Continuing on our journey through things that might not make you “relationship material,” we’re next going to touch down on when you lose yourself in a relationship and put the other person’s needs in front of your own.

Now, you may be familiar with the label we give men who do this… “Nice Guys.”

I used to be one of them.

But this is also very common in women too. I guess society just thinks it’s normal for a woman to give and give (and give some more) without taking care of herself, so a lot of people don’t really say much about it.

Whether you are a man or a woman, I believe that society is reaching a point where both genders feel the need to either be Nice Guys or Nice Girls.

The Result Is That We Often Lose Focus with Who We Are

We spend so much time reacting to other people and anticipating what they want that we’re left feeling uncertain about who we are and what we should do when we get a moment to ourselves.

Otherwise why would books like this exist? This book might as well have been called “How to Tell if You’re Completely Detached from Your Own Identity (And How to Quietly Distract Yourself from the Slow Death of Your Soul).

Here’s something a bit more personal…

Back when I was still with my ex, I had made a trip out to visit her at her university over the weekend.

We were having lunch on a Sunday afternoon right before I was to head back to the city for a week at work.

She told me that she was sad that I was leaving.

I asked her to tell me more.

“Well,” she said, “I don’t get to be me until I see you again next weekend.”

“What do you mean you don’t get to be you?” I asked.

“Well, I’m your girlfriend. That’s who I am. And I can’t be that until we’re together again.”

“But can’t you just be who you are, as an individual in the meantime?”

“I don’t know who that is…”

I was slightly disturbed… but I just assumed this was one of those emotional things that I didn’t understand (after all, I was numb back then).

“You know,” she continued, “I had a wonderful dream last night.”

“Oh?”

“I dreamed that I melted into you and we became one person. It was so wonderful! I never had to think for myself or make a decision again.”

Is this normal?!?

I now started to feel claustrophobic. I checked the time, and I couldn’t have been more relieved that it was nearly time for me to catch the Greyhound bus back to the city.

Maybe that’s an extreme example.

But unless you are dating The Blob, your partner probably doesn’t lay in bed at night and think to themself: “You know, I just wish there was someone out there who I could absorb.”

Clay

Clay is an author, blogger, and dating and relationship coach for Loving Boldly. He is also a nap enthusiast, coffee aficionado, and home brewer.

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