From partners worshipping each other or reading each other’s minds, there are quite a few qualities we tend to idealize in romantic relationships. Some of these qualities we possess ourselves while some we only wish we did. And when we see them in others we think, I wish had someone like that, or we wish that our significant others exhibited them also.
However, researchers are finding that some seemingly ideal relationship scenarios that have us going, ‘aww that’s cute!’, could end up actually hurting a couple’s chances of a long-term, happy relationship.
Here we look at three qualities exhibited by partners in romantic relationships that may seem ideal but can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
1. The ability to finish each other’s sentences
This is usually taken as a good sign of a perfect match. On the surface, it means partners are so attuned to each other emotionally and mentally that their thoughts and ideas mesh up real nice.
So, what could go wrong?
Well, according to researchers, in the long term this predictability can turn into a big minus. And one reason this happens is that it takes away the element of surprise which, according to the author of The Art of Seduction is vital to romantic feelings.
Other dangers of having this superpower include:
- overreliance on the assumption that you always know what your partner is thinking or feeling, overlooking the fact that they are individuals with their own unique past experiences and perspectives;
- since you think you already know, you easily fall into a habit of paying less and less attention to what your partner is actually saying which, means the quality of your communication starts to suffer;
- since you are no longer actively listening you will most likely miss all opportunities to resolve conflicts before they start; and
- that invaluable “comfort zone of free expression” with all its attendant relationship perks will also be missing.
“According to the researchers, in the long term this predictability can turn into a big minus.”
2. Putting a partner on a pedestal
Of course, in a puppy love kind of way, it sounds adorable when we hear of a relationship where one partner is so in love with the significant other as to worship the very ground that the other walks on. This is a love or admiration that is usually so great that they don’t see the blemishes.
However, therein lies the problem because making a partner out to be some sort of perfect being, eventually, comes with the usual downsides:
- over time, the weight of unrealistic expectations and the pressure to live up to idealized views begin to weigh heavily on the over-idealized partner;
- that partner ends up feeling dejected that the other doesn’t really see the real them hence their unrealistic expectations;
- extreme adoration can instill in the idealized partner a sense of power in the relationship such that they begin to have less and less consideration for their other.
Any of these scenarios will, no doubt, diminish relationship quality and satisfaction.
“…therein lies the problem because making a partner out to be some sort of perfect being, eventually, comes with the usual downsides.”
Psychologist, J. Tomlinson advises that the best-case scenario in this situation involves maintaining a delicate balance. As partners are always happy when they realize their mates see them slightly better than they see themselves, a little worshipping is not a bad idea. Just remember, “all things in moderation!”
It is also very good advice that partners keep their raves based on their significant other’s actual qualities or abilities.
“While it may be tempting to provide effusive praise. I think it’s also important to communicate understanding and validation of a person’s core identity. — J. Tomlinson
3. Always staying in one’s lane
How many times have you heard a partner in a relationship described as a non-meddlesome, ‘stay in their lane’ kind of partner and felt that is how it should be?
It sounds admirable especially as that behavior is taken as an expression of complete trust in the significant other by someone who is completely secure in the relationship.
The seemingly nosy partners, on the other hand, get a bad rap.
Though researchers now say it turns out that being a little nosy is good. This is because reasonably nosy equals curiosity and a decent level of curiosity is healthy in relationships.
So don’t shy away from asking thoughtful, reasonable, and meaningful questions because you fear you will be seen as being nosy. As long as your reasonable inquiries are genuinely intended, for instance, to enable you to learn more about your other so as to further deepen your connection or let you know how you can be supportive, then it is good.
Curiosity may have killed the cat but your kind of curiosity may just be what the good doctor ordered.
“This is because reasonably nosy equals curiosity and a decent level of curiosity is healthy in relationships.”
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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