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6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

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I hear stories of people who went into a relationship full of life and came out as a shadow of themselves, hardly recognizable. 

It is a terrible place to be. 

No matter how much you are in love with someone, fight really hard to not lose yourself in that relationship. 

You wake up one day, and you don’t even know who you were before you got into that relationship. 

People who have experienced this will understand it fully, and if you have not experienced this, I truly hope that you do not. 

When you get into a relationship, it’s natural to want to invest yourself fully in it. 

Especially when you feel like you are in a relationship with your soulmate and this is the person you’ll be with for life. 

But try as much as possible to maintain your individuality and sense of self. 

And you know, the funny thing is how you lose yourself in a relationship without even knowing it. 

You may not even know it until the relationship ends or something happens along the way. 

If you must not lose yourself in a relationship, there are intentional things you must do from the beginning of the relationship to ensure that you are preserved throughout the relationship.

Let’s consider them together. 

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

1. Know Your Core Values

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

Your values are the fundamental beliefs that shape your decisions, goals, and boundaries.

These are the things that will inform you on when to say yes and when to say no. 

Before you drown in that river of love, take time to identify and understand your core values

It will help you make choices that align with your authentic self. 

If not, you’ll only agree with everything your lover says in an attempt to please them.

And you’ll keep doing it until you can no longer breathe if it is not through your partner’s nostrils. 

You no longer have your own say in anything. 

You can’t even think your own thoughts. 

At this point, who are you?

And you will sweat hard if you want to make adjustments midway into the relationship. 

So, from the beginning, clearly define your values and hold them dear. 

Save yourself the stress of compromising your principles for the sake of the relationship.

You shouldn’t be with people who do not align with your values. 


2. Maintain Independence

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

This is often mostly related to the female gender. 

A man will be in a relationship and will still maintain his independence, but a woman will go into a relationship and want the man to become her father, her mother, her sibling, her friend, and her lover, and in the midst of that, she will throw herself away. 

You see, healthy relationships thrive on interdependence, where two independent people are dependent on each other. 

So, even though they need each other and do things dependent on each other, they still live independently. 

When you get into your relationship with your soulmate, help yourself and continue to pursue your own interests, hobbies, and friendships outside of the relationship. 

Don’t throw away all your pursuits and ambitions; begin helping your partner pursue theirs.

If you decide to pursue the same thing as them, let it be your own personal decision and do it in a way that allows you to thrive independently of them. 

When you both have activities and passions that are uniquely yours, you are not only enriching and preserving your own lives but also bringing excitement and different experiences into the relationship. 

At the end of the day, you have something different to tell your partner, and they also have something different to tell you. 

Relationships are way better that way. 


3. Set Boundaries and Communicate Them

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

When you have clearly identified and defined your values, the best way to communicate them is by setting boundaries

Your boundaries in a relationship are your dos and don’ts. 

It allows your partner to know what they are allowed and what they are not allowed. 

How far they can go and how far is too far. 

One woman shared the story of how she was the only one earning an income at a time in her relationship, and she’d bring her earnings at the end of the day to take care of herself and her man. 

And she gave him access to take money from her account for his personal needs. 

But he went on and stole from the cash she kept in the house as her business savings. 

That is a clear case of a disrespectful person who does not know when to stop. 

If you lay out your boundaries from the beginning and stay strict with them, your partner will either learn to respect them or will have to go their separate ways.

This doesn’t rule out the possibility of compromise when it is necessary.


4. Prioritize Self-Care

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

Two people make up your relationship: you and your partner. 

These two people are entitled to the same level of love and care if the relationship flourishes. 

So, as much as you make time for your partner and invest resources into their well-being, you must always make time for yourself and invest resources into your own well-being. 

I discovered that your partner will usually not treat you better than you treat yourself. 

If you want to be treated right, you must treat yourself as a priority. 

And self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for your well-being and relationship health. 

If you are not sound and healthy, it will affect the relationship. 

So frequently, make time for activities that nurture your physical, mental, and emotional health. 

When you take care of yourself, you bring your best self to the relationship.


5. Nurture Your Friendships and Support Network

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

I have a bad habit of shutting off my other relationships when I am in a relationship. 

It is a very unhealthy habit, and I realized that a little too late.

Your relationships with friends and family are really important if you want to maintain your identity outside of your romantic partnership. 

Those people truly know you, and they will root for your happiness without wanting anything in return.

They are the ones who will call you back on track when it looks like you are losing yourself. 

So, invest time and energy in nurturing and sustaining these connections. 

Plan regular outings with friends and attend family gatherings. 

Every now and then, go home and stay there. 

If you are not married yet, try to stay as much as possible with your family and friends and not cohabit with your partner. 

Cohabiting is the fastest way to lose yourself in a relationship.

But your support network will provide perspective, advice, and a sense of belonging that keeps you enriched and helps you maintain a healthy balance between your personal and relational identities.


6. Continue Personal Growth

6 Ways Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

Your personal growth is an ongoing, never-ending journey. 

So don’t leave it at the entrance when you are going into a relationship.

Someone said that the day you stop growing is the day you start dying, and I agree entirely.

Because somehow, our bodies are wired to thrive on continuous improvement. 

So at the point when you stop exposing yourself to improvements, you begin to deteriorate. 

And when this happens, you have to depend on what your partner brings for survival. 

And once you begin to depend on someone for survival, you begin to lose yourself to them. 

Invest time and resources in self-development through learning new skills, pursuing educational opportunities, or setting personal goals. 

As you continuously evolve and challenge yourself, you bring purpose to the relationship. 

You now have something to share with your partner while they support your growth journey. 


The truth about saving yourself in your relationship is that it gives you something to offer in your relationship. 

So you don’t let your partner feel like they are in a one-sided relationship where they are the only one giving and are not getting anything from you.