We’ve all been there and most of us have realized too late…
Some relationships just end up totally consuming us.
They’re all we can think about, but not in a nice way.
You realize you’ve lost your identity and that everything in your life revolves around this one person.
My last relationship was exactly like that…
I’d just moved to a new a city and he was one of the first people I met.
Within a couple of weeks, I’d moved in with him, had pretty much given up my daily yoga practice (which was my first, and truest, love) so that I could spend more time with him, and I was cancelling visiting friends as I didn’t want to be away from him for a whole weekend.
In hindsight, of course, it’s ridiculous and incredibly sad.
If you met me now (single, 100% in control of my own life, bossing my career, and completely in love with the lifestyle I’ve since created for myself), you’d never believe that I gave up my entire identity for a guy…
…and yet, I completely and utterly lost myself to a relationship.
It happens to the best of us, right?
The following is a list of signs you’re losing yourself in a relationship, based on a lot of my own experiences.
Hopefully they’ll help you slow things down before your relationship combusts and you’re left as a shell of your former self.
There are also some handy tips on how to avoid this happening and why they work for anyone interested in the science/ psychology behind them!
1. Your hobbies disappear.
This is a clear sign that you’re losing yourself to a relationship!
You find that you give up your hobbies to spend more time with your partner, or your interest in doing other things fades.
It can happen without you realizing, until suddenly 2 months have passed since you went to the gym or met up with friends.
It can be a bit scary suddenly losing your identity, or parts of it, at least, but it’s not too late…
Combat this: Set aside time each week to do something for yourself.
You can choose if that’s the same commitment each week (like joining a netball team and going to practice every Monday), or if you try different things.
This will give both of you some space and, much as you love each other, it’ll be good to have some time apart.
They’ll be able to do their own thing and you’ll have something new to share with each other too.
Having your own hobbies and really sticking to your plans on your own will give your relationship a boost and help you find yourself again!
Why this works: Taking time to actively do something for yourself is a great reminder that there are 2 people in this relationship, both of whom deserve your time and attention!
The more you get into the habit of doing things without your partner, the more satisfied you’ll be with your relationship, and the less likely you are to lose yourself to your partner.
It’s all about rediscovering what you love, what makes you feel good, and how independent you can be when you need or choose to be!
2. Your friendships fade.
This is one of the saddest parts of all-consuming relationships, but it’s also one of the most common.
We often get so wrapped up in our partner that everything else fades away.
It’s not that we don’t care about other people; it’s just that we care about this particular person more (or we think we do).
You realize that you’ve been cancelling plans a lot recently, or haven’t made much effort to chat to friends and meet up.
Combat this: Be strict with yourself! We all know the expressions about putting your friends before your partners – friends are for life, after all.
That’s not to say that your relationship is going to end so you shouldn’t put time and effort into it…
…it just means that you need to continue to value the other people in your life and not just focus all your energy on your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Make at least one plan to see or Skype a friend each week, and follow through with it!
Why this works: You already know you love your friends, so you know you’ll have a good time reconnecting with them.
This helps you find your true identity again – some of us are different with our partners than we are with our friends.
It’s great to be your ‘old self’ sometimes, hanging out with friends you’ve known for years and not worrying about being cute or sexy or charming in front of your partner!
This will help you relax, which takes the pressure off your relationship.
You’ll stop expecting to get all your attention, interactions, and satisfaction from your partner, and will be much happier overall.
The more external factors there are in your life that make you feel good, the more you can focus on producing that inner happiness which is key to living a content life!
3. You’ve stopped using the words ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘I’
It’s nice at first – you’ll notice that you can say “we’ll be there tonight” or “we love Prague.”
It’s great to be part of something special with someone you love and it’s easy to get stuck in this pattern.
The issue comes when you only ever talk about yourselves as an entity and you lose the words ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘I’.
You may notice that it becomes impossible to express how you feel about things – this is partly due to habit, but also because you’ve merged personalities, preferences, and goals.
And this is when you need to make a change.
Combat this: Start using your own personal pronouns again.
It can feel weird at first if you’re used to speaking on behalf of you and your partner, but this is a huge step toward taking ownership of your life again.
