Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? If so, you may have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship. It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when time goes by, and you fail to regain your sense of balance. It can happen in healthy relationships, especially if you have unrealistic expectations about romance. It can also happen in less healthy relationships if your partner tries to pressure or manipulate you into becoming dependent on them. Learn how to balance love with the rest of your life. Try these tips to learn how to avoid losing yourself in a relationship.

Spotting the Warning Signs

You can tell that you’re sacrificing too much if you know where to look.

Stay on the alert for these common symptoms:

1. Neglecting friends and family.  This is one of the most common and obvious signs. Don’t give up your friends and family just because you’re with a new partner. Make time for them in your schedule. When you’re with them, be sure to talk about more than your new love interest.

2. Not doing your job. Are you too distracted to meet deadlines and participate in meetings? Keep your mind on work when you’re at the office. Save personal calls and texts for lunchtime if necessary.

3. Giving up hobbies. It’s great if your partner introduces you to new interests but beware of giving up the things you love just to please them.

4. Not speaking up for yourself. It’s important to voice your opinions in your relationship. Let your partner know your preferences, and recognize that it’s natural to disagree and have different wants.

Being Proactive

You may have noticed that even when you start a new relationship, you soon fall into the same patterns you established with your last partner. If you want things to turn out differently, you’ll need to address your previous pitfalls.

Keep these tips in mind:

1. Maintain your self-esteem. Make yourself a priority. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect just as you are and don’t need to change fundamental aspects about yourself just to please a partner.

2. Create boundaries. In a healthy relationship, partners encourage each other to set their own ground rules. Explain what you need and what you find unacceptable.

3. Set goals. You’re less likely to lose yourself if you’re excited about other aspects of your life. Develop passion projects that motivate you to learn and grow. As a bonus, you’ll probably make yourself more interesting.

4. Practice self-care. Treating yourself well makes you stronger and more resilient. It also reminds you of your worth. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and deal with stress constructively.

5. Spend time alone. Do you enjoy your own company? It’s important to have a healthy relationship with yourself in order to bond with others. Solitude gives you an opportunity to increase your self-awareness and center yourself.

6. Take a break. If you’re dissatisfied with your love life, you might benefit from giving up dating for a while. Use the time to examine your dating criteria and form new habits.

Hold onto your identity when you’re in a relationship. Losing yourself is too high a price to pay for wanting to be a couple. You and your partner deserve to feel secure and loved for who you are.

If you need more support when it comes to learning how to avoid losing yourself in a relationship, consider counseling for relationship issues.  It would certainly help, especially if you’re trying to recover from an abusive relationship or think that childhood issues are affecting your adult behavior. It’s important to know that you CAN develop healthy boundaries and a loving, safe relationship. If you think therapy might be for you, the first step is reaching out. I invite you to contact me for a free consultation so that you can get on the path to creating the relationship you’d love to have.