Saturday, January 23, 2010

How do you gain a sense of identity when you lose yourself in relationships?

How do you gain a sense of identity when you lose yourself in relationships? I don't know who I am as a person a lot of the time. Sometimes I just assume a certain personality type that fits with the person I am hanging out with at the time sometimes I don't. Sometimes I know who I am I think. I especially get lost in another person when I like someone or fall in love. How can I grow with this?How do you gain a sense of identity when you lose yourself in relationships?
I experienced this too when I was younger. In my early 20s I decided that I would never be happy unless I liked myself. I decided to take time off from dating. I focused on my education and exploring my own interests. I ended up not really dating for a couple of years. During this time I found that I could be an intelligent, strong woman. I figured out who I was and what I wanted without compromising with a man. When I went to graduate school I decided that I could date again. I found that when I began dating again I didn't settle. If a man didn't seem right within the first date or two I would move on. I had the confidence in my self to do that. I ended up meeting my husband in graduate school. He accepted me for who I am and has never expected me to change for him. I work with a lot of young people and see too many girls selling themselves short just to say they have a boyfriend. I wish more girls would take the time to ';date'; themselves and invest the energy and time in themselves. How do you gain a sense of identity when you lose yourself in relationships?
Spend more time by yourself! I was having the same problem for the longest time, and I realized the only way I was going to fix things was to spend some time alone to reflect. I started renting movies, reading, writing, and going on walks by myself. As cliche as it sounds, it really worked, because it gave to time to think and clear my head. It doesn't have to be for a long time, just give youself a few days. Honestly the best friend you can ever have is yourself... and once you realize that, it gets easier.
try and remember about the best bits of who you used to be BEFORE you met your ex partner and then combine that with the things you have enjoyed recently and then come to an agreement with yourself what your likes, dislikes, and points of views are on things.

It's a weird feeling, but YOU WILL rediscover yourself.

I recently broke up with my Gf of 6 years and it's very scary how much of your life became joined, and how the routines have all suddenly changed - its all a shock, but it will get better.
Wow I can't even believe what I just read. That sounds like me and I guess I just blocked it out but that's exactly what I do. I like to do lots of stuff but I always seem to conform to what the other person is looking for. I'm not saying I'm unhappy I just never realized.

Sorry I didn't answer anything :(
When you fall in love for real (not just like or lust) you WILL NOT ';get lost in another person';. This my dear is how you know that it's right.
All the other answers are great but I'd like to give you something very practicle to do.

Have you ever made a dream board? Well I'd like to suggest that you make one.

I once read, and it worked for me, that we all have these wow moments - when something, for some unknown reason interests or touches us a bit more than the normal every day things - it can be a film, a book, a place, a conversation, a special friend, whatever it is our eyes water and we feel very alive, connected and amazed by it.

If I were trying to understand myself I would set out to write all those moments down. What really touches/interests you. If it is activities with friends then write those down too! We are social creatures and it is ok to be a certain way with certain people so long as you can stand by your interests alone sometimes too. My board consisted of walking my dog, playing games with him, spending quality time. Once I had done this the next step was to take that further - I got into reading about dogs. went to crufts etc.

Find pictures of all those things that inspired you and make a collage - add to it. Go out and do those things, engage with them, alone or with friends, as often as you can. Plan a future around them. For me it meant going to crufts and joining a kennel club.

Important - do this alone though, No one else must influence your board.

You know who you are - you just need to get it all out.

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