Maintaining your own personal identity while in a serious relationship can be a challenge for some people. We’ve all seen them. People who speak like, act like, and sometimes (strangely enough) even look like their significant others. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who share similar interests who end up in relationships with each other. However, if you find yourself pretending to like the exact same things your partner likes simply because you feel like you should, you could be in danger of losing your own personal identity. Again, there is nothing wrong with sharing similar interests, liking the same sports teams, enjoying the same types of food, things like that. That said, there should be things that you like to do that don’t involve your partner. You should have hobbies and interests that are built around the things that you enjoy. A healthy relationship involves not only a strong partnership but a strong sense of self.
There are situations where people in relationships give up their own personal thoughts and beliefs for the sake or benefit of their significant other. This is not a healthy situation. If your significant other insists that you should like the exact same things that they like or behave in a fashion similar to themselves, you may want to step back and reevaluate whether you are in a healthy relationship. No partnership should involve you giving up the things you and are passionate about simply to please the other person. A meaningful partnership involves compromise and a mutual respect from both parties.
So, how can you overcome this type of situation? You can start by knowing who you are. It sounds cliché, but a strong understanding of who you are and what you stand for will ensure that you aren’t completely consumed by another person. There will be times when your opinions differ from your significant other. That’s okay! It’s ok, even healthy, to disagree. It means that you have your own feelings and thoughts. While disagreements should always be respectful, understand that this is a normal part of a healthy relationship.
Another way to make sure you stay true to who you are is to keep your own circle of friends. Keep people you know and trust in your circle. Make an effort to keep in contact with them and try to see each other on a fairly regular basis. This interaction outside of your romantic relationship will help remind you that there is still allot going besides the events taking place in your relationship. It’s always good to establish and maintain meaningful friendships.
Understand that as much as you love and respect someone, you don’t have to give up on your own dreams and passions. You don’t have to like all of the same activities and hobbies as your partner. In the end, you may find that having differing opinions about certain things helps keep your relationship exciting. Enjoy your common interests together but take some time for yourself as well.