Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine
If you're making your relationships themselves the key part of your identity, you're putting who you are in the hands of others. Also, you're bound to doomed relationships; the don't survive without unique, autonomous individuals.
I wouldn't completely discount relationships as a way of defining oneself. It might not be healthy, but then again, maybe it is? I think one of the problems I see in my culture is that people are somewhat detached and super-independent; or at least they try to be.
I remember some psychology class I took that listed the various ways an individual can obtain power. One of those was through association with other people(like a sports fan wearing a Bulls jersey feels like a part of an athletic organization, even if they don't exercise, or a guy who has a g/f he is proud of/excited about). There are other forms, status (jobs/titles), Gestalt.. I forget the rest.
Point being, maybe it's okay to lose yourself in someone else a bit. Maybe that's part of what love is for some people. The big thing to remember is if something is damaging you, then try and find a way to change. (Which I think is sort of what Drunken Porcupine might be saying?)
I was talking this morning with my lover about this concept. You can drink alcoholic beverages morning, noon and night: that doesn't make you an alcoholic. What makes you an alcoholic is when it is damaging your life. When you miss work, when it impairs your functioning as a partner/parent/member of society.