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Retaining Our Own Identity In A Relationship

Written by: Susan Hum, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The first step we should take when going out into the daunting world of dating is knowing what qualities we want out of a life partner. What are his/her characteristics? In love, many of us have a picture of that ideal life of togetherness, however, many of us don’t take into consideration that he/she is an individual with their own distinct identity. We also tend to have some, or rather, a lot of expectations from our partners. Behavior, upkeep, dressing style, speaking style, spending habits, hobbies, looks, and many such personal character traits that may get dictated by another.

Here are three important ways to integrate two unique individuals into sharing one beautiful life:

Be a role model, not a dictator

There is nothing attractive about being a dictator in a relationship. This is where self-awareness becomes super important. Lead by example and avoid any double standards. For example, if you need to always be right or constantly need validation from your partner, then you also need to allow your partner to be right while validating him/her. Avoid criticizing the other person or judging them for not being like you, thinking about how imperfect you are as well, with love and compassion. If you expect the other person to change, you need to also accept that there are things you might need to change as well.

Voice and eyes wide open

It takes a lot of courage to see things clearly and honestly, even when it takes looking at the less attractive parts of our partner. The most conscious and deepest relationships are built on trust and respect and that means feeling safe to express freely to one another without backlash. I was once in a relationship where my partner never allowed me to talk about my past. Each time I did, I saw the glaze in his eyes, then silence. A sign of disinterest. I soon found myself mainly talking about the things he wanted to talk about, to appease his lower tolerance of what he can handle. As soon as I finally found the courage to communicate and stand firm on what was important to me, he started to listen. We learned to work through his judgment of my past as I got more clarity on how to speak my truth.

A shared life goal/dream

Every individual is on this earth to serve a purpose in their unique way. When two people decide to move forward with and/or elevate their relationship, one of the most important topics to put on the table is what your individual goals/dreams look like. Are you both in sync with what you see in your future? If your partner is happy with their basic job and likes to just sit down and watch TV in their spare time and you are highly ambitious with big goals, it is very unlikely that your relationship will sustain itself. Your futures look very different and it’s a matter of determining whether you can come to the middle point, otherwise, it might just be a dealbreaker.

On the other hand, if both people in a relationship are ambitious and share the same life goals and lifestyles, then it is easier to take the next steps to integrate each individual’s strengths (being different), hopefully countering each other’s weaknesses.

If you are in a relationship or about to move forward with one, these are important factors to work on in order to set the right relationship foundation from the get-go. It takes courage to speak our truth, even when it feels wrong. But many of us do this, whether consciously or unconsciously. It can become destructive when people-pleasing overpowers self-respect.

When you fall in love, you are falling in love with their many plusses and many minuses. True love is full awareness of all of them and still proceeding with building a relationship. Commonly, people start trying to change their partner after developing the relationship. Is that not breaking the unspoken promises? By demanding changes, we can make our partners feel inferior, or even possibly irritate them.

Judgment is one of the leading contributors to relationship breakdowns and even if we don’t outrightly voice our judgments, it comes out in our behavior. “This watch does not suit you. Why do you talk like that? You look awful in that outfit. Why are you spending so much time talking on the telephone? When will you improve your tidiness? Please improve your style. Look at others, how well they take care of themselves.” A person can have his/her idea about their partner and try to mold them accordingly. They being self-serving robs the other person of their freedom to express uniquely. Is that love? How does this judgment affect the confidence of the other person? Will this not affect the relationship?

When we force another person to change, without their consent, we are showing them that our love is conditional. We bring down the quality of love when our demands are solely on our terms. There is nothing wrong with “improving” ourselves and wishing for our partner to grow as well, however, self-development is a personal decision that can be encouraged but not imposed upon by someone else’s standards.

All of us have the freedom to be what we are and express what our heart desires. It is never easy when two people come together with set attitudes and views that are brought into the relationship from past experiences. The work is meeting each other somewhere in the middle and it takes an enormous amount of giving and receiving. Learning to share is the key to retaining our unique identities within a conscious and trusting relationship.

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Susan Hum, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Susan Hum, aka the LoveHacker, is a thought leader and self-mastery expert who mentors coaches, consultant and entrepreneurs to take their business to next levels while continuing to elevate their own personal growth to become more powerful self-leaders. Susan specializes in the area of influence mastery and persuasive communication with a specific focus on emotional intelligence. Her own personal journey in forming a unique voice and unraveling her personal truth led Susan to achieve success in all pillars of life – family, career, financial freedom, and most importantly, love and incredible relationships. Susan´s success in helping high achievers attract more love and passion into their lives has led her to work with some very prominent leaders in business, sports, music, and Hollywood. In 2020, she created the Steel Rose Movement, a conscious leadership platform for women with a mission to elevate love consciousness in the world by narrowing all divides in society, whether between women, genders, races, cultures, identity preferences, or personal beliefs.

Susan deeply believes that self-mastery enables us to Influence with Integrity to Impact by Loving who we are, what we do and how we do it!



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