Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the shuffle of your relationship, or do you find you and your partner becoming one of those couples who form into one? You know, the ones who become one person with two heads and it’s hard to see them individually? Sadly, it happens more than you think in relationships. You get happy in a relationship and throughout time you notice that you are doing more for the “we” than the “me.” You start to feel lost in your life and relationship because growing up you were taught to always be yourself and now you feel like you’re fading away.
Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of individuals who have been experiencing just that. They’ve been feeling lost in their relationship and do not know how to balance being themselves while also being with another person. I’ve heard things like, “I don’t even know who I am anymore” or “How did I let individuality fade away?” It can be overwhelming to feel like you’ve completely lost yourself, especially in a place where you felt so happy before. So how do you find a balance being yourself while still providing adequate time to your significant other? Below are a few things that can help you feel re-centered and start making yourself a priority again.
Time to Yourself
Sounds cliché, right? Take some time away from your partner to do something all for yourself. This can be very rewarding and doesn’t mean you are pushing your partner away. It can be a way to recharge yourself or a way to experience something for yourself that you can express to your partner later. It can be as easy as taking an hour to yourself after work to just be alone and relax, reading a book, taking a bath, going for a run... This can all be extremely rejuvenating! You will hear a lot of therapists emphasize how important self-care is, and they are right! Self-care doesn’t mean checking out of your relationship, and it doesn’t have to be completely time-consuming.
Keep Your Hobbies
You had hobbies before you met your partner, right? Why give them up? Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to give up things that make you happy and fulfilled on your own. Whether it’s a spin class, reading books, or making pottery, keep doing it! Your partner does not have to have all the same interests as you, and it’s okay to do things without them. I’m a huge advocate for taking time for yourself and doing something that makes YOU happy! You should be comfortable doing something by yourself and so should your partner. Self-care is a two-way street.
Stay in Touch with Friends
I’ve seen it all too many times — couples who become so consumed with one another that they leave their old friends behind. New relationships are young and exciting, and it’s normal to be 100% all in with them, but don’t forget to get back to your friends as well. It’s important to take some time to have a girl’s night and just as important to let your partner have a night out with their friends, whether it’s grabbing drinks or playing games. Friends can be a great support system, and you never know when you'll need them, so it’s good to keep those friendships strong!
Don’t Forget Your Own Goals
I’ve seen a lot of clients who struggle to keep their personal goals at the top of their priority list. They focus on their partner’s or family’s goals and can often struggle thinking it’s selfish to prioritize theirs. Trust me, it’s not selfish! It’s important to ensure you have a balance in your life so your personal goals don’t get shoved aside for others.
Communicate with Your Partner
Let your partner know that you want some time for yourself. Time to pick up an old hobby, take a class, go to the gym, hang out with old friends, etc… By opening the lines of communication, you are expressing your wants and needs and allowing your partner to do the same! This can set you and your partner up for success by allowing each of you to keep a piece of yourself while still growing together.
Whether you are feeling lost in a relationship or you are having trouble finding yourself, know that therapy can help! Learning ways to put yourself as a priority can be difficult, but it can be done! Reach out for a free phone consult with one of our therapists here at Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Center or drop me a line at: [email protected] and start your journey to a STRONG self and relationship today!