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Question: How do I Avoid Losing Myself in My Relationship?

Hi there,

So this question might not be something you could help me with but it’s been on my mind lately. When I was single, it was easy for me to concentrate on school work, want to get ahead, and I was able to dedicate time to finding and working on myself.

Now, I am in a happy and healthy relationship. However, I do not feel the strong urges of doing those things that I just mentioned anymore; but I very much want to. I miss finding myself and looking for new things to love and being passionate about my hobbies.

How can I incorporate finding myself as well as being that eager and ambitious girl I once was while in a relationship?

Tanya

Ask An Expert – Response:

Hi Tanya,

This is an interesting dilemma you have outlined as I find it is something many people struggle with… How do we keep our independence whilst being in a relationship?? Some people find that when they are in a relationship they become quite settled in themselves, it’s kind of like they think, well thank goodness that parts done now!!! And at first the relationship may actually be enough to help them feel satisfied. Often though as time goes on its not quite enough, which is what I think you may be noticing now.

A relationship is not meant to take up every moment of your time but is one where both of the couple are able to function independently of one another but are also committed to their relationship and depend on each other at the same time. Sounds tricky doesn’t it. but not when you know how to work it.

So what do you do? Well essentially you need to make time to do things together and make time to do things individually. And there are also family times as well as work and friend times. All of these different blocks of time need to be balanced with each other.

I’d like you to imagine a pie and you need to cut the pie up into pieces according to the amount of time you spend in those different blocks of time. Notice which area or person you have given the biggest piece of pie to?

Now I would like you to draw the pie and this time cut it up according to the amount of time you would LIKE to be spending with each person and make sure you allocate an amount of time for you, call it “me time”. This part is really important for you to do as you mentioned finding yourself again. Doing this exercise will help you to see exactly where your time is spent and with whom right now. It tells you what’s really going on and where you need to focus your attention. It also allows you to come back to yourself instead of focussing outside of yourself.

Another tip is to write down a list of the things, activities or hobbies that you have always been interested in finding out more about. Then leave the list for a couple of days and come back to it and reread it. Cross off all of the things that don’t seem as important or as interesting any longer and whatever is left on the list are the hobbies or interests that you are really interested in pursuing. It’s important you pursue these things, even if its gathering more information online or searching for groups that are interested in the same things as you are. Meet up groups are a great place to start.

Lastly at the end of every evening I would like you to write down five things you are grateful for that have happened during the day. These can be small things like I am grateful that the sun was shining today.. What’s important is that you need to start five sentences with “Today I am grateful that/ for…”

I hope some or one of these techniques helps you find some motivation to focus a little bit more back to yourself as that is a balance in itself.

Warmest,

Jacqui Christie 
Rewire Your Relationship

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