How To Not Lose Yourself In A Relationship

Marriage and Family Therapist By Shelly Bullard, MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Shelly Bullard, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist with a holistic and spiritual approach to relationships. She has worked with thousands of clients on improving their relationships with others and themselves.

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Now, this is a big topic. How to join with another while still maintaining your sense of you? It's no small feat. But, you can do it. We all can do it.

Life is about practice. Taking steps in the right direction. Improvement. Evolution.

If you find that you quickly lose your sense of self in the arms of another, hopefully this article will help you make your way back to you.

The merging that takes place when we fall in love feels really, really good. It is that ultimate sense of oneness. The recognition of yourself in someone else's eyes. Love. There is absolutely nothing quite like it.

And, within that same experience comes a whole set of challenges. It's not uncommon to feel like you are falling away from who you really are. Questions like Who am I? Where did I go? Am I still here? may emerge in the phase of joining with another person. All of the sudden we can be left feeling a little lost.

There is a very simple reason this all happens: we get scared!

In fear, we automatically separate from our true selves. Fear makes us doubting, confused, and disoriented. Fear also makes us feel smaller than we actually are, and it makes us act in ways that aren't quite authentic.

Your ego is the part of your mind that operates from fear. One of it's main messages is: you are incomplete (and therefore not good enough). When we believe this message (it's translated consciously and unconsciously) we start acting in ways to try to make up for this perceived lack. And in doing that, we lose ourselves.

The ego gets most activated when you fall in love. This is to say, to fall in love is the most magnificent experience there is, and and it can also be the scariest.

The reason the ego gets so activated by love is because it's fighting for it's life--it doesn't exist when you are in that state of oneness and bliss. If you do not identify as separate, incomplete, or lacking in some way, then the ego is out of a job. So, it gets really, really loud when your heart gets full.

It is usually after moments of being in love with another that the ego really comes out of hiding. This is when we start to doubt, and fear, and basically freak out! Don't worry, nothing is actually wrong. You are just scared. And that is really, really manageable.

During these times of falling in love (there's a reason it's called falling) we must take extra special care to stay close to ourselves.

Very simply, you have to continue to go within yourself, make contact with your soul, and remind yourself that you are ok.

Lots of self check-ins; lots of deep breaths.

As I always say, it's a universal desire for love to feel completely blissful without any challenges. But remember, these challenges are here so you can grow. If your fear did not get activated, you wouldn't have a chance to evolve passed it.

Love is the ultimate opportunity for evolution.

Here's what to do:

First, pay close attention to what is going on inside you. Consciousness is key. When you start to feel "off," notice it, and then make small changes to adjust your behavior and experience.

Are you acting in a way that feels a little inauthentic? If so, try to adjust your behavior so it's more real.

Are you saying things that aren't quite honest? If so, start speaking your truth.

Are you shying away because you're scared? If so, contact your heart within and know you are safe. Then be brave and go for it.

Are you feeling like you are not good enough? If so, take some time to reconnect with the truth--that you are absolutely, positively enough. Stay as firm as you can in this belief.

This is a process. It takes effort. It takes commitment. But this is what you are here to do.

It is very normal for all these fears to come up when your heart gets activated. The question is: are you up for the challenge; are you ready to grow? If you are, then stay very close to your own internal experience and do the best you can to stay true to you.

In this regard, we are all on the same path. It is very easy for us to lose touch with who we really are when we fall head over heals in love. But this is no reason not to love. Quite the contrary, actually. This is what love is all about. It's here to show you how magnificent and strong and powerful and aligned you really are. It's here so you can prove your greatest potential. Are you up for the challenge? (The answer is yes, you are.)

You can do it. Stick with it. Baby steps.

Make a conscious effort to be more true to you in relationship, and experience yourself and your love grow.

Shelly Bullard, MFT
Shelly Bullard, MFT
Shelly Bullard, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist with a holistic and spiritual approach to...
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Shelly Bullard, MFT
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