Do you get lost in a relationship?

by Dandy

It happens.  Even strong people can lose themselves in a relationship.  We can become so happily wrapped up in our partner that after a while we feel something is amiss within ourselves.  Where did we go?  When we are in love our partner gets high on the  list of priorities.  That’s ok.  They are supposed to be on that list.  Their time schedule, their hobbies and interests, their priorities, it all becomes our own priorities.  It’s when we get lost in them we become unbalanced.  How do we hold onto our selves and have a healthy relationship?

To have a healthy relationship you must be a healthy person.  A symbiotic relationship is an unhealthy one.  One person is needy and dependent.  One person has power over the other.  The result of this is the loss of integrity of both partners.  A healthy relationship is one where there is maturity, peace, and stability.  Both individuals have plenty of room to be themselves and there is genuine acceptance.  In a symbiotic relationship one partner is driven by fear that the other will leave.  In a healthy relationship, each individual is free to take up room in the others life and each person has balance in their own life.  A person will choose rather than be driven to give love to the other partner. 

  We have all seen negative, sick, grossly unhealthy relationships.  Many of us don’t even have much of an idea of what a healthy relationship even is.  In a healthy relationship we give our love freely, with no conditions and expectations.  Many of us have learned through our observances of other relationships, that to give love means to “give up” or “give away”.  In essence creating a deficit in our own selves.  We also learn to give only as much as we expect to receive, so that we don’t feel cheated by giving more.  In a healthy relationship, giving is very different from these types of messages we have received.

In a symbiotic relationship one partner gives up a significant part of themselves in order to keep the peace.  This unhealthy individual is ruled by a fear of being alone and they will give away parts of themselves for the sake of staying in the relationship.  So while short-term conflict is avoided, the status-quo will be maintained.  In the long run the price paid is high.  The price is the precious loss of self.  If one partner sacrifices themself too much then the other partner has more power and control over the entire relationship.  When there is an unbalance of power the relationship will feel very unsatisfying for both individuals.  The price paid for not being alone is to give up who and what they are, their wants and needs. For not wanting to be alone the individual will ultimately feel alone. 

To have a healthy relationship we have to love ourselves.  To give up ourselves or shrink it down to make room for the other partner, will haunt us.  We will feel resentment, regret, and anger.  Therefore, the relationship will deteriorate.  We all need relationships, but we also need to be fulfilled within ourselves.  When we give up pieces of ourselves for the sake of a relationship we do so at the cost of our identity and personal growth.

Our lives should never totally change when we enter into a relationship.  We have to maintain our individuality and personal goals.  We need to maintain and continue to develop our friendships, hobbies, careers, and interests that we had before we met our partner.  If we give these up, we give up our uniqueness.  Maintaining our individuality will enable us and our partner to build a healthy relationship.  We will also be more interesting for our partner.  They will want to stay with us.

Symbiotic relationships fail in many ways because they are unsatisfactory.  When we enter a relationship and give up all the wonderful things that make us who we are we aren’t giving ourselves the love we need.  We have to love and respect ourselves first before we can give love to another.  The loss of self, identity, authenticity, whatever you wish to call it is a profoundly sad loss.  It is devastating.

We also must not confuse identity and individuality with flexibility.  Identity is about all the great things that make us who we are.  flexibility and compromise are crucial to a healthy relationship and will always be necessary in any relationship.  To compromise we have to be committed to honest communication of our feelings and needs at all times.

Neither you or your partner should give up what makes you unique and the special person you both are.  It’s up to you and your partner to create and maintain a balance.  Healthy boundaries will accomplish this along with loving ourselves.

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33 Comments to “Do you get lost in a relationship?”

  1. Hi Dandy!

    Great post and it’s chocked full of wisdom.

    Here’s a powerhouse statement, “To have a healthy relationship we have to love ourselves. To give up ourselves or shrink it down to make room for the other partner, will haunt us.” WOW! That’s a quote for the books. Indeed, if we neglect ourselves in an attempt to “help” a relationship, we are not only killing ourselves, byt we’re not really helping the relationship either.

    Great Job Dandy. I hope many read this and are helped…I know they will be.

