Morphing into Your Partner: How to Keep Your Own Identity
We’ve all seen them: the old married couples sporting matching track suits, similar hairdos and even eerily speaking the same way. I suppose that after years, or even decades of living with someone that time has the magical ability to transform two separate individuals into one analogous life-form. Luckily I have not been married all that long yet, but I’ve witnessed it in my friends who have been with their partners for years, and am beginning to notice slight changes within my own relationship.
I have a friend who I’ll call Lucy. She married her high school sweetheart who was her first and only boyfriend. One day after browsing through old pictures of them, I noticed that at one point they looked the same. Lucy had cut her hair short, while Jerry had grown his a bit longer; they both had dyed it a brownish red, and sported thick plastic-rimmed glasses. This picture made me laugh aloud. This will never happen to me, I thought to myself; my husband and I are from completely different gene pools and there’s no way we could ever look alike.
While this may be true, I have noticed that my husband and I are beginning to use the same expressions, and have adopted similar mannerisms. While this may seem harmless in itself, I worry that if I let this continue to happen, the Morphing Monster will rear its ugly head. I mean, what’s next? We already share similar interests and values, so will matching sneakers be on the horizon for us?
It’s a natural progression for couples to become more like one another over time, but my fear is that one day I will wake up and realize that my partner has morphed into the male version of myself, or vice versa. I never intended to marry the male version of myself—I would drive myself crazy.
Maintaining Our Individuality:
- Make a pact with your partner to never wear matching clothes. Ever.
- Try to spend some quality time apart from one another, whether it is alone to pursue individual hobbies, or with guy/girl friends to catch up. Just because you’re a couple doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip. Doing everything together is sweet only for the first little while, then it gets stale fast.
- Make a list of the things that attracted you to your partner at the beginning of the relationship; your partner should do the same for you. Refer to this list every once in awhile as a reminder.
- Make a list of individual hobbies and interests you each had prior to and after being in the relationship. This will allow you both to see whether you’ve developed new interests together as a couple (which is a wonderful thing), at the expense of your own personal interests (not so good). While nobody expects you not to change and grow, just make sure you’re not sacrificing your sense of self at the cost of coupledom.
One of the best things about being in a healthy relationship is that you each bring your own unique set of skills, perspectives and ideas to complement one another. It’s a scary, scary day when you wake up one morning to see your clone sleeping beside you.
Fung, T. (2010, October 21). Morphing into Your Partner: How to Keep Your Own Identity, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/theunlockedlife/2010/10/morphing-into-your-partner-how-to-keep-your-own-identity