Being In A Relationship Doesn't Require Losing Your Identity
Human beings are lonely creatures. We spend most of our lives searching for a way to connect with those around us, searching for a way to become more than the singular entities that we are. This search most commonly takes the form of a person searching for a partner, a soul mate, their better half or whatever you'd like to label it.
When we do find someone that we fall in love with, we feel that we are able to establish a special connection with that person — a connection that we aren't able to form with just anybody — and we're right. However, thinking that we can become “one” with our partner is foolishness that will only lead us down the path of misery.
You are only you and it will always be that way. It's baffling… human beings are capable of so much, yet most of us aren't satisfied with only being ourselves, of simply being human beings. My theory as to why so many people are searching for what they call “their better half” is that they aren't happy with who they are.
For some illogical reason, people seem to believe that if you aren't happy being you, then you'll be happy being the same version of you, but in a relationship. Other people cannot make you happy; they can add to your happiness and even enhance it, but they can't create happiness for you. Happiness exists solely in your mind. If you can't make yourself happy then no person in the world will be able to do so either.
Creating an identity for yourself — or finding yourself, if you prefer — is the most important thing a person can do in his or her life. Everything that you do, all the thoughts that you think and act upon, define who you are. But likewise, whom you define yourself as influences the thoughts that you have and the actions that you take.
If you believe yourself to be a wimpy, useless excuse for a human being then you are basically removing your own backbone; if you define yourself as a brave and strong person then you can take over the world. The most important thing is defining yourself — no matter how you do so, as long as you do so.
Not defining who you are as a person is not knowing who you are as a person; there is nothing worse. Without a definition you have no purpose. Without purpose you feel that you do not belong — that you don't fit in.
An important thing to remember is that absolutely everything in this world has a place, a purpose; there are no extra pieces. Existence itself was created too perfectly for you to be a mistake. You are here for a reason and all you need to do is define that reason; happiness is bound to follow.
One common misconception is that your purpose could solely be to love the person that you love. We hear this all the time in love songs and see it in movies: a man wasting years of his life focusing on the love that he lost in hopes of one day being reunited or a woman exclaiming that her sole reason for living is to love her man. That's complete crap.
Personally, I don't believe in the concept of one person or one “soul mate” for each of us. But let's say that there is only one person out there for us; that still does not mean that our single purpose in life is to love them.
Giving our lives the singular purpose of loving someone else, the purpose of living for someone else, is what we call obsessing — not loving. The reason why I say this is because no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you obsess or sacrifice, you will be you and your lover will be someone else.
You and your partner can never become “one” — it's impossible. Your thoughts will always be your own. Your actions will always be your own. This isn't something to be depressed over; it's a beautiful thing. Being able to share your life, your travels and mishaps, with another person is a huge part of what life is about. But more important than that is keeping your own, separate identity from the relationship.
Yes, you and your man form a “we,” but at the same time you and he must remain completely separate and live separate lives. Every person needs his or her own space, his or her own hobbies, and his or her own friends. Doing so will allow you to have an identity of your own, a life outside of your relationship.
Having such a getaway is key to a healthy relationship; when things get messy — which they always do — you can pause and step out of the relationship for a few hours, or a day or two, and stabilize yourself within your own shoes.
If you fall into the trap of losing yourself within a relationship you will eventually panic. It may seem nice now, but a few months or years down the road you will come to the conclusion that you need your freedom. And, like most people, instead of taking a step back and breathing, you'll cut all ties with the person you loved because you will blame them for your own inability to hold on to your life.
You will feel like you lost control of your life and lost sight of who you are; so you decide that the single life is better than your current situation. At least that way you can be yourself and not some convoluted “we” that you and your soon-to-be ex ignorantly formed.
And that is how the love of your life gets away; not because your relationship couldn't work, but because you got so obsessed with getting to know your partner better and spent so much time with them that you forgot who you are.
You can either be you and alone or be you in a relationship — but you and your lover will never become “one”; it simply goes against human nature.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson
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