What if you knew what men secretly wanted but they could never tell you

It’s simpler than you think and I’m here to tell you how.

How To Be Yourself in a Relationship – 3 Relationship Experts Reveal Exactly What To Do

by Anita Gadhia-Smith – PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW, Heather Petitpas – MEd, LMHC, Jolene Stokesberry – MA, LMHC

How To Be Yourself in a Relationship

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

~ Brené Brown

Brené Brown You are Worthy of Love and Belonging Quote
Anita Gadhia-Smith

One important aspect of being yourself in a relationship  is staying grounded in your own life. 

Keep yourself at the center of your life, rather than wrapping yourself around someone else’s. This does not mean being selfish or self-centered, but rather remaining focused on your own life and well-being. 

When you get into a relationship, it is critical to keep on taking care of yourself the way that you did before you got into the relationship. 

Whatever you were doing that kept you healthy, attractive, and desirable – you need to keep doing.

Speak your truth, rather than being a people pleaser. 

Sometimes, we say what we think someone else wants to hear simply to get their approval or to please them. The person you are in a relationship with is not your authority figure, that person is your equal. 

Let him know what you really think and who you really are. 

This includes being honest about what you want and like, and what you don’t. 

It is OK to be yourself and to disagree with others. 

The key to disagreeing is learning how to do it agreeably. 

This requires good communication skills. Each person is allowed to have their own point of view and to learn from one another. Sometimes no one is completely right or wrong, and each person has the opportunity to learn from the other.

Keep up your own self-care, habits,  and routines. 

This is perhaps the most important part of holding on to yourself. Many people get into a relationship and lose themselves in the relationship trying to be what they think the other person wants them to be, or allowing themselves to be controlled by another person. 

It is a faulty model that two people meet and are supposed to become one person. 

You were an individual before you met this person, and you need to still be the same individual now. This means that you may be very different, and that is perfectly OK. 

The point is not to find a clone of yourself, but rather to find someone that you’re compatible with, and with whom you can share and complement one another. When people are different from one another, new growth occurs on both sides. 

Stay true to your own values and priorities. 

Your values are fundamental to who you are and what matters to you in your life. Your priorities are what you decide to give your time to. 

Remember to make time for your own family and friends, and continue to engage in your own hobbies and interests and see your own friends even though you have a relationship in your life. 

Remember that the person that you are in a relationship with was attracted to you, not to a lesser version of you. 

Be who you really are, allow yourself to continue to grow, and hopefully the two of you can grow together in a beautiful and wonderful way. 

When two people remain in their own identities and complement each other, they can contribute to one another’s growth and become a force multiplier.

Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com

Jolene Stokesberry

It’s easiest to be yourself in a relationship, if you’ve already spent time getting to know yourself. There are lots of ways to get to know yourself. But if you’re already in a relationship we’ll share, 3 Awesome Ways to Be More Authentically You (In A Relationship).

As women, we tend to be people pleasers. It’s easy to lose track of ourself while in a relationship and sacrifice our wants, desires, dreams for our partner’s. Then, we often get angry or hurt if our partner doesn’t reciprocate by putting our wants before their own. 

I’m here to say: Be authentically you, because you are awesome. 

You’re a one of a kind! And when you are authentically you, your relationships will be a better fit, meaning they will be easier than trying to fit yourself into the wants of others. And when relationships are easier, everyone in them can have more fun and be happier. 

3 Awesome Ways to Be More Authentically You (In A Relationship):

Here are some specific ways to be yourself in a relationship.

1. Share your beliefs and thoughts.

It’s ok to disagree. In fact it can be healthy to disagree respectfully. For example, you like to recycle, but your boyfriend will throw away the cans at the park after your picnic.. It’s understandable you might be shocked. Take a breath and then say, “oh hey, I make sure I put the cans in the recycling. 

If there’s not recycling at the park I take the cans and  recycle them at home.” 

Tone will matter when you share your perspective. 

This isn’t about changing his mind, it’s about sharing yours. You can also tell him why this is important to you. He doesn’t have to recycle, but it’s important that he knows it’s important to you. After time he might get in the habit, but there are no promises.  

2. Plan activities that are fun for you and invite your partner to come with you.

This will show them what you enjoy doing and what your interests are. Like going to the park for a picnic! Or shopping for a new top. Make sure to include them in the activity, ask what kinds of tops they like. 

It doesn’t mean you have to buy it, just listen. It might be fun or challenging to have them shop with you. There are no right or wrong answers about how you feel. Just notice your response and you’ll learn something new about yourself. 

3. Spend the same amount of time getting to know yourself as you do getting to know someone you’re dating.

If you sit around for an hour talking or texting with your partner asking them questions, and being compassionate try spending an hour asking yourself the same questions and showing yourself the same kind of compassion. And yes, it’s okay to talk to yourself!

These aren’t something you do once and move on. These are tips for a  lifetime. Keep being yourself in all your relationships.

Jolene Stokesberry, MA, LMHC – www.lightmindcounseling.com

Heather Petitpas

It is important to show up as your genuine self in any relationship, especially in a romantic relationship. If you go into it pretending you are someone you are not, you will only hurt yourself in the long run. 

Ask yourself, why do you feel the need to be someone you are not in your relationship? 

If you feel your partner would not accept the real you, then you ultimately will not be happy with this person. 

You would have to fake liking things you don’t, or not liking things you do, act a certain way that is not natural, change your friends or hobbies-this would become overwhelming and anxiety-producing. It is not sustainable nor should it be. 

Do you have fears that if not this person then there won’t be anyone else for you? 

There will be another person-it may just take some looking and effort. It is worth the wait to put down your guard and have an honest relationship that doesn’t require you to put in all this energy to maintain an unhealthy and inaccurate “ideal”. 

Also, sooner or later either you will feel depleted from keeping up a fake persona, or your partner will start seeing your front for what it is-a front. It would not be an honest, fulfilling relationship for you to do yourself the disservice of trying to change your personality. 

Some tips: 

1. Check in with yourself before making decisions in your relationship. Make sure you are truly okay with whatever decision is made. 

2. Have open and honest conversations about your likes and dislikes with your partner. If they can’t accept that you may have different tastes than them, they are not the person for you.

3. Keep a journal with your thoughts and feelings about the world, your goals, your visions for the future, etc., and share some of these with your partner. The more you write these down and say them out loud, the more confidence you will have about them and the fact that they are your truths.

4. Dig down deep  Wouldn’t you want someone to love and honor who you are without conditions? You deserve to be cherished for the amazing soul that is YOU.

Heather Petitpas, MEd, LMHC – www.tissuesfortheissues.com

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