It has been a crazy rollercoaster of a ride these past couple of years. You’ve fallen in love, moved in together, got engaged, planned a wedding and now you’re settled into your daily life as a married person.
If you take a step back and think about it the process of falling in love and getting married really forces a person to take on several new roles and identities in a relatively short amount of time. First you’re the single girl, then the “new” relationship girl, and then the fiancé and finally the “Mrs.”
When you become a “we” it requires you to morph and shift certain parts of yourself. Transitions, for better or worse, require us to shift or possibly let go of certain aspects of ourselves.
Sometimes these are much-needed shifts and changes in our lives. Maybe becoming a “we” has allowed you to finally trust another person. Maybe becoming a “we” has pushed you to get focused so you can finally pursue your dreams.
But what if you’ve been feeling a little off? What if you’ve been wondering, “Who am I now that I am a “we”? What if you’re starting to realize there are other parts of yourself you’re losing and it’s far from positive?
If you’re finding you’re not quite the person you once were and you’re not happy about it, its time do something about it:
It’s easy when you’re feeling a bit lost or stuck in your life to look around and want to place the blame on what’s right in front of you. So if you’re eyeing your partner and getting angrier by the second because you feel it’s their fault you’re no longer feeling like yourself, take a deep breath and recognize this is your issue to address.
Losing yourself looks different for everyone. It’s important for you to work on becoming more aware of what you feel may be missing from your life. Try and think back to a time in your life when you felt really good about yourself. You felt confident and comfortable in your skin. This is your true and best self.
It may have been a moment or it may have been a long period of your life. Close your eyes and picture yourself in that moment. Where were you? What were you doing? Were you alone or with someone else? Now write down a description of that scene in your mind. What were you thinking, feeling, experiencing? These are all important clues to this “who am I” puzzle.
Rediscover your passions
Don’t you hate it when you’re feeling a bit lost and the only advice you get is, “Oh…it’s OK…this will pass…you know what you need…you need a hobby.” Rest assured that’s not what I’m saying.
Look at what you wrote down when you were at your truest self. There must have been things that you did on a regular basis that made you feel…well like you. What were those ideas or beliefs that you felt so passionate about? What did you do with those ideas or beliefs?
You want to figure out what you did on a regular basis that made you feel good about yourself. Maybe those passions were actually hobbies or interests. Maybe those passions weren’t related to a hobby but to your work or your family or to a charity or group you were involved in.
Whatever “it” is for you, it’s time to get back to it.
Reinvest in friendship
Everyone has had a friend who suddenly fell in love and then became MIA. And we’ve all gotten into a new relationship and turned around pulled the “I’m going to hang with him or her tonight” card ever time our friends hit us up on a Saturday night. Unfortunately when we’re in love, our friends get the short end of the stick.
It’s time to reinvest in your friendships again and this time it needs to stick. It’s easy once you’re married to spend every evening with your partner. Hey, they’re right there and you don’t even have to get out of your yoga pants.
Our world is so different today. We live far away from our parents and our friends are scattered across the country. We put a lot of pressure on our partners to satisfy every single one of our needs. We expect our partner to be our best friend, lover, career advisors, therapists, health coach and on and on. According to Psychotherapist Esther Perel, “We’re basically asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide.”
This is unrealistic and unhealthy which is why we need friends. So, it’s time to get up and get out there and start reconnecting with old friends and start making some new ones.
It’s tough when all of your friends live far but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected in some way. Schedule a weekly phone date with your best friend. Arrange a Google hangout so your old college gang can catch up.
But that’s not enough, I know it’s awkward and uncomfortable, but you need to start making some new friends. It’ll take some time (which is why it’s good you have those weekly phone chats with your bestie) but you don’t need 20 new best friends, you just need one or two really good ones.
Whether being married has turned you upside down or it hasn’t affected you much or you’re somewhere in between, remember these questions and steps because at some point we all get a little lost when “I” becomes “We” and what’s most important is that you always feel like…you.