losing yourself in love

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How do you not lose yourself in love? Simple, always put yourself first. You can only show up in the world as your greatest self if you're making yourself your number one priority.

We often are told and then grow to believe that being in love means we need to be selfless, or that we are merging our "half" with someone else to create a "whole."

This couldn't be further from the truth! By focusing on our partner all the time and pushing our own happiness to the side we are doing everyone a disservice, including our partner and especially ourselves.

From my experience, when I've put all my attention on my lover it inevitably leads me into dangerous codependent territory. I begin to try to control the other person and what they do and what happens to them. I also become more impatient and resentful, oblivious to the fact that the reason I am turning into a red eyed monster is because I have completely let myself fall apart. As my mental and emotional health begins to crumble I neglect the hobbies that once filled me up as well as spending time with the other people in my life.

What I've incorporated into my life as part of my self- care practice has allowed me to fill myself up first and then spend my time with my loved one feeling open, affectionate, and able to be happy and present together.

I have a list of activities that I enjoy and I make sure to do at least one of them on a weekly basis. By having solo dates to do something I love, I am reminding myself that I come first.

I also have a morning routine that is very grounding. This time in the morning is very sacred to me and is one of my non-negotiables that I have created a strict boundary around and my partner honors and supports this fully.

Taking care of all my relationships and making it an important part of my well being reminds me that I can't get everything from one person. While my partner is my soulmate, lover and best friend, I do know that I have other friendships that support me in different ways. I honor this time with others and I have so much gratitude for our time whether I'm doing art, having girl talk, a sleepover, brunch, exercising or crying on a girlfriend's shoulder.

Spending time apart from each other gives you the opportunity to miss one another and have something to talk about when you do reconnect. It serves as a way to let each other know that you had a full life before you were together and you will continue that as the years come and go.

My last tip is to have honest and open communication. Whether you're the one telling your partner you need some space and alone time to reboot or they are telling you that you are behaving clingy or have become more irritable, by talking it out, you are both holding one another accountable and responsible for your own wellbeing. The fact of the matter is that we are the only ones who are responsible for ourselves and for feeling loved, happy and whole- and by putting that expectation in the hands of another we are the only ones to blame when they fail to accomplish that. Unless you want to see yourself and your relationship deteriorate than I would advise against that!

Cheers to us filling up our own cups first!

Love always,

Mabes