When two people become exclusive, they are usually unaware that their relationship will get littered with arbitrary turbulences, unexpected absurdities, and heaps of miscommunication. And due to this unawareness, they tend to leave their relationships at the first signs of struggle and complexity.
Perhaps they get into a string of fights and suddenly jump to conclusions like, “oh shit, my relationship isn’t easy anymore. There must be something wrong with it!”
As a result of this flawed mindset, they break up prematurely, or even worse, become what I call relationship hoppers.These individuals jump from one relationship to the next as soon as their current one becomes difficult. Thus, they restrict themselves from ever forming any meaning-dense emotional bond with someone.The goal of this article is simple; to help you avoid becoming a relationship hopper.
How am I going to achieve that goal? Easy.
By presenting you with 4 healthy and natural phenomena in relationships, most people confuse with indications that they need to break up.Put differently, I will help you develop a greater awareness about the real nature of relationships so that you won’t prematurely panic and presuppose yours is doomed – the true nature being that relationships ain’t easy, nor should they be.
1. Relationships are never 50/50
No matter how aware and sure two people are of their relationship roles and responsibilities in a romantic relationship, things change, and their whole dynamic can collapse at random.
Perhaps one day, you’re going to be the one who ends up cleaning the car, vacuuming the house, calling your partner first, or making a significant compromise for them. Then some other day, that dynamic randomly flips, and it’s your partner who does all of the above.
You see, these shifts normal and to be expected; no relationship is never really 50/50—meaning, such where both partners put equal amounts of effort into it. So don’t even try to keep score. If you’re trying to keep a relationship in a 50/50 split in terms of effort between you and your partner, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Now, why is that?
Well, simply because those kinds of relationships quickly transform into heated competitions: One partner holds back because they feel they were not treated right this week, then the other overcompensates and acts like a pleaser, and then the roles change again.
In the end, you’re stuck in a constant cycle-jerk of pushing forward and holding back. And it doesn’t matter if you’re the winner or not or put differently; if you’re the one who is putting less/more effort into your relationship, the result is always the same: A loss of mutual intimacy and respect. And therefore also trust, love and affection. At that point, you don’t even have a relationship anymore.
So, instead of keeping score in your relationship, realize that you and your partner are a team. You’re there to give to each other and help each other grow, even if that means changing the relationship dynamic for a time, breaking boundaries and making sacrifices, and even a few mistakes, like getting into an unnecessary argument or two.
2. RELATIONSHIPS are chaotic
Relationships are not straightforward. In fact, they are the opposite. They are frequently confusing, chaotic, and messy. What do I mean by this?
For starters, there will often be pointless conflicts between you and your partner either because of your value differences, clashing insecurities, or general miscommunication. You know, the type of miscommunication where you think you know where your lover was coming from, only to realize 30 seconds later that you didn’t get half of what they were saying.
But as long as you keep treating your lover fairly and vice versa, all the chaos that comes with a relationship will become far easier to navigate.To be more specific, when you and your partner are both healthy and mature individuals who are together for all the right reasons, staying on track amid the absurdity of love becomes way more manageable, even if it doesn’t feel pleasant at times.
3. Relationships change – sometimes for the worse
Relationships evolve because the people in them change. That is, they find and prioritize new values and leave the old behind. They get fresh perspectives on various new subjects and change some about the old. Similarly, they get a vivid gathering of new interests, all while letting a few older ones wither away into nothingness—our core.
Even though changes in your partner, or even the ones within you, can endanger your relationship’s future, numerous couples made things work despite the friction points they had with their significant other. For example, I’ve heard and read about several couples who kept their relationship intact and even thriving despite trials like subscribing to opposing religions and worldviews, long-distance or mental and emotional illnesses. But there’s one more insight that I came to while reading the stories from successful couples; change in relationships is inevitable.
Now, sometimes both people grow in the same direction, and other times they do not. If that happens, they either make it work or don’t. It’s that simple. That is the reality of relationships. And while you can ignore it, you can’t ignore its consequences.
4. Relationships bring perpetual mood swings
Let me tell you a funny story from years ago.
One dull morning, I opened my eyes. Like I always do. I stretched at a snail pace in my comfy bed, as usual, then turned to my side so that I was facing my girlfriend and thought:
I want to fuck that tan brunette that I saw in the supermarket a few days ago.
My afterthought was something along the lines of “What the fuck?”
I bet some of you, men or women, have thoughts like that too. If not, you’ll get there.
Interestingly, the next day I woke up, I wanted nothing to do with the random brunette I’ve witnessed. But then, weeks later, I was back to square one, thinking about being with another woman I saw on TV.
At first, I was confused by my fluctuation, as most people would be, but I’ve realized it’s normal to feel this way as time passed; It’s normal for the feelings you have around your relationship to swirl and shift over time:
Some days, when conversing with your partner, anger, frustration, and impatience will be beaming out of every inch of your body for no other reason than your lousy mood. In contrast, on other days, you will radiate love, patience, and appreciation, no matter what topic – touchy or casual – you’re discussing with your partner, for no apparent reason.
Some days you’re going to wish to break up with your current partner, but other days, you’re going to be confident that they are the person for you, without a shadow of a doubt.
Some days insecurities will begin festering and sticking to the walls around your mind and heart. Thus, you’ll start floating fear, while humps of needy tendencies will keep attaching to your stripped body. And then, out of the blue, a couple of days later, all these insecurities will no longer bother you. In fact, they will morph into the complete opposite – confidence.
When you’re past the honeymoon period in your relationship, even your sex life begins to fluctuate. On some days, you’re going to be horny, and on the others, you’re going to be drier than a Sahara desert.
If we presuppose you’re in a fulfilling relationship, a potential cause of these mild fluctuations may simply be a lack of space between you and your partner.
It’s a mundane answer, I know. But funnily enough, swallowing your partners’ presence for too long is the most common culprit behind reduced attraction, even in the most successful long-term relationships.
For example, let’s pretend you went to a week long retreat for your 5th relationship anniversary with your partner. But just as you checked-in and snuggled up in your lavish hotel, a thunderstorm began rumbling outside. Therefore, the two of you had to stay indoors for the next few days.
Yes, in that tiny, tiny square hotel room.
Now by the end of your trip, you probably got slightly bored of each other because you spent so much time trapped together in a tiny space. This boredom further lowers mutual attraction.
It’s that simple. And it’s a common and healthy phenomenon in every long term relationship. It just happens. And after you get some space away from each-other the attraction regenerates and all is back to normal.
Cue the celebration music.
Picture these sways in attraction, mood, and emotion as tidal waves, and think of yourself as a surfer who’s riding them. Your objective is to ride them well.
In other words, you need to become proficient at accepting that any long term relationship, even the relationship with yourself, is going to shift between unpleasant, confusing, and irritating and loving, affectionate and pleasant.
HOW TO MAKE your RELATIONSHIP LAST – the ultimate answer
Ultimately, accept that you and your partner are littered with flaws that are a pain to deal with sometimes. But here’s the catch.
If you can’t imagine a life without your lover, if you’re compatible, and if you’re both in a relationship for all the right – healthy – reasons, then all the struggles in it are probably not going to break your bond. In fact, they might all be worth it. But that’s something only you can answer.
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