Using ‘me’ or ‘I’ helps you rediscover your identity and start to regain a bit of independence.
Begin by doing this with people you love and trust and who won’t judge you if you stumble on the words a bit at first!
If it helps, write down a list of facts about yourself – it might sound really silly, but it’s easy to forget that curry is actually your partner’s favorite meal and yours is a roast dinner!
We get almost symbiotic when we’re in a relationship, which is sweet in some ways and dangerous in others…
Why this works: Toxic relationships that you lose yourself in can become very co-dependent, so it’s important to practice being your own individual.
Reminding yourself that you exist without them is key to preventing a huge blowout in the relationship.
You’ll start to listen to yourself more and remember who you are as a person.
You’ll regain confidence and feel more worthy as a person who’s capable of making decisions and knows what they like.
4. You can’t remember the last time you were alone.
It’s so easy to get into the habit of spending all your ‘spare’ time with your partner.
And, at first, it can be lovely.
You get home from work and spend the evening together, enjoy breakfast the next day, and repeat the whole thing again.
Sure, living together or staying with each other for most of the week is sweet, but we all need some time on our own!
Combat this: You need to set some boundaries! If you don’t think you need to, do it now.
The moment you realize you need boundaries, it’s almost too late, and it’s only a matter of time before things get worse.
Have a few nights a month dedicated to yourself – stay at your home if you don’t live together or ask them to make plans for dinner with friends so you at least have the place to yourself for a few hours.
Plan a weekend away on your own or go for a mini city break on a Saturday and just enjoy sipping a coffee alone, reading a good book, or treating yourself to a fancy dinner – just for yourself!
Why this works: It’s so important to remind yourself that you exist as your own being – I can’t stress this enough!
Alone time gives us space to process everything that’s going on in our lives.
If you’re with your partner all the time, you can’t get annoyed at them and subsequently process those feelings as there’s no time or opportunity to do it.
You might also feel like you have to be ‘on’ for them all the time. There’s some pressure, especially in new relationships, to be funny and sweet and exciting, and you never have time to just slow down and be content.
It’s like you’re putting on a show to impress them!
This is normal, but not overly healthy, so alone time lets you chill out and take a step back.
It helps you assess everything in your life from a good standpoint, not just your relationship.
It also gives you the chance to get into self-care, which we’ll go into later…
5. Your future revolves around them.
It’s normal to think about your future relationship with your current partner… a lot.
Why wouldn’t you?
Many of us drift off and think about our wedding, what our kids will look like, and who’ll be doing the DIY in our new homes.
It’s very easy to transport yourself to a time where the main focus is on still being part of an ‘us,’ while neglecting what we want the future to hold for ourselves too.
Combat this: Use your quiet/alone time to think about other things that excite you.
It’s lovely to drift off into a daydream about your wedding, but it’s important to focus on other things that your future will hold.
It’s almost assumed of us that our hopes and dreams revolve around our perfect partner, but there is so much more to look forward to.
Next time you find yourself daydreaming about your relationship, actively change the topic of focus and start thinking about your next career move, your friend’s birthday event you’re looking forward to, or anything else that makes you feel excited, strong, or ambitious!
Why this works: our brains are pre-wired in many ways, but our regular thought patterns also encourage new connections to form.
Think of your brain as AI (artificial intelligence) – it learns from you the more you give it content to learn from!
That means that if you spend a lot of time thinking about your partner, your brain will get used to it and start to form links.
You might be having a glass of wine and think about your boyfriend a few times a week (we’ve all been there), which then encourages your mind to wander to your partner each time you have a glass of wine from then onwards.
This association becomes pretty strong – but it can be broken!
Encourage your mind to think about other topics and your brain will soon start forming new connections (e.g. wine now links to thinking about becoming a CEO) and the others will fade away.
You’ll be left with a re-wired brain that focuses on positivity, as well as life outside of your relationship.
6. It’s hard to distinguish if you’re doing this for you, or for ‘us’
As we mentioned above, it’s easy to get wrapped up in being a couple and planning a future together, but what about the present?
You might realize that a lot what you’re already doing is based around the two of you.
It might be difficult to work out what you like and what you want, and you may find it even trickier to figure out what actions follow these feelings.
