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Whenever I am in a relationship, I find it difficult to be my own person. Watch

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    I’ve had two boyfriends - my ex, and my current one, and I’ve always seemed to have a problem feeling like an individual in it. My ex boyfriend tried to help me a lot with this, but there’s the problem of doing things for yourself, but feeling selfish. With my current boyfriend, I really enjoyed the first few weeks; I got to express who I really am. Now (5 months later), I feel I need constant approval for what I’m doing, or feel he should tell me what he’s been up to every day. When I -do- have a day to myself, I really love it, but I start to feel like I’m being selfish for enjoying my day without including my boyfriend in it in some way (by phoning/texting/messaging him). When I do something for myself, without regard for anyone else, I’m content. As soon as a boyfriend is in the picture, I end up feeling like they determine my self-worth, like I am doing things FOR them. For example, I enjoy playing the piano, and my boyfriend really likes that about me. Now whenever I tell him I’ve played the piano, it’s as if I am living up to the positive picture I painted of myself, but seeking praise, so I am not truly doing it for myself. It feels that I always need to tell him about my day, but then I get scared he’ll assume that’s ALL there is to me.

    I have a problem of knowing whether I’m being selfish for not contacting him for the day if I’m doing something. Perhaps because I still need to get into a routine, and should talk to him about this. Also, he’s a bit different to my ex-boyfriend (who I’m still pretty close to), in terms of the relationship, (I still get a bit scared of ringing him, or he doesn’t always text back straight away unlike my ex) so I worry that these differences could break us up. Perhaps I have anxiety, I know most people do things in the day, and if someone contacts them (i.e. a text message), they’ll simply answer it. I seem to wait by the phone whilst doing something, entirely nervous of getting too ‘lost’ in my activity, because I’m on edge that he -might- text me. I do this with boyfriends, not friends, because I feel they are the person you keep more in regular contact with, and they get to know you deeper.

    Maybe I should just talk to him about this.

    I don’t understand how you can be in a relationship, but still enjoy your individuality. And surely it’s selfish to do things in the day, without regard for your partner?
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    Me too; just make sure you both have plenty of space to do the things you want to on your own, because, after all, relationships take a lot of changes, and to make these less difficult or overwhelming you need time and space to be on your own
    Good luck x
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