Take Charge of Your Relationships – Romance Part 2

Not everyone needs help finding someone or forming a lasting relationship. But that doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory. Maybe your relationship isn’t satisfying you. Maybe something needs to change. Or maybe it needs to end.

Note: If you are in an abusive relationship and need help getting out of it, please seek help. I am certainly not an expert in this area and would not want to give you advice that would harm you. Just remember that you are a worthwhile human being, and no one deserves to be in a relationship that is mentally, emotionally or physically abusive. You deserve better.

Making Changes
Ideally, any relationship you’re in will meet your expectations, make you feel safe and happy and bring you fulfillment. In reality, it doesn’t really work like that. As humans, we’re all different, and it’s natural that we’ll have different expectations and different ways of looking at things. There will be conflict. There will be tension. And even if you’re overall happy with each other, there will be times you simply don’t see eye-to-eye.

If you find yourself constantly being defensive or not trusting your partner, take a good look at yourself. Are you giving your significant other a chance? Are you seeing him or her for who he or she really is or are you projecting your own insecurities onto him or her? Make sure the things you’re arguing about are real — not your interpretations of what’s taking place.

If, however, you’ve followed my recommendations from the previous post, you accept yourself for who you are, and you accept the person you’re with for who he or she is. As such, you should have a pretty good idea if you get along well.  If you’re constantly fighting (as it seemed I was with my ex-boyfriend), maybe you aren’t meant to be together. If you seem to bring out the worst in each other, maybe you would be better apart. Recognizing what you really want is the first step to determining how to proceed. If you’re unhappy, even miserable, most of the time, it’s time to part ways.

But even if you’re happy with someone, love him or her and want to be with him or her, it’s not a guarantee that your life together will be all you hope. Maybe you have different visions of what that life will entail — live together or separately? marriage or no marriage? kids or no kids? buy or rent a home? east coast or west coast? focus on career or focus on family? The possibilities for conflict are endless. And even if personalities mesh well, life goals may not.

If you find yourself butting heads on major issues, sit down with your significant other and discuss what you really want. Avoid attacking your partner. Instead, explain how certain things are important to you. Perhaps some things can be compromised on. But make sure you’re not compromising on something that truly is important to you. If you’ve always wanted kids and your significant other does not, will you be happy never being a parent? Will you end up resenting your partner because of it? As painful as it might be to have these discussions now, it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with the aftermath. Many issues can be worked out. But if they can’t be, it’s better to know now. Be careful when having these discussions, though. Issuing ultimatums can just build resentment.

Parting Ways
When conflicts become too much to bear, or you simply realize that this relationship is not the right one for you, it’s time to have the dreaded talk. With any luck the person you’ve been seeing feels the same way. If not, prepare for some defensiveness and backlash.

Just remember: there is a reason you’re at this point. It doesn’t help anyone to be in a relationship that makes you miserable. Dragging things out does just that — drag them out. It doesn’t make them better. It just makes them last longer. Be firm but gentle. There’s no need to attack and berate the person you’re breaking up with. Be civil and hopefully the experience will be as painfree as possible.

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