Combat this: Again, this is fine sometimes, but you need to learn to distinguish who your actions are benefitting – and make sure you’re definitely that person around 80% of the time!
When you’re making plans with your partner, stop and think about how much this activity will benefit you.
Are you always doing things they like?
Why this works: It’s great to take a step back and evaluate your behavior from time to time.
It may be that your partner is domineering and is the one calling the shots; it may be that you subconsciously suggest doing things you know they like in order to keep the peace or try to please them.
By analyzing this kind of thing, you can work out if you need to have a conversation with your partner about their behavior or if you need to work on yourself and your self-assertiveness!
This isn’t a blame-game and it’s good to avoid unnecessary confrontation, but it’s always helpful to see where your actions come into play in the relationship.
7. Your opinions have merged and you’re not sure how much of them are yours.
This can happen very naturally, but is also something we’d highlight as a potential red flag.
Becoming more similar is quite normal, but it’s important to retain your own identity in a relationship and not completely lose yourself!
Your opinions may have become so merged that you’re unsure of which are actually your own; the same goes with your feelings.
Combat this: As above, it’s important to exercise how much freedom, personality, and identity you have as an individual!
Practice voicing different opinions and see which one feels right. You need to find yourself again and work out who you are on your own, even though you’re still in a relationship.
Why this works: You get to know yourself again by rediscovering your thoughts and feelings, so this exercise will give you a huge boost.
It’s not about distancing yourself from your partner or relationship; it’s just about finding yourself and knowing who you are, however loved up that may be!
8. You find yourself feeling anxious a lot more often.
Anxiety is something most of us struggle with on some level, and being in a relationship that’s consumed you is a huge trigger with these kinds of emotions.
A lot of anxiety arises from feelings of guilt or uneasiness – anything that feels uncertain or ‘not quite right’ can really encourage these kinds of emotions.
From personal experience, knowing that you’re losing yourself to a relationship (which you do if you’re reading this, let’s be honest!) is not a nice feeling.
You know you’re doing something unhealthy and you start to feel a bit guilty that you’re actively continuing to let it happen.
This triggers fight-or-flight responses in your body which present as anxiety – panicky feelings, pounding heart, upset stomach… all the usual, fun things!
Combat this: You feel guilty and stressed because you know you’re not making a great decision for yourself.
Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, you’re not making an active choice to look after yourself and that’s what’s making you feel bad, just as much as the relationship itself!
Take control. Choose to spend some time on your own, as we’ve mentioned, and make an effort to really look after yourself.
Why this works:The more in control you feel of your behavior, the more in control you’ll become of your feelings.
This isn’t just about being in control, however, it’s about being able to rely on yourself and feel secure in your actions and choices.
The sooner you realize that you are secure and stable, the more comfortable you’ll feel taking more time to yourself – and the calmer and happier you’ll feel!
9. You’re not even your own priority.
We’ve all been there – you want to look good for your partner, but you forget to look after all the other aspects of yourself!
Self-care can really go out of the window when you’re in the middle of losing yourself to a relationship.
It’s really sad that we forget to prioritize ourselves, but it’s very easily done.
You spend so much time being around them or wanting to make them happy, you forget that you have individual wants and needs that only you can fulfil.
Combat this: Many of us start relying on partners to be our main source of happiness or satisfaction.
Spoiler alert – that never works!
The more pressure you put on them to determine how you feel, the faster you’re heading toward disaster.
Take it from me, no other person (however lovely or attractive they are) can make you happy.
Take some time to yourself and do something you love – grab a glass of wine and binge on Netflix in your sweatpants, cook something amazing for yourself and enjoy a candlelit dinner, or have a good soak (and therapeutic cry) in the bath. Just because you can!
Why this works: Self-care is so important, especially in relationships, as it shows us that we value ourselves and want to make an effort to look after ourselves.
It might sound silly, but it really does serve to remind us just how much we love ourselves and that we deserve a night in, on our own, every so often.
This is our way of honoring our own needs rather than just putting our partner’s first.
It boosts our confidence and it also takes the pressure of the relationship as you no longer look to them to fulfil all your needs and desires!
10. You’re trying too hard to control everything else.
This is essentially turning into a list of all the negative personality traits I adopted when I was losing myself in a relationship, but there we go!
