The Surprising Real Reasons Relationships Suck
This is your heart
This is your heart on love
Relationships. That word has the ability to make us feel countless emotions simultaneously. At the mention of the word, your mind scans years of memories within moments and your heart threatens to explode from the overwhelming contrast of feelings. The highs and the lows of relationships are enough to bring anyone to their knees begging for mercy.
This might sound a little extreme, but I assure you it’s not! Think of all the songs about the struggles of relationships and the emotional turmoil they cause. I bet if I just start one line from a few popular love songs, you will probably be able to belt out the line that follows. Let’s try it...
It must have been love, but it’s over now...
Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart…
Unbreak my heart, say you’ll love me again...
How’d you do? If you don’t know these songs, look them up. You can thank me next time you’re crying into your pillow and need the perfect soundtrack to your misery. Also feel free to add any Adele. (Roxette - It Must Have Been Love, Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart, Toni Braxton - Unbreak my Heart)
However, my guess is that most of you knew more than just the next line and now these songs will be stuck in your head all day! And not necessarily just because they are classics most of us know. You remember these songs because of the emotions you have tied to them and the fact that you can relate to their message of heartbreak.
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So, why is it that relationships suck so much?! This blog is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the possible reasons, but instead a few things to consider about one of life’s biggest dilemmas...how to have a relationship that doesn’t suck.
Relationships Suck Because We Are Selfish
Think about it. Most arguments happen because WE want what WE want. Each person is vying for the upper hand. We are ultimately looking out for our own interests.
This is a basic human instinct. Survival of the fittest. However, for your relationship to survive there needs to be some compromise. So ditch the my way or the highway mentality and upgrade to putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. It won’t kill you to sacrifice a little for the person you love. Trust me, the benefits you will reap from prioritizing your partner’s needs will be worth it.
Bottomline: If you don’t want your relationship to suck, then cool it with the me, me, me attitude.
Relationships Suck Because We Care Too Much What Other People Think
Everyone has their opinion and this can wreak havoc on even the most solid relationships. It’s important to set boundaries with your family and friends when it comes to your significant other and how much you allow them to weigh in.
Put a quick stop to any unnecessary instigation. In some cases, the people closest to you may be well intentioned and only looking out for your best interest. However, if their comments and actions cross the line and start becoming intrusive, don’t let it slide. If you do, your partner may feel disrespected and betrayed, which will lead to a relationship that sucks.
Also, stop caring what other people think about your relationship status if it works for you. (If it doesn’t work for you and you are staying anyway, that’s a different blog post). Define for yourself what you want from a relationship and then evaluate the situation from there. Don’t let Negative Nancies determine your relationship goals.
Bottomline: If you don’t want your relationship to suck, tell everyone else to stay in their lane.
Relationships Suck Because We Get Comfortable
Being comfortable in your relationship is actually a very healthy and happy attribute...until it’s not. There is a thin line between the kind of comfortable that makes your relationship feel special and the kind of comfortable that makes you feel complacent and bored.
Sometimes the stresses and responsibilities of life can keep you from embracing everything your relationship can be. It can make you not fun and not fun sucks. So, avoid getting stuck in ruts and routines. Switch things up and be adventurous! It takes a little more effort, but the payoff is next level bonding and intimacy.
Another pitfall of too much comfort is overlooking the little things. Think of little things you can do or say to make your partner feel special. A little goes a long way and adds up.
Bottomline: If you don’t want your relationship to suck, get out of your comfort zone and put in the work.
Relationships Suck Because We Lack Healthy Communication Skills
Healthy communication is one of the foundation blocks of every relationship. If you or your partner’s response to conflict is to shut down or to overreact, then you are in for a bumpy ride that probably ends in a fiery crash.
When there is a breakdown of communication it can lead to one of the most detrimental outcomes - making assumptions. If you don’t know what your partner is thinking or how they are feeling, it’s easy to let overthinking take over and start assuming. This is a slippery slope that almost always ends in disaster. Instead of going down that path, you should be able to have an open conversation about what’s bothering you. If that’s not possible, then you both need to develop your communication skills or you will almost certainly have a relationship that sucks.
Reduce the amount of tension in your relationship by learning each other’s communication style (Helpful Hint: There are 4 main styles that you can easily Google). You might hear things that you don’t want to hear, but be patient with each other even though it’s hard. This will build true intimacy.
Bottomline: If you don’t want your relationship to suck, stop assuming and start communicating.
Relationships Suck Because We Are Not Grateful
The grass is always greener on the other side. Instead of appreciating the positive attributes of what we have, we dwell on the negative and think about how much better it would be...if only...This is especially true in the days of social media.
But this is a trap! Once you get over to the “other grass” you’re going to find out that it also dies if you don’t water it! It sucks to constantly be looking over someone else’s fence instead of using that energy and time to cultivate your own grass. Appreciate and enjoy what you have!
Don’t compare your relationship to others! That is the kiss of death. Remember that everyone looks like they have it all together on Instagram and Facebook, but social media is not reality. Smiling faces in pictures today could be hiding tears cried last night.
Bottomline: If you don’t want your relationship to suck, appreciate your own grass.
Let’s face it, all relationships have great times that are wonderful and hard times that suck. However, it is possible to avoid some of the basic pitfalls of relationships if we are aware, willing to take responsibility for our role, and willing to put in the work to change. Ultimately, the real reason relationships suck is that we aren’t willing to do that.
So, go ahead and put those sad songs on repeat and continue the cycle of heartbreak or decide to make a change.