5 Ways to Hurt A Relationship

There are many effective ways to meet people these days; through friends, on internet dating sites, through clubs/sports teams, and of course through speed dating. The sheer ease and practicality of speed dating probably makes it one of the most effective – the success stories are proof of that. But what happens after you meet someone? As a disposable culture obsessed with the fairy tale endings we see in movies, we often believe a successful relationship is more about finding “the one” and everything clicking into place from that moment on. We feel that once we meet that one person, they will magically complete us and make everything wonderful. The problem is, this type of scenario isn’t based on real life, it’s based on the fantasies our media creates. In actuality, we’ll repeat the same relationship patterns until we learn to recognize them, take responsibility, and make a change. That perfect someone will be unrecognizable if you haven’t cleaned up your own act, or, you’ll find yourself in a failed relationship that should have worked yet again…

5 Ways to Hurt A Relationship

1. Being Defensive. When we’re defensive, and afraid of being wrong or admitting to our mistakes, we close the door to communication with our partner. Instead of being open to, and valuing their individual concerns, we instead react in a way which tells them they’re better off not “rocking the boat”. This is a direct contributor to resentment and prevents true intimacy. Both parties need to feel they can voice their concerns in a safe atmosphere without being attacked.

2. Avoiding True Commitment. Expressing words of love is meaningless unless we’re able to back those words up with actions. We have to be honest with ourselves when we’re in a relationship – where do we see it going? Is there a future and are we sure about being with the partner we’re with? If there’s any sort of confusion or indecision about your level of commitment, you need to figure it out. The worst thing we can do is to try to wrestle with it internally and lead someone on with our words – both parties need to be aware of the state of the relationship at all times.

3. Being Angry. Everyone gets angry, but it’s how we express it that tells of our true emotional maturity. When we lose our temper and take it out on our partner, say mean things to them that we’re unable to take back, insult them or degrade them, or threaten to leave the relationship, we are inflicting permanent damage. Lashing out at someone because we’re angry is usually a projection; something your partner says or does triggers a reaction that’s out of proportion to what’s actually going on. Figure out where your anger comes from and learn to deal with it on your own. Nothing ever gets solved through anger.

4. Being Selfish and Self-Absorbed. Are you able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and be empathetic? When they’re upset, do you feel compassion for them or do you look down on them for showing their emotions and being “weak”? Do you pay attention to your partner or does everything revolve around you? Love, in actuality, is about the joy of giving, not receiving – think about that in relation to yourself.

5. Being too Guarded or Detached. As we get older, our walls tend to get thicker and higher due to past disappointments or bad habits. Relationships are about intimacy and sharing, not about guarding yourself against possible intruders. We cannot expect our partner to read our minds either, and then punish them for not being able to. We must believe in the relationship enough to make the effort to venture outside ourselves and truly engage on an intimate level.

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