Do you sometimes feel that you’re getting mixed messages about conducting your relationship with your partner? You’ll often hear the culture screaming something in your ear, but your instinct is saying that you should do something different.
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. It turns out that there is some pretty toxic relationship advice out there. Here are some examples:
Spending Long Time Apart
Spending a long time away from your partner is usually a sign of a serious problem in the relationship – or, at least, that’s how many people see it.
But does it have to be that way? It turns out that spending time apart is actually quite a healthy habit. It gives people time to process the irrational beliefs about their partners and see them more fully as human beings.
In many cases, we can allow ourselves to be consumed by the person we are infatuated with. It is an intoxicating experience and can lead to sleepless nights. All we want is to be close to them.
Unfortunately, when you take this approach, your personality changes. You become somebody different from who your partner fell in love within the first place. Eventually, one person begins to feel suffocated.
Feeling Attracted To Somebody Outside The Relationship
People get into a lot of trouble for feeling attracted to people outside of the relationship. We want to believe that we only have eyes for our partners and never look at anybody else. And the same works the other way: we want our partners to only think of us.
We know from our own experience, though, that this isn’t realistic. Everyone is capable of finding multiple people attractive, regardless of their relationship status.
The trick here is to process these feelings healthily. Don’t bottle them up. Instead, accept the fact that you are attracted to somebody else and then let it go. Try to avoid suppressing feelings or anything like that. And have a conversation with your partner about what you are experiencing, and you might be surprised that they are feeling the same way now and then.
Having The Ability To End It
In our romantic culture, we believe that relationships should be as permanent as a vasectomy. They are for life.
But this approach leads to all kinds of problems. For one, it eliminates fear in the other person. If they think that you will stick with them forever, no matter what, they won’t worry if they treat you badly. They may behave terribly, knowing that you will stay by their side.
But if they think that you have the power to end it, they will “behave themselves,” and the hope is they start to work on themselves. Self-awareness is a powerful thing and sometimes in a relationship the partner is the one to help push them in that direction. Becoming more mindful and watch what they say and how it affects you. And hopefully, they will make every effort to improve their lives so that they provide you with value. This is healthy empowerment. We get comfortable from time to time, and having someone there to push us even on a relationship level can be a good thing.
Allowing Conflicts To Go Unresolved
Lastly, we believe that we need to resolve every conflict in our relationships to succeed. You shouldn’t go to bed on an argument – or so the saying goes. But it turns out that just letting go of conflict is okay too. You and your partner can disagree on things. You don’t have to agree on everything. Many of the most successful couples allow conflict to rumble on for decades. But don’t forget to manage that conflict in healthy ways rather than let it fester. Think about what matters, and when it comes down to it, not having a picture-perfect relationship doesn’t mean you don’t have a good one. Even a great one.