Remain the sun: How to keep your Identity in Relationships.

Therapy is a great thing. Everybody should try it. All of us are endlessly changing, developing, progressing, and fighting. Each of us has things which only an unprejudiced person can help overcome.

My personal struggle has always been to maintain my personality in relationships. Telling the truth, any type of relationships: intimate and friendly. I push through finding a border between my private and professional life. I can blame myself for becoming too single-minded; sometimes I transform into such a social butterfly, I let my work get totally out of my control. Or I can get so tied to the guy I’m dating, that I stop communicating with my friends for a month. Or I plunge into work and all the other things seem meaningless.

Where does this imbalance originate from? Well, it looks all people in general struggle with balance in their lives. But in my case, it’s also because I usually give too much value to other people. I pay too much attention if other people love me or not, this tends to be the key point I follow for deciding how I should treat myself or love myself. Therefore, I often get so much into other people and in getting their approval and attention that I forget about myself.

And this is a sign of unbalanced life. And it drags you back. Only you can determine your value, and then other people will have to agree to it. If you rely on other people to dictate how you should feel about yourself, you will always remain a loser. If you need other people to “complete” you, you will never find yourself finished.

Read what my therapist recently said …
“You are the sun in your solar system. Everyone else in your life rotates around you. You do not rotate around them.”
Do you realize the meaning of these words?!? It reminded me one quote from Grey’s Anatomy: “Don’t let what he wants, eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.”

How many of you always remain in someone else’s shade? A year ago I met one man, probably it was the most serious relationship I’ve ever had. We fell in love and things moved on very fast and we were even thinking about marriage. And I was so happy to find this great love that I gave up myself to these relationships. This may sound very romantic, but in reality, it crashed the relationships.

Why? Because when you meet the other person, they often start to replace your earlier life. And when your interesting life needs to be forgotten in order to make a new relationship the center of your universe, everything goes off the track. So, when I met my ex, I was finishing up my fourth book and spending lots of time with friends and had many hobbies filling my life. In other words: I was the sun. And I was shining as a true sun. And that’s what attracted my ex.

Step by step I made him the sun. And my shining stopped. And the more he became the sun, the darker and distant our relationships were becoming. I even went against my principles a few times at key moments in order to keep him happy and keep him as the sun, at my own cost. For example, he insisted I should meet his two small children really fast but I was not ready for it. But I was afraid to refuse, scared to hurt his feelings. So, I listened to him instead of talking about my preferences. A similar thing happened again the first time he told me he loved me. I knew I was on my way to falling in love with him, but I wasn’t quite there yet and wasn’t ready to say the words. Yet I went against my gut and said it back because I didn’t want to push him away by seeming noncommittal or like I wasn’t as into him as he was me.

Yes, the more I rotated around him and the more I sacrificed my desires for his wants, the more our relationship suffered. You can guess what happened next. He broke up with me one night in a short telephone conversation.

Where did I make mistake? I made him the key person. I could not maintain any healthy boundaries in our relationship. And the relationship transformed to a point from where there is no return.

So how to remain a key person to yourself in your relationships? Here are some helpful tips:

Have a life outside of him. 
Try to preserve your normal life, your friends, your hobbies. You don’t have to see your man every single night. My ex and I could often sacrifice healthy sleep to spend more time together and the next day we were tired and wretched. That is not a sound basis for a strong relationship. Keep visiting gym, continue to organize girls’ parties, don’t give up your self-care. A relationship has to contribute to your already wonderful life, not to replace it.

Set personal boundaries and listen to your inner self.
It is better to plan how many days a week you will spend together. You should not feel guilty. You mustn’t make yourself things you are ready to. A healthy relationship is a two-way path and not a deadlock.

Give up a thought that you need anyone to “complete” your life.
You’re already a whole, complete person by yourself. Or as I like to say, you are the cake and a relationship is a glaze. Even without the glaze, a cake will always remain a cake!

Jennifer Aniston is the author of my favorite quote: “A relationship isn’t going to make me survive. It’s the cherry on top.” So YOU will always bt the cake, the key person, the sun. Let him be the glaze, the cherry, and the stars in your personal solar system. Only this way you will maintain your identity in relationships.