    • Keith!
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I just revel in your positivity! I’m glad you liked my advice. It all comes from learning the hard way! I believe when it comes to romantic relationships we are all students even if we’ve been with the same partner for 50 years. There’s always something to learn! Thanks for your wonderful support Keith!

      Dandy

  2. Dandy, you sure it the nail on the head with this one. What makes me sad is when I hear someone say, “Gee I thought he/she would change. We grow together and do change, but in our own terms.

    Anyone in a relationships or wanting to get in a relationship should read your article. Thank you very much.
    Debbie

  3. Relationships are about growth, honesty, love, and realizing we cannot change one other but learn from each other. This is what relationships are about. A mutual underlining understanding. It less about me and more about the other person. Leaving selfishness at the door. This is the best way to let them into your heart.

  4. Hi Dandy,

    Very nice post! You are right my friend, there has to be a balance. We have to love our partner unconditionally, but at the same time, have our own life. We should spend time doing our hobbies, going out with friends, and everything else that we love doing. The same goes for our partner as well. If there is balance, then we won’t get lost in a relationship. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Dia,
      You are so right. We need to find something that feeds our soul & then we have to be encouraged by our significant other to be ourselves and follow our passions. We will be better partners. Balance is crucial. Thank you for your comment Dia!

  5. Hi Dandy, a great self-enquiry post, love it! Relationships really are mirrors where we look at ourselves back. I’ve learnt this the hard way. But the more you invest in yourself the more the love will out pore and be reflected back by another. Love and accept yourself first then that of another just like you will arrive when the moment is true – your other half (the other matched part of you and you of them). You’re not meant to go through life alone so where love is missing shows where it needs sharing. Be blessed with bliss.

    • Hi John,
      I couldn’t agree with you more! Yes it is true that we are more giving to others when we invest in ourselves. Self-love is everything! Thanks for your lovely comment John!

      Dandy

  6. This is a very well written, informative article Dandy! I have been in both kinds of these relationships throughout the years, and the the balanced, healthy, one where I continue to persue my individual passions from the SUPPORT of my spouse has been very very satisfying.
    We do need to love ourselves in order to have a healthy relationship.

    Loved reading this.
    Jen

    • Hi Jen,
      I’m so glad you liked my post! I too have learned the hard way that by shrinking myself away to make room for someone else always ends in disaster. Self-love sure does solve alot of problems! Thanks Jen!

  7. Hi Dandy,

    It’s great to read this well-thought out post on relationships from you.

    I agree that symbiotic relationships is simply not the way to go. As you have rightly pointed out, in a symbiotic relationships, one partner is driven by fear that the other will leave. Also in many symbiotic relationships, the world revolves around the partner who is expected to be the magic cure to fulfilment. As such, the fear of losing the partner is great and strong leading to all kinds of paranoia. If Jill means the world to Jack, he is likely to be extremely possessive and controlling in a symbiotic relationship. After all he expects Jane to be the answer to his fulfilment which is simply impossible. Any disruption in the status quo or his relationship is likely to drive John over the edge.

    I have always believed that a balance of power must be kept in a healthy relationship. Both parties have to love, trust and respect each other. The moment there is contempt for the other on either side, the relationship can easily become unhealthy. If John feels contempt for Jane, it will not be long before Jane feels it and starts to become paranoid. And the whole relationship can quickly become symbiotic as Jane may try her best to win back John’s approval.

    Healthy realtionships are not easy to maintain in the long run. At the start of any relationship, it is easy for things to go smoothly as both parties are still in the honeymoon stage. The real test comes when the honeymoon stage passes. You are right when you say we have to love ourselves first. Because we need to love ourselves before we can give love. Otherwise we will only be taking and the love we give is needy and conditional.

    A balance has to be struck. While we should always consider the interests of our partner, we should not do so all the time and martyr ourselves for their sake. This will only lead them to take us for granted. It helps if we always communicate openly and respect our partners in all that we do.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely post! 🙂

    Irving aka the Vizier

    • Hi Irving,
      Wow! Your comment is great! I see you understand exactley how important balance is. Healthy relationships take alot of work to keep that balance. That’s why having love for yourself is crucial. You can’t be healthy without loving yourself. Giving is more genuine. Also if we have self-love we can accept the love that is given to us. Thanks so much Irving. You’re pretty smart!

