This might be a strange topic to deal about, because not many people have talked about it. But you can be assured, this happens in most relationships. The fight between identity and love has always been there, and will always be there.
The fight between identity and love comes in when you need to change according to the whims and fancies of your lover. We’re not taking sides, but this does happen. It has always happened. There always has been things that your partner disapproves of, and you need to change it. In certain circumstances, you might have to sacrifice big things about your life, in terms of habits and preferences. Ideally, your partner must accept you as you are, and love you unconditionally. Love is always unconditional. It is not conditional upon you behaving in a particular way, or upon you leaving smoking or such things. But that definition of love is found very rarely in this world. In this more practical world, you will have to face a number of hurdles. You will have to give up things which you love a lot, just because your partner does not like them.
Try to enforce the ideal definition of a relationship onto your own love. Accept them unconditionally. Your identity is who you are. It sets you apart from others. Why should you give it up for something else? Your identity is something that has been built up from childhood. It’s the effect of all that you have faced and survived, and all that love that has been showered upon you from childhood. Would you like the sign of your childhood be removed from you because of someone you met much later in your life? You must not.
On the other hand, think of it this way. There are always people who come about and leave marks on your life. They change how you used to think, how you used to love, how you used to live. These people cannot be discredited either, because they bring in positive changes to your life. Life is all about evolution, and maybe it was high time that you dropped that annoying habit you picked up as a child. These people, and indeed, these relationships mature you to a great extent, and make you who you are. It’s never too late to learn good things, and if there is a good thing to learn you must.
All in all, you must have a firm head on your shoulders. You must be able to decide, and analyse. You must think rationally as to whether a particular thing suggested by a person is actually good for you or not. You must take their point of view into consideration, and debate as to whether such habit is really harming your relationship. You must also examine the scope of whether the person can actually adjust to you keeping such an identity. An identity is important, but so is a relationship. You must not ideally do without either, but when you must take a decision, you must be rational.