“Never lose yourself to keep someone else.” ~ Mark Graves
Loving another person doesn’t mean we must give up ourselves.
When we find someone with whom we share a special connection, it seems that suddenly priorities shift, and we find ourselves concentrating more on the relationship itself rather than our own individual journey.
It doesn’t matter how much self-work we have done, nor does it matter how awakened or conscious we have become—for many of us, as soon as we say “I love you” to another, we forget to also keep loving ourselves.
To love another, and not lose ourselves in that process, is a balancing act of trust, patience and (maybe) just a little wildness.
For so many, it seems that when we are single we have reached our own individual level of perfection. We’re great at being alone. We know how to do us, and how to love the life we live.
Yet, as soon as we begin seeing someone, it becomes more about cuddles and kisses than growth and dreams. But the reality is that when someone falls in love with us, they do so because of the person we are.
For most of us who enter into a new relationship, the highest ideal is that we don’t wish to change the person we are becoming involved with. We noticed them because of their ambitions and their heart. We became interested in them because of how they see the world, and we fell in love with them because no one matches their own individual fire.
Yet, just because we have now found “the one” doesn’t mean that we should abandon ourselves.
In the best of relationships, people don’t operate independently, but as a team. It’s the coming together of two people who decide to make choices and goals, not just for the betterment of one individual, but for both involved. It’s an understanding that two can be better than one, as long as each person doesn’t lose sight of the road ahead.
It’s juxtaposition between independence and a delicious romantic interlude.
Because the question remains: How can we explore a new relationship and still hold onto ourselves in that process?
Being in love isn’t about giving up anything from the life we had before we merged with another. It’s not about giving up our favorite pastimes or forgetting how sweet solitude is for our peace of mind. It’s not even about putting our friends on the back-burner, or forgetting those family members who have always been there for us. It’s not worrying that if we don’t make our lover a priority they will leave—because the reality is when we have found a healthy conscious relationship, they will embrace anything that makes us more of who we are.
For many, it seems that they worry if they aren’t available to their new lover every minute of the day—that somehow their availability to either talk or see them will somehow hinder the progression of the relationship. So they cancel plans with friends, or leave their whole day open because of the possibility of seeing their partner. They take their phones to bed with them, just in case they receive a text, yet in the long run all they end up is lonely and anxious because they cleared their schedule for plans that didn’t exist and tired from waking up and checking their phone.
Love doesn’t mean being available 24/7.
The thing that we have to remember is that love will always meet us halfway. To love another doesn’t mean giving up the life we previously had. It just means we’ve decided to see what can happen when we get together—to see if, like pieces of a puzzle, our lives can fit together.
Doing this must be a conscious choice. It begins each morning we wake up and follow our hearts, doing what will make us happy. It’s sending a message, inquiring about plans, but then also moving on with our day. It’s keeping our work and life’s joy a priority and not checking our phone 30 times to see if they’ve messaged us. It’s deciding to keep living just as we always have, knowing that if this person is the right piece for our puzzle, then it will happen effortlessly and in its own time.
We have to make the choice to be there for someone and still be there for ourselves. We can emotionally and mentally support our partner, but we also can’t absorb ourselves into their lives by abandoning our own in the process.
We have to realize that in order for us to build the best relationship possible, we also have to keep living life as we’ve always had. It’s a choice to still make plans with friends, or go to bed early when we’re tired, or sometimes just heading out for the day to see what it may bring.
A love that is meant for you will never make you feel anxious.
You won’t have to worry if you’re not giving enough of yourself or wonder if they know how you feel. They will respect you and your journey, wherever that might lead, and they will want to support you on that path.
The reality is that no matter how much time we sink into a relationship, it won’t make the relationship work any better. It won’t make someone fall in love with us, and it doesn’t guarantee that person is “the one.”
They say that love finds us when we stop looking—and that is because we have become so focused on our own dreams and happiness that we’ve stopped thinking anything about our life is lacking.
We need to remember it’s not our relationships that define who we are—it’s us. And any lover worth having will always encourage us to become the best possible version of ourselves.
After all, the truest kind of love will only add to the fullness of a beautiful life we’ve already built.
“Be with someone who will take care of you. Not materialistically, but take care of your soul, your well-being, your heart, and everything that is you.” ~ Unknown
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina