Moving From “I” to “We” in Relationships: Does It Scare You?

Do you feel uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a “We” in your relationship? It’s definitely a big moment when we realize that we’re not purely making decisions based on our singular perspective. It can be the most exciting part of falling in love because you feel the drama and high stakes of entering something that is “bigger than yourself.” However, it’s also natural to experience everything from hesitation to panic when moving from “I” to “We.” Is it a sign that something is wrong? Let’s talk about it.

The Importance of “We” in Intimate Relationships

First, the fact that you’re transitioning into “We” instead of jumping into this mindset from the first moment is actually a very healthy, positive thing. The move to “We” should only come after you’ve spent time developing a genuine, trust-based bond. You may actually be trapped in codependency caused by an insecure attachment if you’re making decisions based on your partner instantly after starting a relationship.

When forming a secure and healthy relationship, a shift to the “We” mindset is crucial because it’s how we move from a one-person orientation to a two-person orientation. If we fail to make the transition, we risk being stuck in a state where partners may feel anything from ambivalent to resentful at any given time. How do you know that you’re forming a secure relationship?

A two-person orientation is characterized by a mindset of thinking about what’s best for the relationship. It replaces the knee-jerk reaction of asking what’s best for “me” when making decisions. You’re taking your partner’s needs, the future of your relationship, and the sacredness of your relationship into account when making decisions. For people stuck in a one-person orientation, there is no pivot from the idea that their individual needs must be prioritized at every step. While it’s certainly perfectly healthy to continue to focus on your own needs instead of only seeing yourself as part of a whole, a person in a healthy relationship won’t feel compelled to fulfill their individual needs at the expense of a relationship. In fact, a strong desire to do this could indicate that the relationship is no longer fulfilling. Check out my Break-up Guide if this sounds familiar!

What the “We” Mindset Isn’t

Moving into the “We” mindset of two-person orientation is an important and exciting part of an intimate relationship. It is not a self-sacrificial, martyr-like step that should leave you feeling punished or hampered. In contrast, it is actually a satisfying and exciting experience that makes us feel bonded and connected. Yes, the shift to “We” does sometimes require the mature sacrifices that come with all serious relationships. If “We” sounds scary to you even though you’re madly in love with the person, I highly recommend therapy to help you figure out why giving up full independence is so difficult.