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What do you have to do to be you?

Compromise is a necessary part of any healthy relationship, but you have to maintain a core identity. What activities can’t you give up without losing “you”.

I have to sail and camp. I have to garden and sculpt. I have to study, and write, and photograph. All else is negotiable.

skado 8 Jan 12

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Reading, I read therefore I am


Avoid people. Intellectualize.

Read books. Write poetry. Study. Draw. Sing and play music.


I live alone lol but if I wasn't I wouldn't give up dogs, fish keeping, the way I dress, my beliefs, music, sculpture, art and saying what I mean. this is probably why I'm now alone.

Thanks for sharing photos!

you're welcome


I've never been in a relationship where I didn't have to do most of the compromising, but I didn't realize I'd have to do this until after the "honeymoon" period. I think a lot of it has to do with the culture I've lived in (the bible belt) where there's this mentality (backed by scripture) that women were created for men. So, I've come to the realization that what I have to do to be "me" is to remain single.

I agree, it can be the culture but I think it is also about experiences and genes. We all have a basic personality but I think it can be flexible. I have questioned myself many, many times what if I had taken the other of many forks in the road. I know my life and perceptions would be completely different.

@witchymom I have also been in relationships that didn't work (also 2). It would have been easy for me to generalize women. I think the problem wasn't the women but mine for not paying attention, being inexperienced and too much of a hurry. I now know that pigeonholing people can hurt the pigeonholer.

I have been around the world and I find people are all the same except all people are not all the same (if that makes sense).

@witchymom Nor should you have to. Too many don't want to be with a whole person but a puppy dog. I just read a obit in the FFRF newsletter for the SNAP (Survivor network of those Abused by Priests) founder Barbara Blaine. She had been molested by Catholic priests. She said she would never marry and for a man to have authority over. However, she did meet the right man and told how happy she was. We are out there it's just a matter of finding the right one (not easy).


Yup.. I am a camper too.. Love the outdoors so if I can't ride my Harley, hop in my car for a spin, get out on the lake, then I become a mopey bum. Love playing in the dirt with my flowers too. But something artistic and creative keeps me alive inside as well even tho I am not real good at it.


Unusual thoughts. Look at all sides of a scenario determine what outcome would be best the represent it to as many people as possible and alter my thinking for the most logical answers.


Need to laugh and play! Travel (foreign travel is probably over for me, but domestic travel, road trips, day trips, exploring) and nature are a must. Music, learning, movies, and reading.

Oh, yes. Laugh--every day!


Reading scientific research and pedaling my bike, in an urban area or out in nature, as much as I can.


I have to be active in issues of which I am passionate.
I have to have alone time.
I have to be able to express myself without acrimony.
Core identity is important but it must not be a trap.
Compromising is important but it must be of a benefit for others as well. (once my partner and I had a difference of opinion over some electrical work. I asked the electrician what was his opinion and he replied "happy wife happy life". There is some truth to that).
I have to spend time around others and feel my contributions are valuable.
I have to have outdoor time, kayaking, hiking, biking, outdoor projects, gardening and some camping.
I have to have mental, emotional and physical contact with another (woman).
I have to have a degree of security.


I gotta be me!

I don't really have a lot of must-have activities that make up my identity. Personality traits, though, are a different matter: sarcastic, sardonic, irreverent, thoughtful, reserved, cautious, responsible, curious.


My computer, studying and writing. Arts and craft projects, and decorating. (Even at campsites! I'm an enthusiastic "Glamper", and prefer natural materials.) Cooking.

Donna Level 6 Jan 12, 2018

Alone time every day or 2.


I will always continue to learn. It's exciting, and there's so much there. Gardening--I miss having a plot of ground to my core. And quiet time to replenish. It can be alone or with a special someone, but I need a chance to reenergize. Volunteer--make crocheted caps for chemo patients or work with autistic kids. It's for me to give back, from my health to them. And staying in touch with my family. There's nobody before me, so my family means very much. That's all I need to be me.


I have to be a political junkie, have animals, have a tv, have food I like, and live in a house w/ a big yard.


Play and enjoy music, explore bits of the world alone, write, create. I thought about this question a little more and decided the truth is that I either need to have friends and family who know who I am and accept that or I need to be as far from people as I can get. I am pretty happy alone, but really unhappy around people who feel compelled to change me or who disagree with the principle things I feel are important.

TWDay Level 4 Jan 20, 2018

I have to write, immerse myself in Science Fiction, think, and travel.

Gohan Level 7 Jan 18, 2018

drink lots of beer then get on the dance floor !

I love watching drunk people dance at the Casino while I'm drinking.


Be specific before starting the relationship that these are non negotiable. I believe the first compromise will start there.


I have such a strong sense of self that it doesn't matte what I do, I am fine with it. Wait, maybe what I don't do is more like it. I don't do guilt. I do my best to not ever do anything I am going to feel guilty about. And that is easy enough.


Being mostly retired, (I do a little engineering consulting as like to keep my hand in), have settled into several things that keep getting repeated. Garden, both at home, and a plot in a community garden. Make music, wife and I play in a celtic band, and play with two other smaller groups. Pick a little banjo everyday. Love to travel, and will keep on as long as we are able. Volunteer. Reading. Camping out in the woods, or at the beach. Keep fit. Eat good food (mostly cooked at home from scratch. Spend time with friends, and family. Had two great grand kids show up last summer. And keep a sense of humor. Active in a humanist group. Keep learning.


I can't bear the thought of membership in religion or being with anyone right of the Democratic Party.

MikeJ Level 4 Jan 17, 2018

It's in my avatar.

A year or two ago, I'd would have said the same thing. I'm 70 and this year Graves' Disease is taking away my vision, slowly. I suspect this will be the first year since I was 15 that I won't own a motorcycle, but if seeing double sticks with me, I'll be selling the bike this spring. 55 years on two wheels is enough, though. Nothing is left on my bucket list.

Shit. That's a real bummer. I've been riding for almost 50 years now and can't imagine being without a bike. If I can't ride I'll probably end up in the pits spannering or making tea....


Musical theater, graphic and literary arts...but if she's not somehow involved in any of the three there is nearly no possibility we'd be "involved" in any way. I am, after all, an artist of genres in which my "partners" play an integral part.

That and my usual slobbishness, procrastination and disinterest in mainstream...anything. Sure, I'll pick up my dirty drawers if she asks or entertain a Kim and/or Kanye conversation...briefly. Given too many such demands I'll be looking for the stage left exit, though.

I am, after all, a dude...of dudeism.


It is a secret of mine that will evolve with time and knowledge. Willing to leave everything behind because nothing I can take with me except my memories.

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