If you know how to stay true to yourself when you’re in love, you’ll build the relationship of your dreams. The healthiest relationships involve people who are true to themselves! The problem is that when we fall in love, we tend to mold ourselves into what we think our partners want.
Do you have trouble staying true to yourself? Read Dare to Be Yourself: How to Quit Being an Extra in Other Peoples Movies and Become the Star of Your Own by Alan Cohen.
“If you’re true to yourself, it’s easier to act in ways that build intimacy in relationships, and that will make your relationship more fulfilling,” says Amy Brunell, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s Newark campus. Being true to yourself is easier said than done because we want to be loved. We fear rejection, conflict, and being left. It’s hard to be truly ourselves – especially when we’re in a new relationship.
When I first started this blog, I called it Quips and Tips for Love and Relationships. But just yesterday I realized I want to focus on encouraging you and me to be true to ourselves. The more authentic we are, the happier and healthier we’ll be. This has a direct effect on our relationships!
How to Stay True to Yourself When You’re in Love
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton.
What the research shows about authenticity and love
A recent study found that being true to yourself is the best way to increase romance in your relationship. College students who reported being more true to themselves also reported more positive dating relationships. This study found that both men and women who reported being more true to themselves also behaved in more intimate and less destructive ways with their partners. They felt that their relationships were more positive, and also reported greater feelings of personal well-being.
In other words, the more connected you are to your thoughts, opinions, hopes, and dreams, the better able you’ll be to deeply connect to your partner or spouse. If you can’t connect to yourself – if you’re not authentic – you won’t develop strong, healthy connections to others. Source: For Better Romantic Relationships, Be True to Yourself in Personality and Individual Differences (April, 2010).
Are you living a healthy, independent life? Read 10 Tips for Building a Life Outside Your Relationship.
How being true to you affects your love relationship
If you’re authentic, you’re willing to talk about your emotions, thoughts, goals, and desires with your partner. You don’t keep secrets, and you’re honest about how you feel about everything from abortion to zebras.
Being true to you also means being aware of your limitations, and attempting to make positive changes. You know your weaknesses and you’re willing to talk about them – and perhaps even work on them. This kind of insight involves awareness, insight, and the confidence to express yourself even if you’re scared of rejection.
Questions to think about:
- Do you tend to change who you are when you fall in love?
- What is the easiest thing to share about yourself?
- How do you hold back in your relationships?
I think we all change a little when we’re in a relationship – especially at the beginning. If your relationship is changing you a little too much, read How to be Happy Single.
I’ve been married for almost nine years, and there are still some things I hold back from my husband. Why? Because I don’t want him to think less of me. I don’t think he’d stop loving me if he knew more about me, but … somehow I feel safer and less vulnerable when I keep certain things private.
Should you share everything about yourself when you’re in love? Frank Ocean said, “There’s magic in truth and honesty and openness.” But isn’t there some magic in keeping a secret or two?
For tips on being true to you when you’re in love, read How to Be Yourself in Your Relationship.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.