“Lost!” How Not To Lose Yourself in Relationships
One of my girlfriends asked me the other day how I worked with my women clients to help them with relationships. I told her I helped them quiet their ego. She said, “don’t you mean the male ego?” No, the woman’s ego, I replied.
In order to really love your man and to allow your heart and soul to be present in the relationship, a woman has to quiet her fears, her insecurities that come from the ego. When we quiet our fears then we are present for a romantic relationship and we will draw someone to us who is equally present and soulful.
“How do you do that”, she asked. I start with finding out what the woman is afraid of and work to have her choose another perspective, I excitedly answered. I love talking about how to have fabulous relationships.
Susan – my friend – said “well I’m afraid of losing myself again in a relationship.” I hear that a lot, I told her. Many women are afraid of losing themselves because we’ve all done it in relationships. “ Susan answered, “I’ve never not done it.” “I’m not sure I know how not to, or if I trust myself not to.”
And there is the key. Can Susan, you or I trust ourselves to stand up for ourselves and from that place be willing to commit to a mature, romantic, loving relationship?
I watch women, inadvertently, sabotage relationships because if they don’t work out, then the woman doesn’t have to lose herself.
Does this sound familiar? Do you ever see yourself doing it in any kind of relationship?
What Does Losing Yourself Look Like
Let’s define what it looks like. It might look like giving up something really important to you – meditating, dinner with your girlfriends, working out after work, spending a spa weekend with your best friend.
It also could be not speaking up for yourself or accepting what your boyfriend or husband wants. It could be something as silly as he wants to share your desert and you want it all to yourself. I love German Chocolate Cake and I don’t buy it because my husband doesn’t like it. (Note to self – buy that cake this weekend and get him his favorite.)
Cake is a little, even silly, thing and what we’re looking for here is the pattern. Some women love to have evening beauty rituals. They want to take a bubble bath, put on a facial mask, light a candle and relax. Maybe the man doesn’t want to allow you to do that because he wants you to watch a TV program with him.
My husband takes guitar lessons and needs to practice. I love to hear him practicing. I know he’s taking care of himself. We want to not lose ourselves and not to let our partner lose themselves.
Why Do We Lose Ourselves
These things can all sound silly but they aren’t. Because most of us raised in this country were raised to be nice. To make our man happy, to put him first.
Or maybe you think that to keep the relationship going, you have to give in to his needs and requests.
But it doesn’t work because we get resentful and that can lead to all sorts of sabotaging or passive / aggressive behavior, and most important, it makes us not want to be in a relationship.
How Not to Lose Ourselves
First, get clear on what you need in order to feel good about yourself. I need to exercise 4 to 5 days a week, meditate regularly and eat healthy meals. I need to do my spiritual reading in the morning and watch or Tivo “Commander in Chief.” Those are non-negotiable’s.
What is non-negotiable for you? You need to be really clear about that and to communicate those things to the person you’re going to be with. The subjects will include, but are not limited to, how you spend your time; who you spend your time with; eating – when and what; exercise – when, where, what; money; and creative pursuits.
There aren’t any rules. Just the need for communication. You will compromise on some things. That’s important. But not on a regular basis on the non-negotiable’s.
So step two is to communicate – in a kind yet firm manner. You are drawing your boundaries at the beginning. It’s so much easier in the beginning.
Step three is listening and watching
So you’ve listed what you need, then you’ve communicated about those needs. Then you listen for the response, you watch for the action. If the person listened and honored your requests – great, keep moving forward. If they didn’t, that’s a red flag. Try talking to them again. If you get the same result, move on.
You have a choice and you don’t have to settle. The Universe will respond to your level of intention. You’ll get tested. Just hold firm to your intention.
Imagine yourself in a relationship where you get to be yourself and you allow the other person to be themselves. What you’ll get is two happy, joyful people, who are growing and thriving. That is a powerful relationship with lots of room for freedom, passion, love and joy.
Keep choosing your priorities. Keep eating your chocolate cake, painting, writing, walking, talking, whatever you need and want.
Choose to do what’s important to you.
imagine the possibilities…
© Carol Chanel
Q & A
Three of my clients asked me about not losing themselves in relationships. When my girlfriend also brought it up I realized how important it is to women and to men to not lose ourselves. So I wrote the answer in the main article. I hope you find it helpful.
You’ll have an exciting, stimulating and fun relationship when you stick to doing the things you like to do and allow your partner the same freedom.
If you want some additional assistance with setting boundaries so you don’t lose yourself, I want to recommend a great book to guide you.
“Living in the Comfort Zone” subtitled, “The Gift of Boundaries in Relationships” by Rokelle Lerner is a wonderful book to help you understand what boundaries do for you and the four areas where you want to draw them.
Those four areas are emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual. In her easy-to-read style, Rokelle uses helpful stories to illustrate her points and to help you understand how to draw your boundaries in each of those areas.
Keep being honest with what you want in your life and stand firm for your needs and desires. You can have a relationship where your boundaries are honored and your desires are encouraged.
I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.
We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.
Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?
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Certified Life Coach
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