Do you tend to find yourself slipping away when you’re in a relationship? I’ve been there and here’s a little hint…so have many other women!

Sometimes it happens so subtly that you don’t even recognize it, and one day you’ve lost your sense of self, your confidence, and you live daily for or at the whim of others.

I went through this constantly in my past relationships and I had no idea what was happening at the time. All I knew was that I felt more alive and amazing when I wasn’t in a partnership than in one.

I really wanted to learn how to do both – have a partner and BE ME at the same time, so I started looking within for the answers.

If you’re resonating with this and you want to start taking your life back and realize which patterns lead to your loss of self in the first place read on.

We are going to dive into some of those unhealthy patterns and more importantly explore steps you can implement to avoid them.

Many women identify with one of these 3 patterns: 

1. The Caretaker

Whether it’s “nature” or “nurture”, women have a tendency to be the caretaker of the family. The Caretaker is often able to identify what others need before they even know. They pride themselves on this awareness and truthfully, this is one of their greatest strengths.

However, the downside to this persona is that The Caretaker often puts others needs ahead of their own, which takes away from their essential “Me Time” that’s necessary to replenish, recharge and rejuvenate.

They tend to obtain their value and self-worth through helping other and the appreciation that often follows.

This all eventually leads to losing their sense of self and their identity.

2. The “Don’t-Stir-The-Pot-Girl”

Most of us learned from a young age the importance of being “a good girl” and acting “lady-like”. The lines may get blurred though when women hesitate to voice their opinions and desires that go against the societal norms.

Women who fall in this category learn to let their boundaries and opinions go and often live each day at the behest of their partner, waiting to see what his/her mood will be in order to know how they feel that day.

Their primary concern becomes to not “stir the pot” and this becomes the focus of their life, constantly walking on eggshells. This is a dangerous place to be.

When we let too much slide and are afraid to speak up, we’ll try to do everything we think our partner wants so they don’t get angry and we’ll lose the relationship.

Don’t get me wrong though, the “Don’t-Stir-The-Pot” Girl has lots of feelings. There may even be many discussions happening in their partnership, but at the end of the day, there is a lack of essence that allows them to feel confident and strong. This eventually leads to a decline of their sense of self and feeling lost.

3. The “I Need You, Can’t Live Without You” Girl

Often times, we step into a relationship and embrace it so wholeheartedly and grow so attached to the idea of being in a partnership that we couldn’t imagine a day without it! This type of blind attachment is a sure fire path to losing all boundaries.

Women with this persona, put all of their identity and self-worth into their partnership. It becomes devastating to imagine life without their relationship so they don’t…they can’t. They must give up every piece of themselves just to hang on to their partnership.

“I don’t know what I would do without him/her!”

“I can’t loose him/her!”

“I’ll die without you!”

Those are just a few of the beliefs that come from this position.  When you are unsure if you would survive or not without your current partner, it’s definitely a sign to start uncovering your essence and sense of self!

How To Avoid These Patterns 

It’s always seemed strange to me that we fall into these patterns. In my personal experience, it was always the independent and sassy me who attracted the attention of the guy in the first place. Then, slowly but surely, it would all wilt away and I started taking my sense of self from my partnership rather than from within.

If you’ve fallen into a similar trap, don’t worry because there’s hope! Little by little, you can make changes to hold an amazing partnership and still feel like yourself the entire step of the way.

Here are 4 great steps to get you started: 

1. Schedule in non-negotiable “ME TIME”.  

This means no matter what is happening, this is YOUR time. It can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours to 10 days! Whatever feels doable right now, do that – it will grow as time goes on. If you can, leave all of your technology behind to really give your brain and body some space to tap into your essence. Ask yourself the question, “What do I really want?”

2. Set nonnegotiable boundaries for yourself.  

This will definitely vary from person to person but make a commitment to yourself to do what’s best for you! Whatever makes you feel overwhelmed – remove it, don’t commit to it. Personal boundaries keeps your essence intact at all times.

3. Share your goals and ideas with someone!

The best way to make any change is to have an accountability partner.  Letting someone know your goals and intentions will help ensure you stay on track.

4. Remember to keep starting over.

Changing patterns is not easy – we spent years creating them!  So, just know that the more you keep re-committing to the change, the easier it will become.  Nothing changes overnight but if you start with small goals it will lead to success!

Do you have another way you completely lose yourself in relationships?  Or do you have some more tips on how to hold on to you?  Share them in the comments below! :)