Being a ‘control freak’ is something some of us just are, while others learn this behavior because it helps them feel better about their circumstances.
It makes sense – you’ve lost your identity in a relationship and you feel out of control and overwhelmed.
You love them and want to stay with them, but you’re not feeling stable at all!
So, what do you do?
You try to control everything else in your life to remind yourself that you have some power and some say over what happens in your life.
Combat this: This can get really ugly, really quickly.
Controlling behavior is never nice to be on the receiving end of, and you’re likely to push people away by accident.
It’s also horrible to watch yourself turn into a micro-managing friend who needs to be in charge all.the.time!
Do your best to make a note of every time you’re aware of this type of behavior.
It might not seem like much at the time, but, at the end of the week, you’ll be surprised and slightly horrified by just how much you’ve tried to take control of situations and people.
Why this works: By acknowledging your behavior, you take responsibility for it.
It makes sense that you’d want to control external factors to compensate for how you’re feeling, but it won’t end well.
Accept this and you’re well on the way to change!
Taking an active part in finding yourself again and letting go of the control issues will make you feel so much better and will help reset your habits so that you can get back to your old, relaxed self.
You may also like (article continues below):
- How To Stop Being Codependent In Your Relationship
- How To Stop Being Clingy And Needy In A Relationship
- 10 No Bullsh*t Reasons Why Women Leave Men They Love
- How To Give Him Space: 5 Things To Do + 5 Things NOT To Do
- 13 Things That Possessive Boyfriends And Girlfriends Do (+ How To Deal With Them)
11. Your identity feels lost or disappointing.
As mentioned above, it’s likely that you’re not being ‘made happy’ by the person that society tells you should be doing that for you.
It’s also quite likely that you’re no longer feeling very attractive or wanted, despite being in an all-consuming relationship!
It doesn’t really make any sense and yet it feels so accurate, right?
You’re almost too involved with each other, which is leaving no room for excitement or surprise.
Things often speed up when you’re losing yourself to a relationship, and you go from newly-dating to old married couple who sleep in spare rooms.
Combat this: As I keep saying (because it’s so true!), you need to take a little step back every so often.
If you think you’ve lost your identity, you need to spend some time alone regaining it, as mentioned earlier.
You also need to communicate honestly with your partner about why you’re feeling undesirable – is it something they’re doing, is it the habits you’re both in, or is something you could address yourself but want to confide in them about?
Why this works: Being honest about how you feel with someone you trust is never a bad idea!
It might feel weird, but it will definitely pay off, and you’ll feel much better afterwards.
You’ll also find ways to get your identity back by voicing things aloud that you may not have realized in your mind.
12. You feel like a ghost.
Ever feel like you’re on autopilot? This is pretty common when you’re losing yourself in a relationship.
It might be that you feel a bit numb and you don’t know how you actually feel in real life.
Your intentions behind your behavior might suddenly fade away so you’re no longer sure why you’re doing what you’re doing!
This is pretty normal, but not very healthy.
Combat this: You need to move forwards from this phase as otherwise you’ll quickly feel trapped and become very unhappy.
If you’ve lost your identity, you might also feel like there are no consequences to your actions.
Start making a note of what you’re doing every day (not minor details, but bigger things like yoga class, cooking dinner, reading a book etc.) and you’ll start to realize more and more that things are still real and you’re not stuck in a floating relationship.
Why this works: By acknowledging what you are doing in your life, you remind yourself that you do actually exist – silly as that sounds!
It can be so easy to get lost in a relationship that you need to physically remind yourself of who you are every so often.
Making a note of your activities and hobbies is a good way to get this kind of thing ingrained in your mind so that, at some point, you no longer need to write it down and you just know it.
13. You’re overly-involved in your partner’s life.
This is something that a lot of people fall victim to at some point – most likely with their romantic partners.
You’ll also see it in a lot of mother-daughter or father-son relationships. Some parents get too involved in their kids’ lives and live vicariously through them. We all know the famous “But ballet isn’t my dream… It’s your dream, Mom.”
Well, some of us do this with our partners and are way too emotionally-invested in every.tiny.thing.they.do.
