G advice column horizontal Round 2-g

On Losing Oneself…

3 years ago by

How do you manage to keep your independence, maintaining your individual identity, and not lose yourself in your relationships?

– Béatrice


Dear Béatrice,

I love your question, because it will allow me to be completely vulnerable. Because the short answer is, I don’t. In my experience, the experience of losing oneself is part of the thrill of love. I am a passionate lover, “une grande amoureuse” as we say in France. I think it’s a little bit in my French culture. We value love and passion so much, we’re sort of ready to give it our soul. And that’s what I do, each time.

And it’s as wonderful as it makes for very rude awakenings.

Let’s start at the beginning and that feeling that takes you fall in love. Your vision narrows, you become deliciously (sometimes painfully) obsessive – thinking about the person each moment. There is probably a huge release of hormones that give you an incredible amount of energy. You become super-you. I know it happens to me each time. I want to live, to be out, to see people. I lose weight, I work faster, I laugh louder, the colors feel brighter. My house is cleaner, I cook better, and, overall, I am just hotter.

I also become quite dramatic (he didn’t call, it’s the end).

I also do something that I can’t help but really don’t recommend. I come to forget the real me. I believe that I am that super-me, and I really want him to believe it too. I imagine he probably goes like, “Who is that perfectly life-loving, smart, hot woman I just met? She loves sex AND she can cook perfect lasagna? Plus she’s fun, undramatic (yeah about that, when he finally calls, you answer with suave and detached voice, cause you’re so cool, OBVIOUSLY) AND she loves surfing / watching football / racing cars (add in dude (if it’s a dude) activity you convinced yourself you loved just because he’s so into it)?”

Yeah. I probably pepper-in a few add-ons in order to sweeten the already very sweet package.
Gah, love.
Fun, excitation, awe.
Opposite of any advice any love book would give you (Stay yourself! Don’t give too much! Never have sex on the first date!)

Whatever, right, I’M IN LOOOOOOVE!

Problem is dealing with THE CRASH. Cause, yeah, it comes and fast.

One doesn’t stay super-me forever. It’s unsustainable. It’s EXHAUSTING. Watching football sucks. Cooking lasagna takes a whole afternoon. At some point, I become my real self again. And that’s when I realize that, oh crap, I completely lost myself in that man. Who am I ? What do I really want ? Who’s that dude on my couch, he seems very comfortable, is he scratching his… Hey!!!

Sounds funny said like that, but let’s be honest. It’s hard. And it can take months (years?) to get back to ourselves. To find again who we are – if we where lucky enough to know before meeting said guy. At the same time, we have to deal with what we perceive is his disappointment and also, the first real couples’ moments. Fights. Boredom. I-want-a-salad-he-wants-a-burger. Everyone has been through it. Some couples crash and some come out stronger. It’s about finding realness. Vulnerability. Intimacy.

So, Béatrice, I do not recommend it, but I do it. And while I do it, I enjoy it. I enjoy it so much. I am not reasonable. I don’t make plans. I let love happen. I am not calculated. I discover new sides of me. I do lose myself in someone else. I and then I go through the crash, and then I go through the rediscovery. And one day I find myself again and I am like “hey, how are you, it’s been a while!” and if the guy I love is still there, next to me, being his own imperfect self, I don’t regret a minute of any of it.



Add yours
  • Loved this! I’ve GAZ this sama feeling, loosing myself to the shadow of my partner, but it’s not complitely negative. I guess big part of it is how much one wants to please their partner and how flexible they are in terms of spending time. Love is mad and grand! No point in saving it.

  • You always manage to put into words the universal experiences of women.
    We all hope to be with someone who brings out our best self. Maybe Super Self isn’t sustainable, but it’s personally satisfying to actually do the things you “should” (be out, see people, lose weight, laugh louder), regardless of the motivation. The excitement of falling in love isn’t sustainable either. No state of excitement lasts forever. In the end, what you have is less exciting but more nourishing.

  • Saglara July, 30 2018, 5:42 / Reply

    Love! Which football though, US or EU?? there is a big difference :D

  • Mon couple n’a pas survécu au réveil….et depuis, j’ai une question à l’opposé de celle de Béatrice: comment s'”attacher” à l’autre? parce que quand on tombe trop souvent, on finit par faire très très attention….trop. Tout est prétexte à ne pas s’ouvrir, à rester “libre” mais est-ce vraiment une liberté de ne plus croire en l’amour? Ton texte est si beau…ça me rappelle celle que j’étais avant mes blessures….

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