Do you realize how there are certain unsaid do’s and don’ts of a relationship and we tend to focus more on the don’ts because there are these idealized notions about a perfect relationship? Sure, certain things are indeed toxic for any relationship but then, there are certain self-perceived toxicities which need to be dealt with correctly and they will turn out to be the strength of your relationship.
However, for this to work, you need to let go of the idea of a perfect relationship as viewed by everybody else considering how you are unique and so is your relationship. So, while you go through these six habits you might think are toxic, notice if you have any of them and try overcoming them.
1. Solving every conflict isn’t a must
You probably wouldn’t have heard of John Gottman but he is considered like the Michael Jordan of relationship research – he has been in this field for 40 years! During all these years and his studies of numerous partners, he discovered that most happily married couples in longer time periods tend to have tenacious unresolved issues while those who are unsuccessful are likely to attempt to resolve every single conflict that arises!
Bottom line – it is totally okay to disagree and to embrace the disagreement is the key to a happy, long-term relationship. We all have our differences and coming to terms with them is how you survive. You might not like something and your significant other does, accept your likeness and their dislikeness probably for the rest of your life! Certain issues and conflicts are best when left unresolved.
2. Being willing to hurt each others feelings
If you have been in a relationship or observed any relationship upclose, you probably have felt the need there is to constantly say good things about the other person. It is almost as if the other person is perfect – which they probably are for their significant other but it doesn’t mean that there will never be anything they don’t like. Take, for example, your other half changes their hair to please you but you don’t like it at all and you say you do simply because you are afraid it would hurt their feelings.
Remember, honesty goes a long way in any relationship and you do not want to say things you do not mean. Therefore, you have got to be willing to admit and say things you know would upset the other. After all, that is how you grow and become a better version of yourself.
3. Being willing to end it
You would have probably known someone who stays in an abusive relationship merely because they aren’t ready to end it – they don’t seem to make their way out because of these notions about successful relationships. We think that a relationship is an utter failure because it ended and someone’s not dead – we hold the view that it will only be successful if we continue it in the face of adversities. Sure, it is true but to an extent only. You should be able to gauge when to exit: it is the point where you relationship starts becoming actually toxic. If you are keen enough to end it when the time is right, you are likely to grow strong in the bond you share with your partner.
4. Accepting the feelings of attraction for someone outside the relationship
We have this common misconception that if you are in a relationship, you automatically aren’t supposed to feel anything for anyone outside of it but is it really logical or practical? Of course, it is neither! Being human, it is totally okay to feel attracted to someone who isn’t your partner and it doesn’t mean you do not love them enough – it simply means you are human! Liking someone else isn’t the problem, treating it as a treason and suppressing those feeling out of guilt and fear is problematic. Instead, you should be embracing those feelings and let them go. Holding onto them, trying to subdue them will only give them power over you which might ultimately make you succumb – that’s where it gets ugly.
5. Appreciating the time apart
Often does it happen that being in a relationship consumes you – you start spending all of your time with your partner and invest lesser and lesser in activities you were priorly engaging in. It is fair to say that you start losing yourself because you give up everything which makes you, you! Hence, if you want to enjoy a long term relationship, it is vital you two spend some time apart without feeling the need to be with one another all the time. After all, you can bear only so much of anyone! You need to assert your independence, indulge in hobbies and interests that define you, spend some time with your friends and just be yourself for a while!
6. Accepting your partner’s flaws
Sure, there are romanticised ideas about a perfect partner and we are always looking for those qualities in our partner. What we can’t see through are their imperfectly perfect uniqueness. In real world, no one is actually perfect – even the most perfect of the person is lacking something. Therefore, often we try changing our partner in an attempt to get them perfect. What we don’t realize is that they are already perfect and us tempering with their individuality might cost us more than it will cost them.
Strength comes from accepting these flaws in your partner and appreciating them for forming an integral part of someone you call yours. That is where true intimacy lies. You don’t have to make the other feel bad but allow them to feel comfortable in their own skin.