The early days of any relationship will have you swept up in the romance and thrill of spending every waking minute together, experiencing all the excitement of blending two lives into one. But at some point, unless you set some boundaries in place and keep sight of who you are as an individual, you may just find yourself identifying as one half of a whole. To help shed some light, we’ve enlisted an expert to share the 10 red flags that will help you identify if you might be losing your autonomy in your relationship.
You feel an overwhelming need to please your partner – at any cost
“You may find yourself caught in a perpetual cycle of trying to find out how to please and appease your partner,” says Therapist Alyson Jones. “This perfectionistic desire to please leaves you feeling unsatisfied and inadequate. You fear you are not enough and you begin to worry that no matter how hard you try, you are unable to please your partner in the way you wish you could.”
These are the 25 healthy relationship questions you should be discussing with your partner.
You are constantly thinking about your partner
You begin to question your own feelings
“You may find you become confused and uncertain about your own feelings, as what you feel or want becomes increasingly more vague,” says Alyson Jones. “You feel responsible for your partner’s feelings and respond in ways that you think will help your partner – rather than checking in with what you feel about a situation and what you might need.”
Is it time to throw in the towel on your relationship? Have a peek at our healthy relationship checklist!
You are always on your partner’s schedule
“You structure your time around your partner’s schedule to be available 24/7,” explains Aylson Jones. “You organize your life around your partner’s needs and wishes, and begin to let go of the things that might get in the way of you “being there” for them if they want or need you.”
Your priorities and interests change dramatically
“You give up your own hobbies, friends, or even family if your partner is not interested or does not approve in some manner,” says Alyson Jones. “You may have enjoyed playing a sport or belonging to some group, but you find yourself letting go of the people and activities that used to bring you pleasure.”
These are the 10 things you can do daily with your partner to be a healthy couple.
You no longer feel comfortable expressing yourself
“You no longer express your own opinions, thoughts, or values out of fear that it might upset or offend your partner,” says Alyson Jones. “You will notice that you begin to use your partner as the focal point in your life. All decisions and directions are measured by how you think your partner will feel or what opinion they may have about something.”
You are always the one to sacrifice
“Compromise is a part of every relationship – but when it is only you who does the sacrificing you are probably losing a sense of self in the process. It might start with something small, like what show to watch on Netflix, and it may appear insignificant at first – but then it becomes a pattern. This can escalate all the way up to you sacrificing your career or other people in your life to please your partner.”
These are the 10 breakup warning signs you can’t ignore.
You’re on an emotional rollercoaster
“You will notice that your mood becomes dysregulated, as you begin to doubt your own value and your own abilities,” says Alyson Jones. “Your nervous system is on alert most of the time and you suffer from heightened anxiety or symptoms of depression. You are not able to relax in the relationship because you feel you can never please your partner and you blame yourself for this.”
You make excuses for your partner
“You overlook your partner’s behaviours,” explains Alyson Jones. “You begin to sacrifice your own moral code to make excuses for your partner and support them in behaviours you previously found inappropriate. You may even find yourself involved in things that go against your moral compass as you lose sight of your own ethical standards and individual autonomy.”
This is how to trust – and be trusted – in your relationship.
Your boundaries become blurred
“You don’t want to say “no” to your partner, and you are afraid to set limits with them,” says Alyson Jones. “You fear you will lose them if you say no, and you find yourself going along with what they want despite your own misgivings. You concentrate on what your partner wants or will accept, rather than on what you want or will accept.”