A Piece of Advice
Should I sacrifice my self-identity for a relationship?
According to experts and research, your self-image is likely to shift when you’re in a relationship. For instance, you might begin to integrate aspects of your partner into your idea of yourself or view yourself as part of a team rather than standing on your own. Relationship science and experts also indicate that mentally combining your self-image with your partner’s is associated with how dedicated and happy you are in your relationship. Evidence also suggests that when you mix yourself and your partner evenly into your mental image of the relationship (meaning no one is more salient or noticeable when you think about who you are as a couple), you may be less watchful for problems and more inclined to handle disagreements in a useful way.
At the same time, the value of retaining a defined awareness of yourself – what qualities you possess, who you’ve been, and who you aspire to be – has been highlighted by research and experts. Science reveals that this type of self-knowledge is linked to feeling better about yourself, more dedicated and content in your relationship, and being more capable of making room for your partner in your notion of yourself and picturing you both as a team.
Putting all of this together, relationship science shows that you don’t have to keep your view of yourself rigid and inflexible to your partner’s presence and influence. In fact, it’s perfectly healthy to meld facets of your partner into yourself and envision yourselves as a united couple while also retaining an understanding of yourself.
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