Have you ever wondered why perfectly good relationships start off so strong but then as time passes by it begins to fizzle? Many of us can attest to calling it quits too soon only to immerse ourselves in another unfulfilling relationship. Most often than not, it can be for similar reasons and shortcomings faced in our previous relationship. We then begin to question ourselves, would things have worked out differently if we had just stuck it out and saw it through? Perhaps yes, but let us examine some of the common reasons why people give up too easily and gain some insight into what it takes to make things work before repeating the same destructive patterns.
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IT TAKES A LOT OF HARD WORK AND TIME
Oftentimes, people underestimate the amount of effort and patience that is required to build a strong foundational relationship. The moment things get tough and conflict arises, we are quick to jump to conclusions and internalize a limiting belief that we are simply incompatible with each other. Disagreements and arguments are inevitable to occur, but to abandon the relationship altogether without resolving the issue at hand does not prove to be beneficial to you or your partner in the long run. If you cannot put in the work that is required to make your relationship flourish now, what makes you think that your next relationship will be smooth sailing? I believe society is to blame for this shortcoming. Society makes us believe that if we are unhappy in a relationship then it is a tell tale sign that things were just not meant to be. Although there are exceptions to this rule and by no means do I condemn staying in toxic or abusive relationships, we must not make hasty decisions or let the opinions of others cloud our judgement. Every relationship has its own set of unique challenges. Therefore, each individual must be willing to put in the time and effort to make things work if they ever dream of building a life with another person.
THE PASSION AND EXCITEMENT HAS FIZZLED
In the early stages of any new relationship lies passion and excitement. These wonderful feelings of love are felt due to the new and stimulating experiences of getting to know one another. The chemicals in our brain that are responsible for such feelings are dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Once the relationship starts to settle in and familiarity and routine are felt, the chemicals in our mind and body start to wear off and regulate itself. The physiological and psychological changes we experience are actually considered to be quite normal. In the given moment however, our minds trick us into believing that our partner no longer loves and desires us in the same capacity as we once knew. To keep the passion alive, we must focus on creating newness, mystery and arousal which were all a part of the chase during the initial stages of courting.
YOU BOTH HAVE DIFFERENT LOVE LANGUAGES
According to Chapman, there are 5 types of emotional love languages: Acts of service, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, and receiving gifts. Acts of service is considered to be an action that is used as a way of conveying and receiving love. Physical touch attributes to affection by any form of touch including; caressing, hand holding, kissing or sex. Quality time is desired by those who express affection by giving their undivided attention to their mate. Words of affirmation convey affection verbally through spoken praise, affection and appreciation. Lastly, receiving gifts is the symbolic expression of love and affection. Although it is possible to express love with all 5 languages, we all have a specific love language that we use predominantly to show our affection towards one another. Therefore we must try to communicate with our partner in a way that resonates with them and we must practice these different languages of love to give to our partners wholeheartedly.
YOUR PERCEPTION OF LOVE IS FLAWED
If you are the type to expect nothing short of perfection, then I'll tell you right now that you're setting yourself up for heartbreak. Our perceptions of love are flawed due to what the media portrays to us. Mediums such as rom coms, social media and fairytales make us buy into the belief that love is everlasting and that romance continues to live on within these happy couples. This is actually far from the actual truth. The reason for this is due to the everyday stressors we call life! A REAL relationship is one faced with familiarity, routine, ups and downs, sacrifice and compromise. With that being said, we must not compare the success of our own relationship against those that we see on screen. We have to learn to adapt to these changes for life never remains constant at any given point in time.
YOU FOCUS ON YOUR PARTNER’S FLAWS
When the going gets tough, it is easy for us to start pointing our fingers at our partners for the things we feel are lacking in our lives. Focusing on the negatives and their differing traits can really be detrimental to your relationship and cause you to have feelings of unhappiness. Once things become familiar and routine, we fail to see the actual efforts and contributions our partner’s make and end up taking things for granted. We cannot change nor make our partners change who they are or their ways of being given the way that they were born and raised. What we can control however is ourselves and seek happiness from within by striving to be the best version of ourselves. Therefore it is eminent for us to lead a life that is full of positivity and optimism and hold onto the belief that things will get better so long as we try.
I hope my insights into why it's important to do the work within ourselves can help change the way we perceive love and relationships and aid better outcomes for everlasting love.
References: (1) lifehacker: The 5 LoveLanguages
-Featured image by @naveenkumar
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