Take a look around you. Think about your social circle, your friends, your family. Do you know anyone who hasn’t had a single failed relationship?
Of course, if you search long enough, you’ll probably find a couple of people who stayed with their high school sweethearts and remain happily together. But these people are always the exception, not the rule.
Not every relationship is meant to last. We all know that. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Every failed relationship can teach us some valuable lessons about ourselves and the way love works.
But what happens when you keep going through breakup after breakup, when each and every one of your relationships fail and you can’t understand why?
What follows are the top four reasons why all of your relationships end badly and some friendly tips that might help in the success of your next one.
1. You Let Other People Affect Your Relationships
Most of us let other people affect and eventually change the course and quality of our relationships (at least on a subconscious level) in two ways:
- We make relationship comparisons
- We listen to other people’s opinions about our partner and our relationship as a whole
In the first case, we measure our relationship’s success by comparing it to other relationships. For example, when our friend tells us that their significant other organized a huge party for their birthday, we get disappointed when our partner doesn’t do the same.
Or maybe, we get angry, sad, and stressed when the person we’ve been dating for months doesn’t introduce us to their family, even though we know our sister’s partner introduced her to his family in the first weeks of their relationship.
On the other hand, in the second case, we let our parents’, family’s and friends’ (usually negative) opinion directly influence the way we approach our relationship and the way we view our partner.
As social psychologist Theresa E. DiDonato explains, letting other people influence our love life is a common phenomenon:
“Relationships are not isolated experiences. Whether it’s a new fling or a well-established partnership, your couplehood occurs within a social context that includes other relationships, and as such, those other relationships can influence your own.”
Friendly tip #1: Remember that every relationship is different. Certain actions and behaviors might suit and satisfy others in their relationship but they might not fit you and your partner’s personality, needs, and love language.
Friendly tip #2: Don’t let your social circle’s disapproval of your partner affect how your own image of them. At the end of the day, your mother, sister, or best friend can’t possibly know your partner as well as you do.
2. You Don’t Deal With Differences in a Constructive Manner
How many former couples you know told you that they broke up due to their differences?
It is probably the #1 reason for breakups and divorces.
The truth is we’ve all been there. After dating for a short period of time, we realize that we share few to zero interests with our significant others. We might have a different mindset and outlook on life, or we might simply have very different needs and personalities.
So, we choose the easy way out. We break up. We divorce.
The thing is, not dealing with differences in a constructive matter means that we might be giving up on relationships with potential.
After all, differences are always going to exist between two people, which in turn means that conflict is inevitable. What matters is how we deal with these differences and the conflict they create.
By adopting a positive attitude towards diversity and being more acceptive and tolerant towards personality traits and attitudes that are different from yours, you’ll find it easier to accept and embrace the differences between you and your partner — and not let them ruin your relationship.
Friendly tip #1: Accept that differences are always going to emerge in a relationship.
Friendly tip #2: Stop searching for a person with whom you have no differences — that person doesn’t exist.
Friendly tip #3: Analyze your and your partner’s differences by talking with them. It will help you understand how and why your partners think and behave differently
3. You Don’t Talk to Your Partners About Your Needs
Sometimes, we expect our partners to read our minds, understand what we want, and act accordingly.
How many times have you heard someone say about their partner — or even said yourself — something along the lines of “He/She should have known by now that I don’t like *this thing*” or “It was so obvious that I wanted *that thing*”.
In a nutshell, when our partner doesn’t behave the way we want them to or doesn’t make the gestures we expect them to, we come to the conclusion that they’re not good enough/suitable for us.
The thing is, even if we’d like to, our partners can’t read our minds.
If you don’t communicate your needs to your significant other they won’t be able to fulfill them. In your head, you might think that your partner knows exactly what you want and isn’t willing to give it to you, when in reality, they haven’t a clue.
Friendly tip #1: Because your partner can’t automatically know what you expect from them, calmly communicate your want and needs, even if it feels a bit awkward at first. Healthy communication always changes things for the better.
Friendly tip #2: Keep in mind that your needs are constantly changing and evolving and that’s not something you should be guilty of.
Friendly tip #3: Your needs shouldn’t get to the point of being an ultimatum and the same goes for your partner. If that happens, it means that your relationship has gotten to the point of being problematic.
4. You Haven’t Worked on Your Trust Issues
Trust issues are another one of the top reasons relationships fail.
If your previous relationships left you with trust issues or you’re by nature a person who finds it difficult to trust others, it might be wise to work on yourself for the sake of your current or next relationship.
Because, as Preston Ni explains in his article in Psychology Today, the absence of trust is extremely harmful to a relationship’s success:
Lack or loss of trust is one of the most harmful contagions to a couple’s long-term success. Without trust, a relationship misses two of the key anchors to a strong bond: safety and security. Trust issues may include factors such as jealousy, possessiveness, unreasonable rigidity, emotional infidelity, physical/sexual infidelity, relational game playing, lack of reliability and dependability, lack of emotional support, lack of financial compatibility, and lack of mutually-supportive goals.
Friendly tip #1: Remember that each person is different. Just because your former partner violated your trust doesn’t mean that your current one will do the same.
Friendly tip #2: Don’t let fear and doubts cloud your judgment and affect your relationship. Always voice your feelings and concerns to your partner.
Friendly tip #3: Overcoming your trust issues might be difficult. Don’t be too hard on yourself — take your time to heal.
I’d like to clarify that this article doesn’t mention all of the reasons a relationship might end.
There are others, of course, like poor communication, love fading away, or the fact that people change.
However, I believe that the above four reasons are the most important out of all and that once the people involved in a relationship have worked through them, the chances of the latter being successful are increasingly high.
Remember, every relationship needs work and effort.
Previously published on medium
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