When you get into a long-term relationship, people tend to clump you together as one. This happens frequently. Sometimes, it is you two that do it to yourselves by constantly being around each other. Sometimes, it happens after so many years together, people (even close friends) associate you as one. Other times, society does it the moment they look at you.
To society, you are not your own person anymore after a while and that’s problematic to me. They seem to focus more so on the relationship instead of the individuals. How can you get to know me when you are only intrigued by the parts & pieces of me that are connected to another person? What about the rest of me? What about my life before I was with that person? What about my life outside of my relationship? What about that other person and who they are outside of the relationship?
You can’t get to know or get used to me unless you get to know ME, not me & ____ (insert partner). It is important to have, protect, and carve out your own identity. It is important for your significant other to do the same thing. People deserve to know YOU, what your interests are (even if they don’t coincide with your partner), and you must fight to show that sometimes. People are funny like that.
Why are they funny? Well, imagine if you tried to group them together or label them because of one quality they possess, something they are, have been, or maybe who they are associated with for a long time. They would be defensive and quickly say “that’s not all of who I am” or “that’s not me at all.” Well, people in relationships feel the same way. “That is not all I am” is how most people feel every time they get grouped together.
I think it’s unhealthy to constantly get grouped together and when people only listen, hear, and like the parts of your life that include both people in the relationship. It feels horrible when you start to open up about YOU (good or bad) and people stop listening. What feels worse? When you see it in their eyes, their facial expression, or body language that you have lost them? Lost their attention, lost all the excited ness, lost the moment, and you lose a tiny bit of hope that people will ever see you for YOU, not just we or us.