Combat this: It may be that you’re too empathetic and almost live your partner’s experiences with them, which is never going to end well, let’s be honest.
This is also a sign that you’ve not got enough going on in your own life and need to look elsewhere for entertainment, involvement, and interaction.
It suggests that you don’t think you’re good enough to experience these things for yourself.
You find it easier to be involved in your partner’s social life because you don’t think you’re fun or interesting enough.
You might feel their success as if it’s your own because you don’t think you’re capable of achieving it or are deserving of it.
Make an effort to have more things in your life that fill your time and use your energy – get a new hobby, spend more time with colleagues, hang out with friends and family more.
Why this works: Having something of your own to focus on will make you feel so much better about yourself.
And it will take some pressure off your partner if they feel like you’re very involved in what they’re doing and they never really have time or activities for themselves.
Doing something for ourselves rather than living through someone else’s life gives us a big confidence boost.
It shows us that we’re capable, that we can be independent and outgoing, that we’re fun to be around, that we’re smart enough and interesting enough to have conversations with like-minded people.
This stops us from being so reliant on our partner, gives us something for ourselves that make us feel good, and gives us something new to talk about with our partners rather than just focusing on them all the time!
14. You find yourself talking about your relationship constantly.
Ever been so into someone that you find yourself mentioning their name all the time?
It’s cute at first, but, at some point, it gets boring for those around you and it’s probably going to make you quite unhappy.
Take it from someone who used any excuse to talk about their boyfriend, it doesn’t end well and it suggests that there’s something going on under the surface that you’re not dealing with.
Some of us feel the need to talk about things that we’re unsure of or uncomfortable with because it feels safer and better to get it out and almost have a witness to it; if we keep things to ourselves, we panic and worry.
Me? I talked about my boyfriend all the time because I was worried that if I wasn’t always mentioning him, I’d have to sit with my own thoughts and feelings and admit to myself that I was very unhappy.
I didn’t want to do that so I just kept pretending to be so loved-up that I wanted to talk about him all the time.
Toward the end of the relationship, I found myself talking about him even more, hoping that someone would say what I couldn’t say to myself – “that doesn’t sound good, are you okay?” or, “are you sure you’re happy because you keep talking about the same thing over and over again?”
Combat this: You will absolutely ruin yourself if you continue down this path, whether you’re talking about your boyfriend all the time because you’re happy or because you’re unhappy.
It’s simply not healthy to be so fixated on an individual.
Sure, chat about something sweet that happened the other day or your plans together, but don’t drone on and on about them all the time.
If you do, you teach yourself that it’s okay to obsess over them and you’ll very quickly get into the habit of including them in everything, from talking about them to inviting them to every event to needing to be with them all the time.
Make a conscious effort to tone it down a bit – maybe set yourself boundaries and give yourself a 5-a-day rule. You can mention them 5 times a day and no more.
Why this works: The 5-a-day rule sounds harsh, but it got me through a horrific break-up and I now swear by it.
During the break-up, I had to limit myself to talking and crying about it 5 times a day.
This was partly for my sanity and well-being, but also because I could tell that even those who love me the most were struggling with it!
This works because you learn to self-regulate; you become more aware of what you’re saying and doing.
You shouldn’t punish yourself if you find it hard at first and go over the limit, but you should do your best to stick to these boundaries.
You’ll also get a bit more headspace to think about why you keep wanting to bring them up.
Each time you stop yourself from mentioning them, ask why you wanted to and why it matters.
For me, I realized I kept talking about them because I was unhappy. If this is the same for you, you’ll need to think about why that is, how often you feel that way, and what the next steps are.
If it’s because you’re happy, maybe think about why you want to share that all the time – is it to make people jealous, is it to brag about how good things are, or is it genuinely because you want to share how great you feel?
PS – if it’s the later, tell your partner how happy you are with them instead of randomly telling your group of friends in a totally irrelevant conversation!
15. You’re even more addicted to your phone.
Again, from experience, a sign you’re lost in your relationship is that you’re addicted to your phone.
This could be because you talk to your partner all the time or because you want to be available to them whenever they might need or want to talk to you.
This is so unhealthy!
