Relationship Habits People Think Are Toxic But Aren’t
In the world today, romantic relationships are no longer between just the people in the relationship, it seems that friends, family and everyone that knows you are in a relationship has a say and is offering suggestions on how you interact with your partner. You hear male friends mocking their friend in a relationship and asking him how his partner will be talking to him like that, ‘isn’t he a man?’ and all that jazz. This often also leads to them judging your habits, we’ve all seen Twitter arguments on men washing their woman’s underwear and how society views that, this article also brings to light some other habits that many people may think are toxic or wrong but are actually good for some relationships.
Being Prepared to Hurt His/Her Feelings
Men and women lie to their partners, maybe not in equal measure, but they both do and for various reasons, often unselfish reasons like telling your partner she looks good even when you don’t think so just because you want ‘peace to reign’ or even apart from lying, there are times partners refuse to communicate when they don’t like something, and this also affects the relationship negatively.
What I’m saying here is you need to be capable of telling your partner these truths about them and also about how you’re feeling without blaming them. Sure, their ego may be bruised, but they’ll come back the better for it and dealing with the important stuff like values, needs and trust is what helps you both feel good and maintain a healthy relationship; one that meets both people’s needs.
Feeling Attraction for People Outside the Relationship
One of the problems faced in many relationships that aren’t honest is the situation where any emotional or sexual thoughts for someone that isn’t your partner is seen as treason or betrayal. As much as we’d like to believe we only have eyes for our partner, biology disagrees. It is a biological inevitability that we are capable of finding multiple people attractive and interesting at the same time.
However, it is not an inevitability to decide to act on the attraction or not. Most of us, most of the time, choose not to act on those feelings and the feelings pass through us like waves and leave us with our partner very much the same way they found us. These feelings trigger a lot of guilt in some people and a lot of irrational jealousy in others.
Our cultures tell us that when we fall in love, that’s supposed to be the end of attraction to other people, and if someone flirts with us, we shouldn’t enjoy it and that if we do, there must be something wrong with us or our relationship.
It’s healthier to let oneself experience the feelings then let go because when you suppress the feelings, you give them power over you rather than dictating your behaviour yourself by feeling them yet choosing not to do anything. People who suppress these urges are often the ones who succumb to them or project them unto their partners and become jealous or become frustrated without reason and say things like ‘remember how in love we used to be??’.
When we commit to a person, we are not committing our thoughts, feelings or perceptions to them because most of the time, we can’t control them so we can’t make that commitment. What we can control are our actions, and so we commit our actions to that special person.
Letting Some Conflicts Go Unresolved
Successful couples have accepted that some conflicts are inevitable, that there will always be some things they don’t like about their partner or things they disagree with, and that’s fine. You, however, shouldn’t feel the need to change someone to love them, and this may backfire. It would help if you also didn’t let some disagreements get in the way of what is otherwise a good relationship.
I can’t be the only one that has noticed or observed that sometimes, the process of attempting to resolve a conflict can create more problems than it fixes. Some battles are not worth the hassle, and sometimes the best philosophy in relationships is to ‘live and let live’.
Being Willing to End It
All around us, people idealize romantic sacrifice, you’ll hear statements like he/she endured a lot before they started enjoying the rewards and if a relationship ends and one of the partners is not dead, then it’s viewed as a failure.
Sometimes, the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the right time because not all relationships have to be a ‘till death do us part’ type of relationship and the willingness to end it allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.
When the partner thinks its a ‘till death do us part’, they have no reason to work on themselves and grow because we’re going to be there no matter what and we also have no reason to work on ourselves and grow because our partner will be there no matter what. This all invites stagnation, and this leads to misery.
Accepting Your Partner’s Flaws
If you accept a flaw or shortcoming of your partner, for example, your partner doesn’t wake up to make breakfast because she is not a morning person, society may judge you for accepting that because they believe a woman should cook and all such beliefs. We shouldn’t think our partner is perfect and hold them to the highest standards. Also, we shouldn’t try to make them perfect by ‘fixing’ or changing them.
There’s a phrase I saw online that puts it perfectly ‘It may be our perfections that attract us to one another in the first place, but it’s our imperfections that decide whether or not we stay together.
Spending Time Apart
There are a lot of friends who disappear once they enter into a relationship, and it becomes troubling, not just for us as friends but for them. When we fall in love, we develop a desire to allow our lives to be consumed with the person of our infatuation. This feels great and is intoxicating in the same way as drugs are intoxicating.
The problem with this is as that as you change to be closer to the person you love, you stop being the person they fell in love with. It’s important to occasionally get some distance from our partner, maintain hobbies that are yours alone, have some separate friends and take an occasional trip alone.
Learn to remember what made you you and attracted your partner to you in the first place. This breathing space allows the fire between you two keep burning and without it, the flames die out and where you had sparks, you’ll have friction,
Learn from this and grow, love and light.