It is important to value your authentic self whether you are single, in a relationship, or somewhere in between. Staying true to yourself is vital to your happiness and satisfaction in life and love. But how, exactly, do you stay true to yourself? And how do you know when you are losing yourself in another’s life.
Putting this concept into action can be hard when you don’t know where to start. And impossible if you don’t really know what being “true to yourself” means. So here are four ways to develop and understand your own authenticity and maintain your sense of self in any relationship.
1. Know Thyself
Remaining true to who you are requires knowing who you are in the first place. So how do you get to know who you are?
- Start by identifying your defining features. What makes you different from those around you. What makes you unique or special. What are your particular skills, talents and gifts.
- Then list the core values and beliefs you hold. What really matters to you and would affect the way you live, love and think. What values would you want to share with a partner.
- Then consider want you want in and for your life. What milestones do you want to hit. What expectations do you want to challenge. What goals do you want to achieve.
- Finally, think about what you like. What are your interests and hobbies. What brings you joy, makes you happy, and makes you feel fulfilled and satisfied.
2. Know Your History
To know how to hold yourself together in relationships you need to know when you’ve let yourself go. Parsing through your relationship history will help you recognize when you have lost yourself in another. Think back to your past. Who were you in those relationships. What about you changed, and what stayed the same. What parts of your personality, lifestyle, values and desires did you retain, abandon for or adapt to the other person. Why and how did this happen. And how long did it take you to notice.
3. Make a Home Base
Once you understand who you are and recognize when you begin to get away from yourself, establish a “home base” or center. This is a foundation of activities and experiences that create a confident, peaceful and complete sense of self. Anything and anyone that doesn’t serve your highest self can’t stick around.
4. Stay Centered
Once your center is established you must protect it. If you start feeling pulled away from center engage in activities or rituals that refocus your energy. Concentrate on self re-connection and self-care to ensure you don’t get lost in your partner’s life. Meditate, dance, paint, pray. Do whatever gave you that sense of wholeness when you were single even when you’re not.
Whether you’re single or attached you are your first love. Self-love is the standard and that doesn’t change with your relationship status. True love may be hard to find, but staying true to yourself once you find it doesn’t have to be. Remaining true to who you are takes dedication, but with the right knowledge and skills you can stay whole even when you become part of a couple.