To lose yourself in a relationship is a recipe for disaster.
You are asking why?
Because a stable personality that is getting its needs met is the precondition for a fulfilling relationship.
Unfortunately losing yourself “in love” can happen faster than you think.
You start a promising relationship, you fall in love, you are happy for six months and then things change, you change.
We want our relationships to thrive and most of us tend to think that one way of achieving this is neglecting our own needs and being eager to please our partner – taking care of their needs rather than our own.
Is this wrong? Do we have to put ourselves first in a relationship?
Not necessarily. A relationship is about giving more than you expect back. But never at the cost of our most important personal needs.
When we neglect our most important personal needs, we lose touch with our true self. The result is neediness, insecurity and unhappiness. We become a “Pleaser”.
In addition, IF a relationship like this should fail – and this is very likely – we will lose everything.
How can we be sure to fulfill our own needs first?
First of all, we must have a pretty good idea who we are as a person. We have to know ourselves first. This is a very important precondition to unconditional self-love.
Based on this knowledge you can start to make a list of your fundamental personal needs, based on your personality. After this, you can start to express these needs to your partner in a clear, concise, articulate manner. This also includes actively learning how to articulate your own thoughts and feelings towards your partner.
This can lead to problems if your partner is a “Controller”, someone who loves to criticize, to shape us after their own idea of a “perfect” partner.
Here it is important to understand that confrontation need not be a negative thing. On the contrary, if it’s handled well, a healthy confrontation can actually lead to better, more honest communication.
During the research for my new book, I discovered a small poem, (really more like a mantra than a poem), which describes the one thing every relationship needs to survive:
To accept the partner for who they are, we have to accept all the flaws and shortcomings.
You should read it to yourself AND to your partner from time to time.
by Jim Messina
I am who I am
You cannot change me so please do not try
So let up with the criticisms, put downs and attempts to make me fit your “box” for me
Face it, it is easier for you just to accept me as I am than to work at making me who you want me to be
Of course you do not have to agree with what I say or do
Just accept me as the human I am
I am weak, have sinned, failed and have made many mistakes in my life
Hey, that’s what makes me the “unique me” that I am
I will never be perfect, ideal or the “image” you want for me
Accept me for who I am as I accept you for who you are
Let’s have fun together and allow our “real selves” the freedom to be “us”
We can be a team of unconditional mutual love and acceptance if you relax and let it happen
Try to find a balanced combination of taking care of YOUR personal needs as a person, and the mutual needs you have as a relationship. This is the best way to NOT lose yourself in love.