When you lose yourself in a relationship, you begin to feel isolated and stuck. Often times you will feel dependent on your significant other, sometimes accompanied with feelings of anger, frustration, annoyance, and a lack of respect for your partner. It is a relationship marked with jealousy and or guilt. When a relationship is in this state, it’s not uncommon to start questioning it and start looking for a way out. This does not have to be the result. If you find yourself in this type of relationship and are looking for ways to correct it, or are in a new relationship and want to know how to avoid this type of relationship, then please read on.

Be yourself

This goes beyond not pretending to be someone else. Too often in relationships a couple becomes merged. Doing everything together, giving up things they love because their significant other feels threatened by the activity, merging from two individuals into one united couple. This may sound ideal to some people, to be completely merged with another person, but in reality it is not healthy or good for a lasting, happy relationship. Think about it like this, you came together because of your unique characteristics, you intrigued each other and couldn't wait to be together in the beginning. If you have gotten to the point where it feels mundane, the excitement is gone and or you no longer feel like yourself or maybe view your partner with a lack of respect, then you need to evaluate your life and your relationship. Are you still an individual? 

Enhance other relationships

When a couple becomes merged, time spent with family and friends outside the barriers of the relationship declines. Often when time is spent with others there can be feelings of guilt or jealousy from one or both partners in this type of relationship. When a couple stays two individuals their relationships outside of each other continue to flourish. Having people in your life with meaning is very important, each person brings out different qualities in you and adds to your life in various ways. When this is gone and the sole person to add richness to your life is your partner you add serious stress to yourself, the relationship, and the other person. No one person can be everything. You can't be everything to someone and no one person can be everything to you.

Have more to talk about

When you have a life outside of each other you can have more to talk about. You become excited for accomplishments the other person has and support them through their failures and regrets. You strengthen the relationship by being each others support system. When you lose yourself in a relationship you eventually lose the ability to talk about much more than chores the that need to be done and often find that you bicker about things more than communicate desires, goals, and aspirations. This leaves the involved people to feel resentment towards one another.

Stay fascinating

You fell for each other for who each person was, when you become merged, it's common to lose sight of those unique qualities. For instance, if you do something you enjoy, but your partner has no desire to partake in that activity, they may feel threatened if continue those activities after you become a couple.  Or they do something you don't feel comfortable with and you express you don't want them to do specific things. At first this may seem like you are making sacrifices for the relationship. They don't want you to go dancing without them, but they don't want to go dancing, you don't want them to go to a bar without you, but you hate bars. You have really given up part of yourself. Some couples continue to make small sacrifices like these throughout the relationship, giving up small pieces of themselves until one day they realize they are a shell, completely defined by the relationship and so is their partner. If you enjoy doing something, continue to do it even after you get involved with someone. The only exceptions to this should be if you are harming yourself, harming another person,  or stepping outside the bounds of your defined relationship.

Be an addition to your partners life

Staying an individual and not losing yourself in a relationship means that you are the complete addition to someone's life and they are the addition to your life. Life is better because the other person is part of it. You want someone to complete your life with their presence, and you them. You don't want to be another persons life or have someone be your life. If you have lost yourself in your present relationship, or have done so in the past and want to avoid similar situations, remember to follow the above tips, you need to stay true to yourself and continue to be a better version of you everyday, don't get lost in trying to be someone's world, or looking for someone to be your world. Be the most amazing addition to your partners life and don't settle for anything less than a person who adds value and meaning to your life with their partnership.