As it is Valentine’s day, what better subject to write about but love.
Love is a strange thing when you think about it. We meet someone and fall in love with them. It is who they are that attracts us; looks, interests, sense of humour and personality. These are the things that make our heart skip a beat. We can’t wait for the next date, we sit up all night speaking on the phone or texting we tell all our friends about the perfect guy or gal that we have started dating. And then time moves on and you decide to either get married or move in together.
I am not sure if there is a specific point in a relationship where we sometimes begin to try and mold the other person into someone else, but it is a trap that often brings what once was something beautiful to a crashing end. It can begin in very small subtle ways something along the lines of “Can’t you wear something else?” as you get your old trusty jumper out of the cupboard or “Don’t you think your hair would look better like…..?” Suddenly the style you have been sporting throughout your relationship is not quite right. If allowed to this can escalate into something more destructive where one partner (or both) want the others core beliefs to change to mirror their own or what was once a joint hobby suddenly becomes a solo activity swiftly followed by a non existent activity.
The net result of this is that our true identity begins to get lost in a relationship, often without us even noticing. Sometimes when subconscious alarm bells have begun to ring we think this signals time to add a new dimension to the relationship and add a child or two into the mix. Suddenly you are someone’s parents, you are tired, busy and often stressed and a little bit more of your identity can become buried.
As we lose the things that made us who we are a void can be opened up and this can be quickly filled with depression, anxiety, anger and frustration, but you have no idea why you are feeling this way as the whittling away of the self has been such a slow process.
I am not a relationship counsellor so if you are experiencing problems please seek the advice of a professional, but if you are just starting out in your relationship try to keep in your mind the things that you first fell in love with and if you hear a little voice at the back of your head telling you he or she would be even better if they only: Shared your beliefs, dressed more like so and so, went to the gym more often, the list goes on and on, then tell it to be quiet. I am not speaking about putting the lid on the toothpaste or your pants in the laundry basket here, I am talking about the stuff that made you who you are, the beliefs and interests that you spent years investing time in, the way you like to dress, the music you enjoy listening to.