In the search for love and this often rushed desire to be a couple, it is very easy for people to lose sight of their individuality, and the key components of the self which are essential to a healthy relationship.
It is not something we do intentionally and something that we want, but the need to secure the “We” and finally feel that you are part of a couple, people often slide a slippery slope of conformity and compromise. While it is very important to compromise on some things as a couple, but losing one’s sense of self can actually lead to the downfall of the “We.”
It is imperative to maintain and nurture the self while nurturing the couple dynamics of a relationship, otherwise, one may over power the other or lose those core qualities that make you unique.
I too have been involved in relationships where one day you wake up and it seemed like your relationship is skewed towards the other’s agenda, schedule, activity, even down to the foods you ate. It is commonplace that in the hopes of keeping the couple harmony, it’s easy to say that what you want is not important or quick to adopt your partner’s wishes over yours. However, it is very important to be in tune to these subtle shifts because this will eventually lead to a sense of loss self and perhaps the breakup of that relationship.
It is crucial to be vigilant of these tiny shifts in the couple dynamic to avoid codependency and most importantly, the loss of self.
Here Are 4 Key Ways to Avoid that Pitfall:
1. Speak Up!
It’s not always easy to speak up and say what’s on your mind. I find that creating a safe and open dialogue forum in your relationship early on, makes it easier so that each of you can feel free to speak up when you feel the couple dynamic is off balance. This is a crucial component of any healthy relationship and to maintaining each of your individuality in the couple dynamic.
What is on your mind? Explore why you are hesitant to speak up, maybe the underlying issue may uncover some truths you are avoiding.
2. Schedule It!
By making sure there is a balanced roster of activities or events that you both enjoy and enjoy separately, each will feel equally appreciated and valued. Ok, so baseball is not your favorite thing, but willing to watch a game with your partner will foster a feeling in him of being valued for his difference. Same applies to you. Maybe a couple mani pedi would be fun way to be together where your desires are met. Also spending time together doing something you both enjoy, like cooking dinner together, is great for solidifying the couple dynamic while the others allow individuality to be expressed.
What is your favorite activity you both enjoy? Outside of bed?
3. Make Time for “Me” Time!
This may mean getting to the gym, a walk, or any activity where you can unplug from the “We” structure. My husband loves to go sail with his sailing club while I love a chatty night with my girlfriends at a clothing swap. We encourage each other to have activities outside the couple dynamic and this makes us stronger as a couple.
What is your favorite “Me” time activity?
4. Check In!
While it is important to speak up when things might feel off, it’s equally important to check in and praise the things you appreciate about the other. This will nurture the individual and allow it to thrive in the couple dynamic. My husband and I make sure to take moments throughout our busy day to send a loving or naughty text. We make sure each of us know that we are thought of, loved and appreciated.
What is your favorite way to stay connected?
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