No one should lose themselves in a relationship. On the contrary, one should become more of the person that they are and not less.
A relationship should make an individual thrive not constrict. One should grow not wither.
It’s imperative that an individual self-protect to ensure the relationship is a healthy one. A relationship that causes one to lose their sense of self is contrary to the word itself. It is by definition, “a connection between people,” not the abandonment of one for another.
The 3 Red Flags That You Are Losing Yourself in a Relationship:
Powerlessness: When a relationship becomes unbalanced with one person caring or trying more than the other, there is a shift. No one person should hold the power in the relationship, but no one should be powerless either. This is further heightened when a relationship is deteriorating and only one of the individuals is attempting to fix the problems. The unhealthier the relationship becomes and the more the focus switches to getting the other person to care enough to not lose it – one is in the beginning stages of losing themselves. The individual who is the only one trying to save the relationship loses sight of themselves while focusing all the energy on the significant other in an attempt to save the relationship. In fact, it takes two to care enough to save a relationship. The one who becomes powerless through their loss of self gets used up.
Roles: The more a relationship develops into roles the greater the chance of losing one’s self. When a spouse takes on a role in a relationship they can become less of the individual. Partners can transition from respect to expected. It becomes two people with duties and roles rather than individuals sharing responsibilities. It also creates an imbalance in the partnership because roles generally involve one spouse tending to the other and the other providing the income. It creates a hierarchy in a relationship rather than an equilibrium. It fosters, spousal role related jokes, taking advantage of a spouse, and the income earning spouse potentially becoming more powerful. The spouse that takes on the tending role will lose themselves easily.
One Sided: Compromise is good. However, over compromising is not. It leads to giving too much of one’s self away. It leads to a one sided relationship. If one is abandoning the majority of their needs, wants, interests, and pleasures to live how the significant other wants them to live then they are losing themselves. The more one sacrifices what is a part of themselves or important to them, the more they fail to live as themselves and the more they begin to live in the world of their spouse. A relationship should accentuate someone’s world, not ask them to live in another’s at the complete abandonment of who they are.
No one should have the power in a relationship, but no one should be powerless either. A person should strive for a healthy relationship that makes them blossom and grow, not wilt and wither and grow in someone else’s shadow.