A curse of lost identities

When I was a kid, my parents had such a kick in making my little brother and I dress in the same outfits.

It’s kinda scary though when adults wear the same outfits…

Twins?! No, just a regular Asian couple…

I see a lot of these in Taipei. Maybe it’s a global thing; I just don’t get to see it very often. Families or a couple would wear exactly the same outfits.

Let’s call it a curse of lost identities.

A lot of people, after they find their significant others, are affected by this curse some way or the other. They start to look alike, talk alike, walk alike, and even… think alike. Maybe it’s because after spending so much time with a person, you sort of morph into that person as well.

And before you know it, KAPOOF! You don’t even recognize yourself anymore.


Don’t get me wrong. Been there, done that. Didn’t really like it, but did it anyway cause I cared a lot for the person.

It seems to be quite normal for couples here, especially in Asia. People, I guess, are clingier in Asia than in other Western countries.

Whereas couples in the West still strive to maintain their own individualities, couples in Asia tend to morph into their other half. It’s quite normal for couples here to hang out 24/7. Not that it’s bad, really… but still, DON’T YOU HAVE YOUR OWN LIFE TO LIVE?!

They really bring the famous words of Mr. Jerry Maguire, “You complete me,” to life! Meaning, I can’t live without you.

Romantic, of course. Who wouldn’t want to complete the dashing Tom Cruise? 🙂

But truly, is that what you want? A partner who is a carbon copy of you… or someone who is different, has his/her own identity and yet, because of such differences, enriches your life.


It’s an easy trap to fall into though… and very difficult to get out of.

I’m guilty of this as well. Not just for a significant other, but to my close friends as well. I can be very dependent when left alone.

It starts harmlessly. You meet a person, and like the person so much that you hang out with that person 24/7. Finally, you’ve realized that your schedule is filled with that person, that when that person disappears one day, you’re lost. And it takes you a while to “get over” that person. Sort of like a drug, but to a lesser degree.

So question, how do you manage to maintain your identity when you have a significant other?


It was a continuous struggle for me then. For one, due to a bad experience when I was in high school, I vowed never to abandon my friends when I have a boyfriend. Most people, you see, forgets their friends (meaning, they don’t spend time with them anymore) when they find someone else.

It was difficult, but I was able to make it. I was able to pry myself away from my then-boyfriend to help a friend in need. It wasn’t easy cause it was his last day in Taiwan at that time.

But it’s an ongoing effort. I love to party and my then-boyfriend didn’t. He’d rather stay at home and watch TV (I know, boring!). So I remember there was one time when I left his place around 10PM, partied till midnight with some other friends and went back to go shrimping with him and his friends till the wee hours of the morning. Or how about partying with my friends on Saturday, and then looking for him the next day.

Somehow you can still maintain your identity. Hard, but doable.

But it was still a struggle for me. I remember that near the end of my relationship, I found myself morphing into someone else, someone I don’t really like.

It’s hard to be happy when you’re not being yourself.

In fact, one of the reasons why we broke up was because I wasn’t acting like a Japanese woman.

And for a moment there, I thought of changing myself wholly.

Good thing, my friends (and his friends as well) brought me back to earth by saying, “This is who you are. If you want to change yourself for the better, good. But you shouldn’t change yourself for him alone. You’re very special, and you have many unique qualities that makes you… you. And if he can’t appreciate it, then he may not be the right guy for you.”

Right on guys! Thanks for bringing me back to earth!

How about you? How do you maintain and cultivate your identity when you have a significant other? Your comments and opinions appreciated!

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2 thoughts on “A curse of lost identities

  1. i will have to agree with you. we tend to spend a lot of time with our significant others (when we have one, at least) that we tend to lose touch with our friends and colleagues.

    i guess the key would be to have an agreement between both parties to have separate activities on a regular basis. this would preserve each other’s identity without compromising the relationship. a friend of mine has friday night as his night for self activities and then he gets together with his gf on saturday.

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