Knowing Who You Are

Knowing who you are has three crucial  elements in healthy relationships. 

First, it’s important to know ourselves and what we want in life. Ideally, we enter relationships knowing what is important to us. However, life is a growth process and we keep evolving as long as we’re living.

Second, it’s important to know your partner. Knowing what makes the other one tick goes a long way toward building understanding and tolerance for one another. If we assume that our partners operate out of the same logic that we do, we are doomed to disappointment. This goes back to my previous blog on Acceptance and Tolerance.

It is interesting and quite sad sometimes to see how little couples know about each other. Sometimes they short circuit their relationship by rushing into sexual intimacy without really knowing the other one, and then find themselves getting committed. This can lead to relationships that lack a firm bedrock of knowledge and compatibility.

The third aspect of knowing who you are is having a sense of “we-ness” as a couple. This is enhanced when two strong and self-aware people are partnered. When you know who you are, you tend to pick someone who matches and complements in just the right ways. We don’t want a “twin” but there needs to be enough common interests and expectations. Having a good match leads to having common goals for life, such as having children, building a house, saving for retirement, and so on.

Sometimes people start with a good foundation as a couple but lose touch with one another because they become so heavily involved in career or raising a family. We all change over time, and if we don’t devote enough time for connection in our relationships, we can become distant. If one person in the couple has built their life around the other or around children, that person may also lose their sense of self.

This can lead to what we often term “mid-life crises”, which may lead to divorce. However, rejuvenation is possible when there is enough emotional connection and commitment between the people involved.

 

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