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How to love without losing yourself

How to love without losing yourself

I discovered this week that I’ve been holding something back from you.

I’ve been holding back telling you that my relationship with Hemal (my husband) is the kind of love you see in those cheesy romantic comedies.

I want you to have an example of how a relationship can be a place of true freedom, true connection, true passion – because in your experiences with love thus far, it’s easy to question if this kind of love is possible.

And I want you to know that it IS.

Now, this level of love – this daily playful passionate experience I have with Hemal – wasn’t possible for years because I had a huge wall up, or a block to love.

Like many strong, independent women, I was committed to not losing myself in a relationship.

Translation = less than 5 years ago, I was terrified to let Hemal into my heart.

After some digging, I realized that my commitment to freedom was making me feel really alone – even when I was married.  

I was still operating as if I was single. As if I had to do it all by myself.  So here I was, with a partner ready to give me what I wanted – and I wouldn’t let him.

Subconsciously, I was terrified that if I started to rely on Hemal for anything that would mean I was dependent (which meant I could get hurt).

Why?

I watched my mom within my parent’s relationship and I translated that she had lost herself and her freedom.

So, picture a little 10 year-old me saying to myself, “I don’t want to be dependent on a man like my mom.”

And growing up, I kept finding evidence to prove that when you depend on someone, specifically a man, you get screwed.

Since then, I’ve completely shifted the way I see my mom in her marriage with my dad. I see how she feels empowered in many ways that I completely missed.

I realize now that she’s a women strong enough to let someone take care of her. She’s strong enough to receive support and not feel guilty.

Once I saw my mom’s “dependence” differently, my own relationship shifted. It shifted because that wall that had been up for years and years, suddenly came crashing down because that little 10 year old made a decision that was no longer true.

I stopped using the excuse that I don’t want to lose myself as a reason I had to “do it all on my own”

Now, every morning I wake up next to Hemal, look over at him and smile ear to ear. He wraps his big bear paws around me and gives me a HUGE hug.  

I feel so loved and safe in that moment. Every. Single. Day.

Your situation with how you saw your parents relationship may be different than mine – but the wall that’s keeping the man you want out still exists.

Here’s how you can start to bring your own wall down and let a man into your life:

1) Identify this wall, and where it came from.

If you watched one of your parents lose themselves or felt like one parent sacrificed a lot for the other- you too, at a young age, maybe said “I’m not going to depend on a man.”

Or maybe you simply don’t like your parents relationship because it felt like one or both were trapped in some way.

You may even admire your parent’s relationship, but still noticed one parent was more dominant over the other. Did you always hear “You’ll have to make sure that’s okay with mom first” or “We can’t buy that because dad will get mad” in your home?

Do a little digging and identify the wall for yourself, no matter what your scenario. This wall can be what’s keeping you single (just as much as this wall had me on the brink of divorce).

2) Commit to trying to let a man take care of you, even in a small ways.

When you let men take care of you – from opening the salsa jar, to opening doors for you, to letting him pay for dinner – your experiences with men will change.

Yes, you know you can do these things yourself – you’re a strong, independent woman after all.  But asking for support even in small ways helps tame the knee jerk reaction to shut a man out, and instead opens you up to letting him in.

When you let the right kinds of men support you, it gives that man PURPOSE in your life. A place where he fits, can contribute, and love you up the way you want to be loved.

That’s what helps men notice you, has them ask you out, and keeps them coming back for more.

So give it a shot. And let me know in the comments, are you afraid of losing yourself in a relationship? Why?

In Love,
Kavita

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  • Marie

    I want to guard my freedom, independence and some emotional distance to a man (like pushing him away) as it would cause lots of pain risking the danger to “surrender” -e.g. stay bonded to a child, any vision of relatioships ended, job and financial wellbeing ended, alone and devasted after the divorce (this is what I saw in my mom). I totaly see that I must do it all on my own. I cannot receive… I am not sure why…perhaps while receiving something from a potential “danger man” will make me bonded, responsible for giving back (if I receive, I must give back much more) or because I feel deep down guilty for my father having left me, not having supported me, my mother. Giving back to someone who I don´t trust their good intentions…that seems foolish..like cooperating with bad people, or people who don´t treat m well… and making myself feel guilty even more (and I will get screwed…guilty for letting someone screw me) ?
    Like I don´t want to be screwed by wrong guys, so I hold back, build up my freedom, don´t trust men, put an emotional safety distance between us…because being screwed is a very painful feeling, but even more, allowing someone to do it to me, being the responsible one the damage is even more tough ?

  • Marie

    Committing to let men to take care for me is huge issue for me…I guess I am stuck
    in having let the wrong kinds of men to “support me”…, or not asking for support…and now, I am in
    limbo -one good men-support in sight..one it is, in one of my passionate
    activities, I became sick and the guys there completely hold me and did
    enough to postpone the dates of the start of this project…it was an exceptional beautiful experience 🙂

    • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

      Hi Marie, start off by letting a man support you in small things, like paying for dinner. Once you start doing small things, shifts will begin to happen. What happened with this man that took care of you when you were sick?

      • Marie

        Thankyou, Kavita ! Looking forward to it ! This men were employee, I have not seen them actually yet

  • Katie

    Kavita, thank you for this! This resonates SO strongly with me. I think the reason I’m so afraid to let men support me or to let myself become dependent on them is because of my parents relationship.

    My father believes the sun rises and sets on my mother and is completely devoted to her. Most of the time, when it comes to making decisions, his opinion is “whatever will make you [my mother] happy, dear.” As a result, he’s been emotionally unavailable most of my life and has said to me, on several occasions, “if it ever comes down to you or your mother, I will always choose your mother.”

    My mother, on the other hand, has expressed her discontent with this many times. When she asks for an opinion, she gets nothing back and often feels like she has to make all the decisions and do everything for our family. In many ways, he’s a burden to her and his lack of opinion and desire to cater to her every whim and make her happy forces her to do more work and leaves her feeling out in the cold and without support.

    As a result, I’m terrified of losing myself in a relationship that is exactly like my parents’: where the excessive amount of “support” actually causes issues rather than solving it. Frankly, on some level, I’m probably afraid that, if I let men support me, they’ll turn into my father and I won’t have a supportive partner any more but a doormat without any opinions. (Which in turn forces ME to make decisions if I want to get things done.)

    • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

      Hi Katie,
      Thank you for sharing and I totally understand that you don’t want a doormat as a partner, but you do need to let a many support you a little. Start off with small things and once that feels good andd some more. I am opening up a winter session on my Soul Level Love program and would love for you to join. Go to http://soullevellove.com/

      What will be the first thing you will let a man support you in?

      • Katie

        Thanks Kavita! Hmm…that’s a tough one. I have this mental idea that if I’m not paying for my half I’m not carrying my own weight, so I guess I should probably start with letting them buy coffee or dinner. Small steps are easiest, right?

        • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

          Exactly, Katie! You’ve got this!! Let me know how it feels when you let this happen.