  8. Hi Dandy! Great relationships are base on balance. Both parts need to contribute and engage equally so we don’t get lost in the shuffle. When we communicate openly with our partner, we leave room for growth and no one gets “suffocated” in the process.
    Thanks for this exploration in partnership. Loving blessings!

    • Andrea!!
      Yes! Communication is so important. So is active listening. Listening without judgement or defensiveness. Having an open mind and spirit is crucial for growth. In doing this people will grow together instead of apart. Thanks for your support Andrea!

  9. Funny I should come across this post, as I’m currently reading The Road Less Travelled, which dives deep into relationships and what is true love.

    Needless to say, I can relate to both the book and yourself, Dandy. I think the balance between partners is crucial to not only ensuring that stereotypes are met, but also for both partners to experience the highs of life whilst maintaining a healthy ‘base’ in their relationship. Thanks Dandy 🙂

  10. The authentic you is never lost. The doubt, fear nd other negative perceptions and emotions conjured by the mind simply pinch you off from what the heart and soul knows. In other words, when you makes choices based on what feels right, you are okay wih uncertainty. You trust everything works out for the best.

    • Hi Liara!
      I believe you are right. The true self is always with us. We just don’t nurture her sometimes. It’s wonderful when we start to love ourselves & believe in ourselves, because self-trust will follow! Thanks for your great comment Liara!

  11. Dandy: I think this is a really important topic and a great post. You are so right that you have to always make certain that you don’t lose yourself in any relationship. The best relationships really are those where you can be exactly who you are. I really appreciated what you said about loving yourself first before you can really completely love others. I think that is a great point and can be easy to overlook.

    • Hi Sibyl,
      Yes, I’ve noticed that the root of alot of peoples problems is that they don’t love themselves. I’ve noticed with some people I know that they give too much to their partner & things become really unhealthy. I hope this post will help people! Thanks for your comment Sibyl!

  12. that was inspiring
    thank you Dandy 🙂

  13. hi dandy,

    i get lost in my relationships all the time, the other day my girlfriend left my a little note on the breakfast table as I was getting the morning newspaper… it read, ” morning baby, have a great one” — i got lost.

    and today, my mother called to make sure i had enough food for this road trip i’m taking down to austin texas to visit a friend in neeed. — i got lost.

    i guess the times i get lost, are during times of endearment from the people i love.

    good times (:
    and thanks for sharing

  14. I Dandy,
    I wish relationships came with an instruction booklet! I went through years of therapy and more to learn how to be happy and healthy in relationships. It was so worth it because now I know what healthy is and won’t settle for anything less.

    • Hi Tess,
      It’s true relationships are hard, but it’s wonderful you found therepy helpful. For me therepy has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Thanks so much for your comment Tess. You are in my prayers!

  15. Well now I have read pretty much what you currently have available.

    Interesting…Tess has a guest blog at the moment that deals with the above:

    “10 Intimacy Boosters By Being Yourself”

    Also interesting that Tess’s comment is the last one on this page before I leave mine.

    Thanks Dandy I appreciate your wisdom.

  16. Thankyou for your words of wisdom.

    My readers will grow from reading this article on my
    blog – www. liveinfearnomore.blogspot.com and on my
    website – http://www.liveinfearnomore.yolasite.com

    I will direct them back to your blog page.

    To your success,
    Nicole.

  17. Hi Dandy,

    I am working on an ebook with articles from other authors. Here is a link to explain what I am doing. http://www.happymakernow.com/2011/01/who-else-wants-to-have-an-e-book-that-has-all-the-possibilities-of-going-viral/
    Question is: i would love to put this article in my ebook, “Do You Get Lost in a Relationships” Can you email me and let me know if you would like to be part of this ebook. email address is debboe@happymakernow.com
    Oh, by the way thanks for putting me on a blog roll. This is new to me and i shall set one up on my blog.
    Thanks again and wishing you a very great happy day,
    Debbie

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