“A true relationship is two imperfect people not giving up on each other.” ~ Anonymous
I don’t resonate with this quote entirely.
While it is true that we are all imperfect and being in a relationship means balancing and navigating through those imperfections, sometimes this balancing act drains us out.
Sometimes, we find ourselves in circumstances where this balancing act ends up feeling more like a daily struggle than anything else.
Despite the challenges that every relationship brings with itself, the idea of being in a good relationship is that we are able to find our way through it by accepting and understanding the aspects of each other that can’t be changed but only managed along with strengthening the others.
Overtime this management needs to become smooth as we ease into the relationship. However, if this doesn’t happen and the relationship begins to feel heavy, confusing, and overwhelming, then it is time to step back and assess whether is it really the right relationship for us or not.
Two people can be truly, deeply, madly in love with each other yet be completely incompatible.
When we talk about compatibility, it’s not just about being functionally compatible i.e. having similar preferences, hobbies, likes, dislikes, ways of living, or just knowing what the other person’s favorite color, dish, or restaurant is.
At a deeper level, it is about fundamental compatibility i.e. whether we align with each other as human beings in terms of values, outlook on life, goals, visions, and emotional availability.
No two individuals are totally compatible. There will always be some areas where we may not be on the same page. Yet, again, what matters is if we’re compatible enough to navigate our incompatibility as well.
“Truth is, no two people are completely compatible. We have to learn to become one. That means we may have to make sacrifices; we may have to overlook some things. We must be willing to compromise for the good of the relationship.” ~ Joel Osteen
A solid relationship is the one that is built on the foundation of trust, friendship, understanding, vulnerability, and accountability. Most importantly, it’s built on the individual’s ability to enjoy the similarities they share while respecting and working through their differences as well.
It’s not just about saying “I love you,” but backing it up with actions that keep the love alive.
It’s about showing up consistently in ways that take the relationship forward.
“The happiest relationships are relationships where people are compatible in terms of the type of support they need and the type of support the other person intrinsically loves to give.” ~ Teal Swan
Without these fundamentals in place, a relationship between individuals remains hollow and they constantly struggle to fill up this space with whatever they can find.
The connection between two people doesn’t just come from spending time with each other but from the quality of time that is being spent.
You can spend hours talking with your partner and yet end up feeling that there is nothing meaningful about your conversation.
You can spend years with someone and still feel that they don’t understand or support you.
Sadly, when things start going downhill, a lot of us keep waiting, hoping, and wishing for things to change on their own. We hope that one day destiny will play its hand and the relationship will become exactly the way we want it to be. But that’s not how it works—simply because it takes two to tango.
Both the individuals in a relationship need to put in efforts to make it work. The effort doesn’t have to be equal. But it needs to be there. As long as the difference is not much and the two people are able to balance each other out, it’s all good.
But even if one person begins to feel that the relationship is weighing down on them, then it’s time for something to change for sure.
At some point we have to step up for ourselves and analyze whether our relationship is truly working for us or not.
Is it genuinely a source of joy, satisfaction, comfort, and growth? Is it robbing us off of these things?
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Engaging in such evaluations and arriving at certain decisions isn’t an easy feat, but a necessary one. We can continue to live a life of misery or make some decisions that may be painful in the short-term but pay off in the long-run.
For a relationship to be healthy and go a long way, the following elements need to be present:
1. A type of communication that aims to understand each other’s point of view and not revolving around blaming and name-calling. The idea is to resolve each other’s concerns in the best way possible rather than brushing things off or dismissing them.
2. Repair attempts i.e. once you or your partner has acknowledged their mistake, it needs to be followed with corrective action so that the same issue doesn’t crop up again. An apology without any change in behavior serves no purpose.
3. Keeping promises. It’s important for you to show up consistently and follow through on your words and promises.
4. Taking accountability for your own actions so that you can contribute to the growth of the relationship more effectively.
5. Respecting each other as individuals.
6. Supporting each other’s life choices and decisions.
However, when these and other important elements that make up a healthy relationship are absent, then we can say for sure that there is trouble in paradise!
I guess every relationship reaches a breaking point when one question goes unanswered repeatedly: “Are you there?”
We all need our partners to be there for us. We want to be seen for who are, heard, and understood. Most of the time it’s not about grand gestures or big promises—rather it’s about being responsive to each other’s needs. When one or both partners fail to be responsive to each other over and over again, the bond between them begins to rupture, and when that happens, love flies out of the window.
Unfortunately, a lot of individuals spend a long time in such relationships because either they’re unaware of their own needs or simply afraid to do what’s needed. Whatever may be the reason, the misery continues.
Here are some signs that may indicate that your relationship is on a rocky ground and something needs to change:
1. Unhealthy communication. The communication between you and your partner is riddled with argument and conflict. One or both of you are constantly arguing, being defensive, not listening, and blaming each other. This often ends with one or both of you feeling unheard, misunderstood, and invalidated to the extent that you don’t feel like getting into any kind of conversation at all.
2. Spending time away from each other. You prefer to spend time alone or with others instead of your partner.
3. Trust issues. You have difficulty trusting your partner and are constantly questioning and doubting their words and actions.
4. You lack intimacy. Your sex life has gone for a toss and you’re struggling to be intimate with your partner.
5. You compare your relationship to others. You often end up looking at the relationship that other people have and think that their relationship is better than yours.
6. You feel that something is missing in your relationship. There is a huge vacuum that has become hard for you to ignore.
7. The relationship is bringing out the worst parts of you. You find yourself engaging in habits and behaviors that are unlike you.
8. You feel you are losing touch with your own self and wonder what has changed because you were never like this.
9. You feel drained, exhausted, and preoccupied with the relationship to the extent that you are unable to focus on other areas of your life such as your health, career, and so on.
10. You don’t feel like sharing things with your partner anymore.
11. You often engage in wishful thinking about dating other people and wonder what it would be like.
12. There is emotional or physical abuse. Needless to say, if there is any kind of abuse taking place in a relationship, then it’s certainly not for anyone.
A relationship is supposed to be a safe space that enables us to grow and become a better version of ourselves as time passes.
It’s about two imperfect people working toward creating the best possible relationship they can share with each other. But if the imperfections begin to take over the relationship, then it’s time to give up.
At the end of the day, a relationship needs to be a source of happiness and fulfillment and should enhance the quality of your life.
“Be with someone who will take care of you. Not materialistically but take care of your soul, well-being and everything that is you.” ~ Anonymous
If it makes you feel anything otherwise, then it’s not the one for you.
Sometimes, giving up and letting go are the best things that people can do for each other because it’s not our job to carry the burden of anyone else’s imperfections or load them with ours when it’s not coming from within.
Sometimes, we just can’t or don’t want to do it anymore…
Then, it’s time to let go because holding on will hurt much more than letting go.
Don’t you think?
“In the end, only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” ~ Buddhist saying (maybe)