A friend of mine recently “celebrated” 2 years with her toxic boyfriend.
He doesn’t treat her well, she isn’t sure if she really loves him, and she often feels used and unappreciated.
She’ll complain about how he won’t walk her home at night, that he left the country for a vacation without telling her, and that he lets his friends disrespect her for being of a different race than he is.
Prince charming, right?
This isn’t to make fun of her or her relationship but rather to call attention to the fact that not all relationships are created equal.
Not all relationships are healthy or happy.
Not even the long-term ones.
We tend to assume that if a relationship lasts for a certain period of time, it must be a good relationship.
The reality is that only half of relationships are even above average. Average in terms of their communication skills, their ability to resolve conflict, their alignment of values, and their overall happiness and contentment in being together.
It sounds like a disappointing statistic because mathematically speaking, you could very well be in the bottom half.
Although it might be hard to admit, we should be more honest with ourselves about the quality of relationships we find ourselves in.
Life is too short to waste time with a partner who isn’t worthy of you.
You only get one life to live, and why would you want to live it in a relationship that is only somewhat enjoyable part of the time?
I’ve seen amazing things happen to people when they leave an unhealthy dating relationship and open themselves up to a better future. Sometimes, this means breaking up with someone. Other times it means taking a hiatus from the (sometimes toxic) world of dating altogether.
Either way, if you are contemplating leaving a sub-par relationship, flirtationship, or situationship — here is your sign to do it.
You will never find the love you deserve if you spend all your time settling for less.
So are you in a “below-average” relationship?
Sometimes, in the thick of it, it’s hard to tell whether or not our relationship is actually healthy. Here are a few questions to help you figure it out.
1 — Do you genuinely enjoy spending time with them?
This is the most basic indicator of a healthy relationship. Is it a joy to see your partner and do activities together or does it feel like a chore?
Even in mundane daily activities, you should find joy in doing things with your partner most of the time.
2 — Do you ever leave feeling used, drained, hurt, or emotionally manipulated?
I don’t mean after an occasional fight or during a rough patch (which, even the best of relationships will have at times).
But, if you consistently feel negative emotions more than positive ones, this is a serious red flag. A healthy relationship is never more hurt than happy, even during tough times.
3 — Do you find yourself wondering what it would be like if you had a different partner?
This is a BIG one, so answer honestly. There’s a saying that goes,
If you’re in love with more than one person at the same time, choose the second. Because if you REALLY loved the first, you wouldn’t have fallen for another.
Wondering what your relationship would be like with other people is a sign that you aren’t completely satisfied with the person you are currently with.
4 — Do you feel afraid of what would happen if you left the relationship?
If your main reason for staying with someone is fear, you are not in the right place. Fear of being single or of the unknown is powerful and can keep us paralyzed.
Fear is not the same as love. It is not the same as commitment. Fear is a prison where only you have the key.
But fear, no matter how strong, is not a good reason to stay in an unhealthy relationship.
5 — Do you feel like you constantly have to choose between being yourself or pleasing them?
A good relationship is one where you become the best version of yourself. You should never have to choose between being the best version of yourself and pleasing them.
Your partner should uplift and encourage you to be better, but they should not try to mold you into someone who you’re not.
Not all relationships are created equal, but life is too short to waste your time in a sub-par situation.
If you find yourself contemplating whether or not you are in a good relationship, my hope is that these questions will help you make that call.
You deserve real and authentic love in your life.
Don’t settle for less.
This post was previously published on MEDIUM.COM.
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