Why Your Relationships Might Have Failed
What you can do in your next one to develop a healthy one
I’ll be honest: because you signed up for something that you weren’t ready for. Love is great but commitment is what makes it last. Being committed isn’t for everyone. It takes work. A lot of work. Relationships require constant attention, modification, and sacrifice. They require patience. They also require each individual to know themselves well enough to regulate their emotions and be able to put aside pride or ego.
- Yes, sometimes you are all of this and your partner sucks, is nasty, not the right fit, abusive, or turns out to be into the opposite sex. Then my next question will be: did you give it enough time to get to know them before jumping into a fully committed relationship?
So, yes it takes work, but it can be fun. However, the kick is, a healthy relationship is not automatic. We don’t go from 1 month to 10, to a lifetime of happiness just because it’s been that long (premature YAYY!). You can (and should) create a culture of happiness!
The never-ending, gut-wrenching butterflies will disappear and possibly make an appearance every once in a while. If you leave yourself open to expecting a consistent wave of electricity to validate your relationship, then you’re preparing for a groundbreaking let down of irrational justification to prove you should have never committed in the first place. At this point, we begin to stop looking at the individual that attracted us (their being) and become distracted by the promise of something else better. Or what many would call: FOMO (the fear of missing out).
If you didn’t allow yourself the time to get to know this person and you realize that, “No, they are just not for me” — then use this as a lesson. Learn to foster what you’re attracted to with every interaction instead of dwelling, or creating excuses for why you were wrong to choose this person anyway. You may be surprised. Otherwise, you chose that person for a reason. The reason you choose a partner is unique to who you are and what you’re attracted to; maybe it’s their smile, freckles, personality, genuine nature, values, similar interest, or all of the above. Find that reason and remind yourself that you alone may not be struggling with these thoughts or emotions.
How to develop and maintain a healthy relationship
- Ditch passive, passive-aggression, and aggressive communication.
- Learn to use assertive communication effectively.
- When speaking to your partner avoid pointing the figurative finger and using YOU (ex. You need to do…I wish you would…); try to focus on expressing yourself using “I” statements (ex. I feel [emotion]…I need…).
2. Then, talk about things. Everything.
- Both good and bad. Comfortable and uncomfortable. Worries, fears, excitements.
- For extroverts, this may be easy. For introverts, maybe not so much but there should be a compromise. Find out your style and work through it together.
3. Build trust
- By being consistent.
- No one likes someone who is inconsistent and unpredictable with their actions. Your consistency makes it more likely for me to be consistent. Will they be upset today? Can I ask this question without fear? It’s unnerving.
4. Be honest
- Look in the mirror and create accountability for yourself. Like consistency, if you want someone to be honest, it begins with you being honest.
5. Be faithful
- If monogamy isn’t for you then don’t get into this type of relationship — it’s that simple.
- Many people turn outward because they’ve failed to work on insecurities, mood, egos, or pride, together.
- If you signed up for it, respect them.
- How would you like it if the shoe was on the other foot? I’d be infuriated. Walls up.
6. Be there for one another
- One of the most positive things about having a partner is knowing someone will be there whenever I need them to be — consistently.
7. Make time for one another
- Hot sex. I know, I know there's more to it than that. But c’mon. Need it, want it.
- In between careers, hobbies, kids (if applicable), and other life distractions, it’s easy to fall into the roommate routine. Like those initial butterflies, you have to actively make time for your partner.
- Plan a moment to catch up or get out of the house for a weekend. This may also be a great time to remind yourself of what makes that person special to you. Or an opportunity for hot sex, just being honest.
8. Leave the past in the past
- Nothing else needed. Like a poison, this will slowly destroy trust, respect, your sex life, and relationship.
9. Know that having arguments are normal
- When you disagree are you arguing to win the fight? Or seeking a mutual solution?
- Swallow your pride. Don’t cut them off or ignore them. Be patient.
- Check your emotions: why are you upset?
- Figure out the disagreement and find a similar ground.
10. Know that you won’t always be happy
- Some days I truly dislike my wife. She’s strong-headed, assertive, and just as stubborn as I can be. Even more intelligent. So, this makes for interesting interactions at times. Though, when in a disagreement we can go at each other, these are all the reasons I’ve wanted to be around her. Being happy all the time is a myth. Now, I try to look for what she is saying more than reacting to the mood or body language.
- Find the solution. Don’t worry about trying to win the fictional battle, if you do, you will always lose (no matter the gender or non-gender).
11. Don’t expect too much change
- People can grow. We can learn how to fit around each other and work with each other as a team. However, if when you met, they were a homebody, don’t expect then to be vibrant and want to go out all the time. Or vice versa. It will only lead to a self-induced letdown.
12. Appreciate the flaws and each other
- Become best friends.
- LOVE IT! Embrace them! Only because you are also littered with flaws yourself. It wouldn’t make sense any other way, would it?
13. Love, unconditionally
- “No matter what, I will be there for you.”
- Unconditional love is extremely comforting, makes us feel safe and secure, and will boost self-esteem. You might find they trust you more knowing you love them without a doubt.
A new year is approaching fast. Take control of yourself, your own emotions, and enjoy your relationships. Too many people walk out on another now a day without even attempting to develop. With social media, the Internet, TV, movies, etc. producing unrealistic expectations for relationships a lot more often, it’s time we begin to set the example of what a true relationship looks like.
Are you with me?