Eat, Pray, Lose yourself in love

It struck me the other day how women, especially, can lose themselves in relationships.

Thinking about my own past, it's like watching a bad movie—you know the kind where you can see what's about to happen to this confident, intelligent character. "No, don't go down into the basement alone at midnight!"

Only this time, our fearless heroine steps on the relationship landmine of giving herself completely into a mysterious love interest. "No, don't Google him! You're too good for that!"

We all know better than to let this happen, but it often happens anyway.

I thought about this while reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Admittedly I'm the last woman I know to read it.)

The author wrote about the same phenomenon—attracting a guy for her self-assurance and independence, losing both in the pursuit of snagging him and then losing the guy.

What's more, I do it with friends too. What causes this? Does it also happen to men?

I want to believe it is not about self esteem. I also don't want to blame moms for teaching us to change in order for people to like us, or dads for withholding love. And it being genetic seems like too easy an out.

Whatever the cause, let's break the cycle. A call to readers—how do you remain deeply fascinated by new people, and not so much where you forget to be yourself?