Does it feel as if you’re always the one getting hurt in relationships so that you’re on the verge of saying “no more; I’ve had enough”?
If so, you’ve probably spent a lot of time during lockdown wondering why this keeps happening and how you can stop it. Everything seems fine in the early stages and love blossoms easily – you seem to have so much in common and laugh at the same things. Suddenly, everything seems that little bit better, whether that’s when you’re stuck in a queue to pay for something, when it’s raining and grey outside or when someone irritates you at work.
But then, it seemed to change and you start pondering when that started and why did it happen.
First of all, it might not be down to you but instead about the person/people you choose.
When we’re vulnerable, it’s makes us fall harder for someone, possibly ignoring the early warning signs in a relationship that are telling us to avoid getting involved too quickly. Also, there’s the person who’s texting us every day to see how we are, what they can do for us – we can find that boring. It’s too easy – there sometimes needs to be a bit of a thrill building up to getting together. So, we choose someone with a bit of an ‘edge’, someone who seems a bit more exciting, someone that makes our hearts leap a bit.
That’s all great, but if it moves too fast, it doesn’t give us time to get to know the other person properly before committing ourselves. Also, even if you’re only in your twenties, a lot of people have what we call “baggage” – by the time people get to their fifties, it’s very unusual to meet people who haven’t got this “baggage”. However, sometimes this can be a good thing, even if it might make life more complicated. For instance, if the person has had a previous long-term relationship, most of them will have also learnt something about themselves and relationships (we hope so anyway!).
Are we actually deluded by our own fantasies? Do we sometimes look at a potential partner and not see them for who they are but who we’d like them to be? Might it be that we feel that if we love them and show them understanding, they’ll reveal that underneath they really are that person in whom we put our faith and trust? We’ll be the ones to help them understand themselves and it will all come right in the end. It’s a hard one to admit, even to ourselves.
Along the same lines is the question, why do we keep going for people who aren’t in a place to give us what we want or need? Again, is it because we feel that if we love them enough, they’ll stop doing those little things that cause us concern? That might be finding them out in a lie (what else have they kept from us?) or realising that they’ve racked up debts in the past that they’ve kept quiet about (“I was ashamed and that’s why I didn’t tell you”/”I thought I’d be able to sort it out”/ “I thought it was my business, no-one else’s”). Most of us want to be that person who changes the ‘bad boy/girl’ for the better but a lot of people don’t want to change, or don’t know how to, even though they might say otherwise at the beginning of a relationship.
So, here are a few ways to avoid things going wrong:
- Try not to spend every waking moment together – it can take away some of the magic, however desirable it seems at the time.
- Don’t drop everything and everyone else – still make time for friendships, family, hobbies and time alone otherwise it’s easy to lose your sense of self which ultimately makes you less interesting.
- Try not to be too dependent on one another for every little thing – eventually this can become a need rather than a free choice.
- Take your time and really get to know one another before you become really involved.
Hopefully, remembering all of the above, your next relationship will be the one to last so that you no longer get hurt and you can enjoy all the great things about being in love and having someone love you back.
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