Partly because you just shouldn’t always be on your phone, but also because you’re allowing yourself to partake in behavior that is damaging, that makes you lose your identity, and that encourages a co-dependant relationship.
Combat this: As with everyone, your relationship won’t change if you don’t respond to a text within 0.3 seconds – and, if it does, you’re in the wrong relationship and you need to get out now!
Again, set some boundaries for yourself and take a step back to work out why you feel the need to be on-hand and ready at all times.
Is it because you want to make sure they don’t get angry with you for not replying quickly (if so, leave!) or because you’re insecure in the relationship and constantly need reassurance and praise (consider leaving, but also consider therapy for your own sake as this is a deep-rooted issue a lot of us need help with!)
Why this works: Getting some perspective will tell you a lot about yourself and a lot about your relationship.
Your life shouldn’t revolve around them and you need to work out why you’re letting it.
There is a cause behind this kind of behavior and if you don’t confront it, you’ll never move on from it.
Again, I learnt that the hard way! A lot of my behavior was unhealthy and I just hoped that it would fix itself.
Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
Figure out why you need this validation and why you need to be needed and you’ve suddenly got a much healthier relationship.
Self-awareness is key, so be open-minded and be kind to yourself. It’s not an easy thing to work through, so give yourself some points jut for tuning up.
16. It’s always you that’s willing to change.
It’s good to want to make positive changes to yourself, but neither of you should be expecting the other to revamp their entire personality or appearance.
You may find that you’re too willing to take on their feedback…
…they like blondes, so you happily bleach your brunette hair.
…they think ‘you could be a little healthier,’ so you sign up to a gym and slog your guts out 5 days a week.
…they think you should be spending less time with your single friends, so you delete them from your Instagram.
You see where we’re going with this?
Combat this: We’re not suggesting you start picking fights over everything, but it’s important to stand up for things that matter to you.
If you’re genuinely not fussed about what takeout you get or what movie you watch, by all means, go along with what they think might be nice.
If it’s about something personal, like your appearance, remember that it’s not their business.
You need to really think about whether or not you want to be with someone who wants to change you just to suit their preferences.
If it’s about your behavior, have a mature conversation about it as it may be a valid point and could be a great way to become more self-aware.
Suggestions around change should never be critical or unfair.
It may be a genuine health concern that led them to suggest you work out a bit more, but they need to acknowledge that it’s a sensitive issue and be kind about it – and you need to set some boundaries if they’re not being kind!
Why this works: Taking on board feedback is fine in your job, but being in a relationship with someone means accepting and loving them for who they are.
Sure, you won’t like everything about them, but you also shouldn’t try to change them.
They are who they are, just as you are who you are.
Most of us could do with being a bit more active, a bit kinder, and a bit more open-minded, but our partners shouldn’t really be the ones to tell us that.
It’s up to us to take responsibility for ourselves, so pushing back a little bit and not always being the one to give in will show that you have some self-confidence, respect yourself, and will remind them exactly why they love you so much.
17. You’re very aware of your differences, and you actively steer clear of highlighting them.
It may be that you don’t share your political opinions as you know your partner disagrees, or that you have to bite your tongue every time they make a racist or sexist ‘joke’ etc.
This is a tricky place to be and the fact that you go along with these things without commenting on them suggests that you’ve lost your true self in the relationship.
You won’t always agree with each other, but it’s a sign you’re losing your identity if you lose the ability to stick up for what you believe in and voice an opinion.
Combat this: I’ve used this word countless times in this article now, but it’s so important that I’m not going to stop. ‘Boundaries’.
You already knew what I was going to say because you know you need to be doing this more.
If something your partner says or does crosses a line for you, tell them. The same as above – you can’t expect to change everything about them, but it’s okay to tell them why you don’t like something in a kind way.
Have a calm conversation about it and reflect on your own opinions and why you’ve been so prepared to let things happen that go against your values.
Make sure they understand why you’re upset and that it’s not just you ‘nagging’ or ‘being boring.’
Why this works: You’ll never find someone who agrees with you on everything (and thank goodness, how boring!), but if you know deep down that you’re too different, you need to think about how this will affect your relationship in the future.
If they are constantly making inappropriate comments, can you really see yourself settling down with them and living with the fact that you have to turn a blind eye every time they do it?
