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August 5, 2014

3 Ways to Stay True to Ourselves While in a Relationship.

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Everyone of us will tumble into love, spending hours with our arms and legs wrapped around our lover—we quickly lose sight of where we begin and where we end—creating a spiral of loving.

All too soon, the morning will greet us—more than likely bright and sunny, calling us to action, calling us back to work.

We’ll find ourselves “in love” in a relationship, yet we’ll soon forget about ourselves.

It’s not a bad thing to be consumed by another, but a crucial part of a relationship (which is an accumulation of the bliss, and sometimes, the chaos between two people).

In turn, we oftentimes—especially women—give away too much of ourselves for a relationship. It should be no surprise when we end up arguing about this very issue cloaked in the little things like dirty dishes or lukewarm coffee. Yet we’re so consumed by the relationship that we can’t really see the underlying issue: we need to remember the “Me” in the relationship.

So, instead of giving away too much of ourselves, why not work on these three ways to be true to ourselves while being in a relationship: it all begins with honoring Me, Myself and I.

Me.

“What about me?”

Ask yourself this question, but not in a self-loathing way. Yes, delving into those uncomfortable moments may, in fact, be healthy, because we do go deeper into the source of our difficulties.

Let’s try a different approach this time.

Instead, let’s ask, “What about me?” with an empowering voice. Yeah, Me, how do I fit into this equation of one plus one equals fun, and then some?

Your answer will be as different as mine, yet we all have one thing in common.

Everyone of us is a collection of imperfections.

We all have our little quirks that make us into the person whom we bring to the relationship. And ultimately, if we’re wise, we’ll continue to grow and change as a person.

In order to do so, we need (not just want) space to work on ourselves; we need some introspective time. Surely, that will scare some of us (especially you extroverts!), and if it does—then we should step up to the challenge—create the space to have some Me time.

Yet how do we even attempt to find space, let alone time, to spend by ourselves in the whirlwind of life?

Remember the Me.

What do you love doing that is for you, and only you?

Maybe it’s a solo trip on a ferry across the Bay, a slow bike ride through a busy city, an all-day visit to an art gallery, a solo trip to a baseball game, or attending that art class.

Remember the Me, and just do it.

Myself.

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” ~ Walt Whitman.

If Me is the object, then Myself is a stressed pronoun that should be used in conjunction with I. In other words, Myself takes Me out of what I know. Got it? Yep, it is a little esoteric.

I see the word Myself as the way we move through our world. As Whitman said, “I celebrate myself.”

In a sense, the “Myself” is the spiritual experience—it’s what feeds our souls—so we may find our source of power.

For me, I had to peel off the layers to find my power, and when I got to the very core it was there that I found that art is my source. I tend to give into the wants and needs of my family and community, so I need to remind myself that I will take the time to honor art every day in order to be true to myself while being in a relationship.

In the acts of art, I space out, and learn to be compassionate with myself.

We may not realize it, but our power source may unintentionally blur into the other while being in a relationship—we weave our love and energy back-and-forth between two. And, as sweet as the love may be for all, we all need to make the space to be by ourselves.

I.

I am capable…

Repeat after me: I am capable of giving myself respect, care and love. Yes, certainly, we love to be pampered by our lover.

Care from our lover is a sweet expectation that seems reasonable, but there will come a time in our relationship when we’ll have to fend for ourselves.

In our relationships, we tend to settle into gender roles that are, in fact, a cultural construction. They are stories that may be rewritten.

You know, the ones reinforcing norms: men are supposed to be emotionally strong, fix broken things and take the garbage out while women are supposed to be caring, hover over the little ones and make all the meals (just to name a few).

These stories complicate our ability to be true in our relationships because they create expectations that are unattainable, misplacing the spark of a relationship between two people (with all their little quirks). We forget that the beauty of a relationship is the experience of figuring out how to share our love in our ways, changing with the days and nights.

As for rewriting these stories, remember this one: I am capable.

Let’s mix up the gender roles.

I am capable of fixing the flats on my bike, unclogging the bathroom sink (mix together baking soda and vinegar—voila, but make sure the window is open!), baking gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies and being emotionally strong for myself.

Most importantly, I am capable of taking care of Me, Myself, and I, so I may love freely in my relationship.

 

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Editor: Emily Bartran

Image: Pixoto

 

 

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