There is a very common question that people ask when they are about to go into a relationship and it is this:
“Can I be in a relationship and still be me?”
Well this simple question has a very simple answer: “Yes!” The most basic building block of a relationship is love and those who truly love you, love you for who you are. Let me explain “love” to you so you can get the answer to this question yourself.
Love is a feeling that we have towards someone because we like an attribute that they have. This may be something like their values, simplicity, honesty etc. This is true love, and this is real love.
Consider how it would be to begin a relationship where you pretend to be something you are not. If your future partner comes to love your “unreal self” the moment they find out about your true self they may stop loving you. Because they loved a particular attribute that you pretended to have and you actually did not have it: Quality gone, love gone.
If in a relationship, you show yourself “better” than you are, then the love will absolutely be fake, and basing the relationship on fake love would vis-à-vis make the love fake also. What is the need to save a fake relationship? Why would you pretend to save a fake relationship? Such is a relationship for which you have to pretend. However, at the end, such a relationship has no value. The people who love your real self truly love you, and as the saying goes will continue to love you “warts and all”.
Therefore, the question could instead be, “Can I have a successful relationship while I pretend to be something I am not”, and the answer to it would be no. If you think from the perspective that you might have to give up your attitude or you might have to become compliant the answer is the same; be real to get real love.
The tricky bit about this is that we all present our “best selves” when we first meet someone and consider going into a relationship. So is this fake? No – this is just presenting ourselves in a very conscious way. The problem with many relationships that go bad is not that they are fake but maybe it is because we stop being conscious of what we do in the presence of the other: We “let ourselves go” which is a disservice to ourselves as well as to the other person who would be our partner.
The lesson here then is: be yourself and while being the best you can be, by valuing yourself above all others, also be the best you can be for your partner and value equally that person and your relationship. In this way you can truly be who you are meant to be for you and for your partner. There is no pretence here, nothing fake just you being as real as you can be consciously and lovingly.
So until next time – Relate with Love