Will you just have to live with being embarrassed, or ashamed when they do it in front of your friends and family?
If you’re willing to go along with this and compromise your feelings, your worth, and your values, you’ve lost yourself to the relationship and you need to analyze what’s really going on.
18. Your friends or family members have mentioned how much you’ve changed. Repeatedly.
This is a really sad sign that you’re losing yourself in a relationship, and it’s something to pay attention to.
Those around you know you best, and they’ll be able to tell that something isn’t quite right.
Maybe you don’t spend time with them as much, or you fixate too much on a text from your partner when you’re actually at your parents’ house for a nice dinner.
Or maybe you’re a bit withdrawn when you’re not with your partner and you seem sad and nervous.
Combat this: Listen to those around you. It’s very, very rare that someone close to you, who you trust, is telling you this out of spite or jealousy.
It’s more likely that they’re telling you because they’re worried about you – and you ignoring it suggests that you know they’re right, but you don’t want to admit it to yourself.
For me, it took my family repeatedly asking why I looked so upset, why I was so jumpy, and why I was glued to my phone for me to finally acknowledge what I knew all along but didn’t want to say out loud – something was wrong and I was unhappy.
Why this works: Paying attention to those close to you will help you see things more clearly and will open up a lot of space in your own mind.
If you feel like you’re losing your identity, it’s likely that your mind has shut down and is almost blocking certain thoughts from you.
You become so lost in a relationship that you don’t let yourself think about life outside of it, or before it.
By trusting and talking to those around you, you’re unlocking those thoughts and feelings in a safe space and can actually start to think about how you feel and what you want.
19. You fantasize about being single.
Well, this is a no-brainer, and something a lot of us have done!
You might have created a ‘single’ version of yourself who goes out and has fun, has no commitment to worry about, and doesn’t feel tied down in the way that you do.
If you’ve lost yourself to a relationship, you’re likely to be overly involved in it and need a bit of an escape through a different persona, almost.
Combat this: Think about why you want that single life back.
Is it out of boredom? In which case, spice things up, do new things, and try to get your relationship back to an exciting stage!
Is it because you’re unhappy and need an escape? If so, consider where that feeling is coming from as it’s a serious thing to experience in a relationship.
Maybe it’s that you’re worried about committing, in which case have an open and honest chat with your partner.
Why this works: Again, being honest with yourself about how you feel is really important.
Think about what’s causing that feeling and you’ll feel so much better already.
That gives you the next step in dealing with the issue, whether it’s boredom, lack of appreciation, or something that you might not have ever thought of as an issue before.
20. The relationship isn’t even that good!
This is something really difficult to admit, especially when you’ve put so much time and effort into a relationship, but it’s also a sign that you’re completely lost in your relationship.
It might be that you focus so much on being with someone that you kind of forget about what you actually want from a relationship and what needs aren’t being met.
It’s really easy to get caught up in all of the excitement of being with someone if it’s new, and to get stuck into habits if it’s someone you’ve been with for a long time.
Combat this: Assess your relationship rationally. Write a ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ list and then talk it through with a friend you trust.
It might seem harsh, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Your view of it won’t always be honest or healthy, and it’ll be hard for you to look at things objectively.
You’re probably a bit numb to how immersed you are and how much you’ve lost yourself to it, so you’re also unlikely to realize how your relationship actually is and what impact it may be having on you.
Why this works: You’re probably not 100% sure what your relationship actually is, because you’re so involved in it and don’t see it properly!
This is pretty common, but it’s not a great position to be in as you’re then vulnerable to things getting worse without you realizing, because you’re so involved that you’re distanced from it in some ways.
By taking a step back, you can evaluate the relationship for what it is in real-life and you’ll feel so much better for it!
20 signs you’re losing yourself in a relationship, done!
It’s important to note that this list is neither exhaustive nor completely accurate or relevant to everyone.
It’s also key to remember that you might have lost yourself to a good relationship – this is in no way saying that people only lose their identity in toxic partnerships.
Things might be amazing between the two of you, but it’s your behavior and feelings that might indicate you’re too involved in it.
Hopefully, these tips will help guide you back to a healthy relationship that fulfills you both and makes you both feel safe, happy, and loved.