When we enter relationships, we are so excited about the new person in our lives that we tend to want to spend all of our free time with the person learning what makes them the person that they are. In pursuit of that knowledge, we also try to make ourselves fit whatever persona that we think will make our new friend/partner like us more. Sometimes that means trying a new activity, food, genre of music/movie/tv show, etc. It could mean wearing a new brand of clothing, starting to go to the gym, shopping in a new store, using a new vocabulary, or wearing a new hairstyle. It could mean stopping a bad habit, asking for help for your vices, leaving friends or family out of your lives, etc.

All of those changes could be good, healthy changes under the right circumstances. However, they could also mean that you are sacrificing part of your core self for the new relationship.  Very often when we are sacrificing portions of what makes us who we are, we lose our sense of “self” and eventually begin to resent that other person for causing us to lose the values and
characteristics that made us who we were in the beginning… the very things that brought the two of you together to begin with.

Reflecting back I can see that I lost my SELF in a couple of relationships early on. As a result and as I gained more and more weight, my SELF slipped further and further away. I remember my mom telling me that I was not acting like myself at all. I paid little attention to her concern…. because she obviously didn’t understand (you know, parents don’t “understand” much when we are in our teens and early twenties). However, as I started losing weight and reclaiming my body, I learned the importance of taking time out for myself and, in that time, I discovered ME again. My mom has also noticed and commented that I have been once again acting like my old SELF. Life has been a true pleasure since I reconnected with my 16 year old self and I have a husband that loves me just the way I am (even though “the way I am” has changed quite a bit over the last 6 1/2 years).

I know people who are in relationships in which they have compromised or totally set aside their true SELF to maintain the relationship. It is painful to watch. Those people are generally unhappy with their place in life and missing all of the fun and joy that was a major attraction when the relationship began.

I posted this on my MOVE YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION Facebook page:

Losing YOU in a relationship will only make life more stressful. Keep yourself authentically YOU. Enjoy life & don’t lose YOU in the process.

This is so very important in being able to sustain a relationship for the long run. Remaining authentically YOU, lets you maintain a sense of autonomy and self-worth while still being able to give and share of yourself in the relationship.

If you feel like you have lost YOU, you owe it to yourself and to your friend/partner to figure out a way to reclaim your life and find your SELF.

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