Why is it that many of us seem to have no problems at building our financial and social areas of our lives without any issues yet somehow seem to have a problem with building healthy relationships?
It’s always made me wonder since many of us seem to have the same common issues. It’s been said that the divorce rates for most married couples in the last 2 years have been close to 60% and that percentage isn’t due to decrease anytime soon.
With that depressing statistic out of the way, it’s made me question whether relationships is part of human nature and if it is, why it’s so difficult to maintain let alone avoid breaking up.
And i’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why it’s become that way is down to 2 things – Misinformation and Pride.
Misinformation because we’re influenced in ways to believe that how we’re supposed to act and behave with each other is what will make the other person attracted and respectful towards us when the opposite is true.
And pride because we’re simply too proud to accept the fact that this is an area of our lives that can be learned and developed and not just something we should intuitively grasp.
I know plenty of people who suffer from pride and yet still unable to hold a decent relationship. I can also point to a few areas of my life where i’ve also suffered from it, but have been willing to accept that this is something that I should develop if i’m to see positive changes in my life.
The further I started studying into the dynamics of a healthy relationship, the more I started to realize how complicated it really can be due to a few reasons.
1) Your partner and the people around you see it as weird – When you’re learning the correct way of doing anything, it becomes a given that you must first become conscious of where you’re going wrong so that you can eventually ‘unlearn’ the bad habits you’ve built up over time so that you can develop behavioral habits that are more inline towards what is correct in the relationship. But the issue with that is you’re no longer yourself and your partner and the people around you start to see you as insecure and dishonest.
2) People will deject and disagree with what you’re doing – Because of the common belief that relationships should be natural (and it should) it simply goes beyond anyone’s comprehension to accept the fact that you’re actually consciously trying to learn and improve the state of what you’re trying to do with your relationships.
With that in mind, it’s clear that the path to a healthy relationship, as with any path you take can be improved… And it will be difficult.
But as with any difficult journey, it’s always worth it regardless of what anyone tells you along the way.
Having been involved in a few relationships in the past, I can honestly say that it’s perhaps the best way to learn the most about yourself if you become aware of the dynamic between yourself and your partner. Your partner becomes your mirror and however way they’re feeling is in direct response to how you’re responding towards them and vice versa.
So if I were to break it down into 3 essential rules for building self confidence in a relationship, I would list 3 things:
1) Build an independent life for yourself outside of your relationships
The biggest problem I’ve commonly seen when it comes to relationships is that one person typically invests too much into their partner and little with themselves. This generally creates a very unbalanced relationship and often leads to insecurity issues and over attachment, which is very unattractive in the long term.
The best solution I’ve found is to instead focus on investing in yourself as well as your relationship. This never made sense to me in the beginning, but eventually understood that its the key to finding balance in your life and in your overall happiness. You’re in effect not relying on your relationship to give you complete happiness but instead having it be an extension to your happiness that you’ve already built and building in other areas of your life. Very unlike the fairy tales that are often spoon fed to us on television.
Do you have hobbies you love getting involved in?
Do you have a job or a career you absolutely love?
Do you have a healthy relationship with your friends and family?
All of these things constitute a balanced and happy life, which you can pursue from today and make a real difference.
2) Learn to listen and communicate
The more i’ve studied into cross gender dynamics and the psychology of the sexes. The more i’ve come to learn that men and women simply communicate in a very different way from each other. This is the main reason as to why both couples end up hurt and frustrated due to believing that they did nothing wrong with their willingness to communicate with their partner. But the issue wasn’t really the communication as it was, but the method of communication that the other partner used.
Men are typically more direct and logical with their communication whilst women are more emotional and indirect. So typically women will very rarely tell their partner that something is wrong in a direct manner, but rather show it with their emotions by raising issues that are unrelated to what’s really bothering her.
So in terms of a mans responsibility to communicate. It is important to understand that the key to knowing your partner is to focus more on her actions rather than her words and to take the time to really listen and empathize with what she’s really feeling in that moment.
For women, it’s simply to understand that a mans words is what you should essentially trust because a man’s logic is far superior to his emotions. Is he also present and patient despite your moodiness?
These are things you should really look and work towards if you’re to improve your relationship with your partner.
3) Allow your partner room to grow
Many couples get into the relationship with the goal to ‘change’ their partner in some way and to turn them into the type of person that they think will make them feel more secure and content. The truth is, people can’t be changed and that the only real way a person can change is if that person makes a decision to change for themselves.
It is therefore essential to allow your partner to grow and develop a life for themselves outside of the relationship if it’s to maintain secure and happy. Many couples lack the logic of it since the common knowledge is to think that not focusing on the relationship would mean sacrificing it entirely for the sake of the individuals needs.
The opposite is in fact true. It is very rarely the case that both partners will have the same goals and that the real strength of a relationship is for both partners to support each other along the way.
This is also the perfect way to screen your future partners as you may come to see that the partner you intend to ‘change’ but can’t, might not be the perfect fit for you in the long term.
I really do believe that these 3 rules are the bare fundamentals to having the confidence to secure any type of relationship you’re looking for. Of course there are many more I haven’t listed but it really is key to realize that it can be learned and developed.
If you have any further tips and rules that you feel should be included. Please leave them in the comments below…
photo credit: Millzero Photography