The first couple of months of lockdown, my partner and I were truly killing it with how well we were doing. People all around me were telling me how their relationships were struggling, and I found myself thinking about how lucky I was to be in a relationship that was thriving during these intense times.
But then things started to change. Actually, it wasn’t the relationship that changed, I realized how I was changing in the relationship. I was changing myself to please my partner. Oh no! I was doing it again. I realized that I had been molding myself to be what I thought he wanted me to be.
My old pattern had come to say hello again and remind me of who I was not. And I had been doing this throughout the whole relationship! Because it feels so good to be loved, liked, and validated by the other, doesn’t it? But it’s a dangerous road that if you carry on going down, you will end up completely losing yourself.
The lockdown, as it has for most people, gave me a lot of time for self-reflection. Firstly, I began noticing how I was changing how I looked and dressed to please him. And then I became aware of how much time I was spending worrying about what he was thinking and doing and that I had barely given any time to ask myself what it was I wanted. I was lost in his world.
I was following his dream not mine
It wasn’t until we almost put an offer on a house that I realized it was his dream I was following and not mine. When I had this realization, it hurt my boyfriend. Badly. He felt like he didn’t even know me; he’d lost trust in me and he seriously began doubting the relationship. And I don’t blame him! We decided to take some time apart to figure stuff out so I went and stayed with my sister for a few days.
I felt broken. I hadn’t stayed true to who I was and as a result, I was about to lose the man I loved. So I decided to do some digging. Over the time I was at my sister’s I did a lot of healing work. I had some deep heart opening and meditation sessions with dear friends of mine and realized what my core fear was:
Fear of rejection!
And that fear had been driving me throughout the relationship. I was so afraid that he would reject me that I began changing myself to please him. But the irony is, because I wasn’t true to myself, I was losing him anyway.
We decided to start over again. Actually, for me it was more than starting again. It was about getting to know who I was when I wasn’t looking for my boyfriend’s approval. This new awareness felt liberating.
I started to let go of any outcome of how I wanted the relationship to be. I let go of the attachment of thinking we would be together forever. And I completely trusted that the outcome would be taken care of as soon as I started honoring who I was, and what I needed.
Although I felt more connected to myself following the almost breakup, a lot of doubts were coming to the surface about whether the relationship would work and if we were right for each other – I had been over-compromising myself for so long! And a lot of anger came up about how much I had ignored my needs and ignored my truth because I didn’t want to feel the pain of rejection.
But the anger and doubts gave me even more reason to really show up as the fullest and truest version of myself. Because if I am being fully myself and I am rejected, then doesn’t that make it obvious this person isn’t for me? And don’t I want to be with someone that loves me for who I am anyway?
Since I started being and feeling more myself, dressing how I want to dress, expressing what I want to express, and doing what I want to do, there has been a definite shift in the relationship. In myself, I feel a sense of freedom and empowerment and ease. And things are changing for the better in so many other aspects of my life.
By honoring yourself and your needs, one of two things can happen
Either the other person will be inspired by your authenticity and new-found sense of self and the relationship will blossom in wonderful, unexpected ways, or, you will discover that you are mismatched and that the only kind thing to do is to let each other go so you may both find someone who is a more suitable match.
Either way, it’s about staying in the present moment, getting out of your worrying mind, and harnessing a practice of self-love every day. When you stay true to who you are, the rest takes care of itself–it won’t just be the potential for an even greater relationship, either with your current relationship or a new one, but your new-found confidence will bring about many wonderful, fulfilling and even miraculous opportunities to you.
Remember, always, always, always…..be yourself.
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