How I realized I was losing my identity in relationships

helloOne of the greatest things about being in a relationship is the ability to get lost in something larger than yourself — to submerge your former identity beneath this new persona as part of a couple. But for me, this is also one of the pitfalls. I tend to lose myself in relationships so completely that my life starts to revolve around my significant other while my personal and professional growth grinds to a halt. Then inevitably the relationship ends, and I find myself returning to a life that no longer exists.

The most extreme example of this occurred more than a decade ago. Generally lost and unhappy, I moved to the outskirts of Massachusetts to live with my then-boyfriend in his hometown. It was a place I’d never heard of until my late teens, when I’d driven past it on my way to college at Brown University and thought, ‘People actually live out here?’ Then I dropped out of Brown, met my boyfriend, and became one of those people living out there.

I was cut off from family and friends in my new world, but that was okay, because by that point I didn’t have many friends left. I was estranged from most of my extended family and the talking that did happen with my immediate family usually wasn’t pleasant. This new place was totally unfamiliar, but that was fine too, because everything that was familiar reminded me of failure and broken things that needed to be fixed. It was easier to flee than fix those things. And so I did…continue reading at Madame Noire.

 

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