***** Admin Note ******
I want to welcome a guest poster to the site.  One of the rare females that made the cut. Welcome her … and we’ll see if she graces us again with her presence.

– SBM
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When in the first stages of a relationship (1-6 months) there are several things to watch out for….signs that your SO is seeing someone else…signs that your SO was seeing someone else, and now has the STD to prove it…signs that your SO is on the DL (this is strictly for the ladies cuz most dudes would rejoice at the fact that their lady eats pussy enjoys the company of women)…and, the focus of this post, signs that you are losing yourself.

Losing yourself to a relationship is one of the most common and dangerous things that can affect young lovebirds.  It is defined as giving up yourself…your hobbies, your work, your friends, your fam, etc…for the sake of your new SO and your relationship.  It is a dangerous problem because it has the tendency to result in eventual complete loss of self, i.e., once Mary enters into a new relationship, with say Joseph (what can I say, I like the Bible), she no longer exists as Mary…and now instead thinks of herself exclusively as “Jacob’s woman”…she stops hanging with friends, stops attending her pottery and dance classes, doesn’t visit her parents as much, and all in all, seemingly forgets about everyone and everything else for the sake of chilling with that n*gga Joseph.

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Typically, in my experience, this ailment tends to affect women more than men.  For whatever reason, the sisters tend to give up more of themselves for their men, than vice versa.  Maybe it’s cuz of their nurturing nature, maybe it’s cuz the dick is just that good, or maybe it’s just cuz who wouldn’t rather hang with the sexy man they love rather than a bunch of cackling b’s.  However, this is not to say that men don’t fall prey to this syndrome as well….consider the following, real-life, examples, which demonstrate how this issue can affect us during out college, 20’s-30’s (aka grown and sexy), and full blow adult (aka grown and  not so sexy) years:

Example #1: College

Missy (to self):  uh oh, David’s not in class…if he misses this test he’ll fail …lemme call him.
David:  hello?
Missy:  hey David, ur missing the Calc 3 test, what’s going on?
Ho in background:  come back to bed baby…I’m thirsty…
David (to Ho): damn baby, u insatiable…here I come girl.
David (to Missy):  f the test…gotta go missy, catch u later.
Missy:  no David, no!  don’t live up to the black college stereotype…come to class!  Leave that ho alone…no!!!

Example #2:  Grown and Sexy Years
Missy (to roommate):  hey Linda, u up?  Church starts soon.
Linda:  aw girl, I can’t go…Tom’s sick
Missy (to self):  ain’t Tom a grown ass man…how u gonna let that n*gga’s cold stop u from going to church?
Missy (to Linda): I mean…how sick is he…u can still go to church can’t u?
Linda:  naw girl, he wants me here with him…I’ll just go next Sunday
Missy:  ok…I’ll pray for your sprung ass hope he feels better

See Also:  11 Things I’ve Learned About Relationships, Dating, Love and All That Other Stuff

Example #3:  Grown and Not So Sexy Years
Missy: hey gramma, how u doing?
Missy’s Grandma:  I’m alright…y r u calling me?  It’s 5:59, u know I gotta keep the line open from 6-9 in case Mr. Jones calls
Missy:  I know…but I mean damn grandma, I ain’t heard from you in months…u missed my birthday…can we talk? How’s ur hip feeling?
Missy’s Grandma:  b*…stop holding my phone up…u grown…holla

Ok, so the last example was completely fictitious, but hey, it could happen.

Point is that the “losing yourself” syndrome has the capability to affect all ages…so the question is: what to do about it? As hard as it may be, the only way to beat this syndrome (and I know it’s hard) is to resist the urge to fulfill it…by any means necessary, i.e., even though you want to spend 24/7/365 laid up with your new mate…don’t!  Keep your commitments, chill with ur friends, go to church, work out…shoot, sit at home and do nothing but watch For the Love of Ray J for 4 hours!…whatever you gotta do so as to not spend all ur waking moments with ur new SO

In my own relationship, this often means that I not only keep my existing commitments (church, Bible study, work, hanging with friends, cleaning, mentoring, volunteering, working out, etc.) but it also means that I purposefully find ish to do just so that n*gga don’t think that he got it like that, I keep busy doing and don’t lose my all my “me-ness” to the new “we-ness”.  Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about shifting your priorities a bit for your new SO…but just make sure it doesn’t go to the extreme and mess up your life…i.e. you’re so up under that him/her that you…fail a semester, miss church for weeks, or don’t see ur family for months. Don’t lose yourself!  Your new mate should be a compliment to your life, not a replacement!

See Also:  Happy Wife, Happy Life?

In closing, in the words of the Sarah McLachlan (yes, I’m a yt girl at heart): “Hold on…Hold on to yourself.”  Don’t give up too much of urself for some dude/b that’s gonna dump in 4 months anyway….what about y’all? Do you have examples of times when you haven’t held on to urselves? (I’m not talking about masturbation here, get ur mind out the gutter) If so, share!

– Lisa Marie