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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest blog: Self-Definition in Relationships

Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She frequently writes for http://www.onlinedatingsites.net about the top dating sites, health, careers, books and college. Learn more about her work at her personal website http://www.tonyavrba.wordpress.com

Self-Definition in Relationships How do we define ourselves has a huge impact on how we act in relationships. In some ways, our defining factors are obvious. You may consider yourself male, female or transgender. You are short or tall, fat or skinny, black or white. What truly effects us is the deeper definition. How do you define yourself when you look in the mirror? What characteristics would you use to define your personality? These are the questions that ultimately define what kind of relationship you will have.

When I was in high school I would have told you that I was fat and ugly. My personality was weird and out of place. For this reason, the couple relationships I had were horrible. It wasn’t that the relationships made me feel a certain way, but that I sought out those who would treat me the way I thought I should be treated. At the time, that meant I should be treated as an outcast. Now, my brother has finally reached high school age and he tells me about different girls he likes. Many refuse to date him because they don’t want to ruin the relationship. Instead, they seek out boys who treat them poorly and often my brother comforts their tears. There it is again: girls seeking out people who treat them the way they think they deserve.

This stays with us throughout our life. Every person sees themselves in a certain way. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we seek out people who view us similarly to how we view ourselves or who push us towards the person we want to be. In many ways, we must live and let live when it comes to relationships. A person is going to continue seeking people – either good or bad – based on how they feel as a person. They only way to change that, is to change how a person views themselves. Aside from that, we must live and let live.

So often, we feel a need to tell people what type of person they should be dating. This can be as simple as a friend suggesting a nicer partner, to a religiously minded person suggesting a gay person seek out straight relationships. Regardless of these efforts, a person will act on the definition they give themselves. We can suggest ideas about how a person should look upon themselves, but the individual is the ultimate decider.

We cannot impose our definition of right and wrong upon other people. The best way to help someone who is in a troublesome relationship or who seeks out troublesome relationships is to encourage them to change their definition. A person in an abusive or destructive relationship will remain there so long as they think they get what they deserve. Let your opinion be known, but respect their decision. If or when they change their self-definition and realize they don’t want the relationship they have, they will need someone to fall back on.

If you find your relationships always turn sour, it may be time to examine your own self-definition. We should consider ourselves beautiful and worthy. Once you start to see yourself that way, potential partners will see your beauty too.

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