How to Be Yourself in a Relationship

happy couple

How to be true to yourself when you are no longer single

If you’re wondering how to be yourself in a relationship, this article is for you. People’s lives tend to change remarkably when they are in relationships, and some people feel they start to lose touch with who they really are. In this article, we will talk about keeping hold of your identity once you have found someone special and about the process of the two of you merging into one unit.

Are you losing yourself in a relationship?

At the start of a relationship, you may not really care about losing your identity and the pros and cons of becoming one half of a couple. Initially, you might be happy about doing everything together and sharing each other’s lives. As things progress, you may no longer do the things you used to do, and your friendship group could even change beyond recognition. If you make too many compromises, you may start to wonder if you have given too much of yourself away and start to miss your old life, even if you didn’t enjoy it too much at the time.

How to find yourself again in a relationship

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in your relationship without losing your sense of self. If the other person seems to make all the major decisions, you may start to feel depressed, anxious and hopeless. This can cause you to start engaging in rebellious behaviour, to the detriment of the relationship. It’s important to ensure that your partner respects your opinions and your ideas, even when they don’t share them. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, it’s advisable to make yourself clear about how you are feeling rather than acting in a passive-aggressive manner and letting your resentment grow and grow. Some people even have affairs when they feel they are being treated unfairly but keep their unhappiness to themselves in order to avoid conflict. People are less likely to act in this destructive way when they feel valued and respected in their relationships.

Be open to maintain your relationship

If you have found yourself feeling unsatisfied, unhappy and daydreaming of escape within your relationship, it may be time to get your feelings out in the open. The longer you leave it, the worse it is likely to get. If both partners are open to change and able to acknowledge their failings, the relationship has more chance of surviving. When people have the time and space to breathe in relationships, they can continue to blossom rather than decay.

Get the independence that you need

Perhaps you’re not getting enough time and space to yourself? If so, you may need to agree to an arrangement which allows you to achieve this. It can be much harder to gain the breathing space you need to cope with day-to-day life once you have children, but you could negotiate a few hours alone each weekend or every other weekend, allowing your partner the same opportunity. When you don’t get the minimum of freedom that you need, you could become an extreme version of yourself, with the least desirable facets of your personality amplified.

Don’t fake interests

It’s very wise to avoid trying to fake it until you make it when you start a new relationship. If you pretend to be interested in things that you don’t really enjoy in order to impress a new partner, you could find yourself partaking in all manner of activities that aren’t really for you. This can leave you feeling like an imposter. Don’t agree with your partner for the sake of it. Different opinions are a healthy concept in relationships. By blinding and passive-aggressively pretending to embrace things that you are not interested in, you can quickly lose your sense of self and start to feel incredibly unfulfilled.

Stay in touch with friends and family

One of the most important things to do once you are in a new, blossoming relationship is to avoid neglecting your friends. It can be all too tempting to shut yourself off from the world and leave your old friends in the past once you are in a new relationship, but you may come to regret this. When the honeymoon period is over, you may find yourself desperate for someone familiar to talk to, but if you neglect them too much, they may no longer be there when you really need them. This can leave you feeling incredibly isolated and full of regret, especially when you find it harder and harder to make new friends to replace them. It’s vitally important to do things away from your significant other on a regular basis.

Avoid ditching your old hobbies and interests

Don’t give up on your hobbies just because you are in a new relationship. Some people have come to regret replacing their own favourite activities and hobbies with their partners, and quickly started to feel like their sense of self has been eroded. Don’t feel too downhearted if your partner isn’t as passionate about certain things as you are. Shared interests aren’t always essential for relationships, and many relationships have ended badly even though both parties were interested in the same things.

Remember when to say no

You may have to say yes to many activities and events that you are not interested in during your relationship. However, don’t feel you have to go overboard. If you start to feel like your opinion is irrelevant and are only agreeing to things because you are afraid of the consequences if you don’t, it may be time to take a stand. Although you may feel as if you are creating a boundary by disagreeing with something, it’s important to remember that boundaries aren’t always a bad thing. Once you understand what your partner’s boundaries are, you can learn more about their needs and outlook on life and actually become closer.

Allow others into your life

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your partner is the only adult you need in your life. It’s also wise to avoid letting them do all the work. Far too many people become despondent in relationships, taking a back seat and letting them carry out the vast majority of tasks, including making decisions, planning holidays, doing the shopping, housework, choosing where to live and much more. You may well lose yourself if you simply sit back and give your partner far too much control. When you completely relinquish control, you may start to lose your confidence rapidly. If you seem to no longer be involved in the decision-making process, you may wish to start taking action.

Deal with conflict better in relationships

Another key tip is to change the way that you manage conflict if you feel you could react to it better. Try to get the whole idea of “winning” arguments via manipulation out of your head. This is never likely to get the outcome you desire. Even if you do strongly believe yourself to be in the right and therefore receive an apology, this may not be sincere. Try to adopt a calm tone and avoid being defensive or reactive when met with an aggressive partner. If you do feel tempted to raise your voice in anger, try to take a breath and decide what the best way to react is. Head out for a walk and try to gather your thoughts if your pulse starts to race. This can help you avoid saying something destructive that you might deeply regret later.


Honest and direct communication is the key to a successful relationship where neither partner needs to lose their sense of identity. If something is bothering you, try to bring it up at a suitable time when both partners can sit down calmly and discuss the issue. Don’t try to do this whilst you are driving, first thing in the morning or whilst out shopping, to give just a few examples. If you have lost track of your goals, ambitions and the kind of things you used to love to do in your spare time, it may be wise to compile a list so you can reconnect with these. Spending a great deal of time with your partner can be great fun, but it can also be rather stifling when you no longer feel you are allowed to have your own ideas, thoughts, interests, activities, and friends. When you have a life away from your partner, you are much less likely to feel frustrated, confused, lost and lonely. Whatever you do, it’s incredibly important to keep hold of your independence and remember that you are a person in your own right, rather than simply one half of a couple. Encourage your partner to build a life away from you too.

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