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Maintaining “Me” in Healthy “We” Relationships and FUNNY STORY by Emily Henry

Cover of the book Funny Story by Emily Henry used to teach therapy skill of maintaining the "me" in healthy "we" relationships.

Daphne and Peter met cute and immediately fell for each other. Five weeks later, they moved in together, sharing space, friends, and calendars. Peter scheduled them to go to the gym, which Daphne hated, and encouraged them to eat wheatgrass, which Daphne couldn’t fully define. Their respective best friends met and fell in love. A year later, they were engaged and moving halfway across the country to the community Peter grew up in, living in a house he solely owned. Daphne never explored the town past what Peter showed her and didn’t make her own friends.


Daphne lost track of herself. Somewhere along the way, she moved from a “me” to a “we.” It would have been unhealthy for her and the relationship if they’d stayed together. But, the depth of the problem of Daphne’s total enmeshment with Peter became evident when he impulsively broke off the engagement.


Falling in love and committing to another person requires compromise and some level of healthy change. But it is important to shift enough to accommodate the person you love and maintain your individuality. Relationships grow best when individuals maintain a sense of personal autonomy. The healthiest relationships allow both partners to spend time with friends, do activities they enjoy, and generally enjoy time away from each other and together.


Finding the line between deepening connections with partners while maintaining independence can be tricky for anyone. But, for people with low self-esteem, insecure attachment (Daphne…), and diffuse boundaries, it is even harder to maintain a sense of self.


Here are some tips for maintaining “me” in healthy “we” relationships:


Prioritize Your Needs: Categorize sleep, activities you enjoy, seeing your friends, and thriving in your work or academic environment as personal needs.


Talk It Out: Discuss balancing individuality and the relationship with your partner. This also solidifies equality within the relationship.


Dig Deep: Strive to understand what left you vulnerable to overcommitting to relationships and learn from that history instead of responding with more unhealthy patterns.

Love Emily Henry? Me too. Check out these posts on other Emily Henry Books:


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