Love feels good, doesn’t it? There’s a reason why we call it “falling” in love, because we fall, we get lost — we get intoxicated with the high feelings that only love can deliver.
But this intoxication comes with risk. The danger of falling in love is falling to the point of losing yourself in a relationship. It’s the danger of inauthenticity, and when you aren’t authentic in a relationship, you are essentially living a lie. You’re hiding. You don’t allow your partner to see the real you. Inauthenticity prevents the formation of a true, healthy relationship.
Why do we lose ourselves in relationships?
The intoxication of love can make your head spin. The human brain releases chemicals that are designed to help you form an attachment to a partner, and these chemicals make you feel amazing when you’re with someone you’re attracted to. You probably feel relaxed, happy, excited, and preoccupied with thoughts of your partner. This process exists for a reason.
Scientifically speaking, it’s nature’s way of helping the human race survive.
When you combine the addictive high from the chemicals of love with any fears or insecurities you have, you become a prime target for losing yourself in a relationship. Here you are, open and exposed to someone to love and who has the potential to love you in return. This is, by far, one of the most vulnerable things we can do as humans.
Why? Because when we open to love, we open to the possibility that we could be hurt, abandoned, or rejected. It’s likely you’ll do anything to avoid that kind of pain, right? This fear can make you abandon your needs, your desires, or other characteristics about you that you may be afraid to share with your partner. You may fall into the trap of inauthenticity in an attempt to maintain a relationship and avoid pain.
How do you know when you’ve lost yourself?
Your boundaries become blurred. You are not authentic. Your friends rarely see you because you spend all of your time with your partner or your partner’s friends.
You lose your interest in your hobbies. Your interests are his interests. His interests are your interests. You let go of your routine, your structure, and your life.
Now don’t get me wrong — a relationship requires a blending of lifestyles, compromise, and a lot of shared time together — but there should still be a maintenance of your own life. Your friends, your work, your hobbies should remain a priority. It may not be at the same frequency as your single days, but these things should still have a presence and significance in your life.
Living a lie and being inauthentic in a relationship can be subtle or obvious. Do you go overboard to please others so they like you? Do you agree with everything your date likes, says, or does, even when you really don’t agree? You may do things that you don’t like, agree with people just to avoid conflict, or live a lifestyle that doesn’t fit with your inner beliefs.
Do you hide aspects of yourself out of fear you won’t be liked? You may be afraid to “expose yourself”, and allow someone to see the “real you” physically, emotionally, sexually, mentally, or spiritually.
Authenticity keeps you strong.
It simply means that you are being real. You aren’t hiding who you truly are as a human. It means that you become transparent to the world, including your dates and partners, because you know that who you are is acceptable, and worthy of love and acceptance.
Authenticity requires fearless confidence in who you are. It requires that you believe you’re OK, and if your date or partner doesn’t like who you are, then it isn’t a reflection of your worth, your appearance, or anything else on a personal level. It simply means that someone failed to recognize your worth, or your worth wasn’t a match for their worth. It is not about you.
Self-acceptance is the key.
When you love and accept yourself, you won’t run the risk of losing yourself in relationships. You must trust that who you are is imperfectly perfect. Your flaws and imperfections are a part of you to acknowledge, and never a part to hide. It is through loving and accepting yourself that you can learn to allow someone else to love and accept you.
Living outside of your truth builds walls between you and love. You must trust that by showing up in a relationship, or just a date, in transparency and authenticity will guide you to deep, healing, regenerating love.
It’s simple. No lies, no hiding, no getting lost. Have courage to be you and trust that in this courageous authenticity, love will find you.