you are, read This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down by Deborah Collins Stephens et al. It’s one of my favorite books on how to be authentic and successful.
And, read on to learn how not to lose your personality identity in a romantic relationship…
How Not to Lose Your Personal Identity in a Romantic Relationship
Realize when you’re “giving yourself over.” Healthy romantic relationships require compromise on both parts. To keep your personal identity, recognize when you’re acting on behalf of the relationship (such as going to boxing matches with your sweetie or making some sort of sacrifice) versus soaking up new likes or activities that aren’t who you are (such as taking on the “I love boxing!” mentality).
Spend time with your friends. Many women lose touch with their friends when they fall in love…it’s a normal part of the whole romantic relationship cycle! When you’re first falling in love, you spend more time with your lover. But, it’s important to balance that new, exciting part of your life with your “old” life: your friends and family. To keep your personality identity, keep your friends.
If you know he’s not good for you, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
Confess the bad bits to your friends and family. I’ve dated men who had personality and character traits that I could not tell my friends and family about! I was embarrassed and even ashamed that the man I was in a romantic relationship with had those traits…so I didn’t tell anyone about them. That, my friends, is one way to lose your personal identity in a romantic relationship. To stay connected to who you are, talk about the things that bother you about your boyfriend and your relationship. Force yourself to be honest and real.
Listen to the poet Rumi, and “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” In the first blush of love, you want to be together all the time! Stop that. Take a step back. Tune into your heart and soul, and make sure you’re staying connected to who you are. Think about who this man is and what you want out of life…are they compatible? Make decisions about your relationship with both your head and your heart…not just your heart.
Are you struggling to keep your identity? Read 10 Ways to Improve Your Self-Confidence – Queen Latifah.
If you’ve lost yourself or your personal identity in a relationship, find hope and inspiration in George Eliot’s words: “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”
What do you think of these suggestions for not losing your identity in a romantic relationship? I welcome your comments below…
This idea of not losing your personal identity when you’re in a relationship is really important to me! I re-published this article on my love blog, as How to Be Yourself When You’re in Love.