Finding the balance in being yourself

We all know the dangers of pretending to be someone else in a relationship. This usually happens in the early stages, when we are (consciously or unconsciously) trying to attract and keep the person of our affections. Once this happens, we let go of our masks and defences and let free our idiosyncrasies. All too often, our partners are dismayed by this “new” person they have found themselves with. A much better approach, no doubt, is to be straight up from the start; to unashamedly be ourselves and see where that takes things. A solid, meaningful and long-lasting relationship can only be built on honesty, authenticity and openness. However, does this opening up and letting down the guard ever get us in trouble?

It seems that it does at times because the fact is that while being open is essential, we as individuals are full of imperfections. So, when we relax our grip on ourselves, our lower self can often have free reign in a relationship. When this happens, we say exactly what we think, when we are thinking it, in the tone we are feeling it and often without consideration for how it is going to affect our partner. So, it seems that honesty and openness need to be balanced with care and compassion. There must be love between the two and this love must be manifested in earnest consideration for each other's needs and sensibilities. As well as love, a relationship between two imperfect people needs to be sustained by a commitment to each other and a common striving to grow as individuals and together. An honest but careless word can always weaken the strength of this bond. This not to suggest lying but to temper honesty with tact and sensitivity.

We always need to be ourselves, especially with those we are most intimately connected. But along with being authentic, we also need to be kind and considerate.

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