Whenever we divulge down the romantic path of love in relationships, it seems as though we are always guilty of one, big thing. The one thing that everyone does, whether they want to admit it or not, is the one thing that can completely destroy your relationship altogether. No matter how much you love your SO, how much you care for them and how happy you are – when you keep on doing this – you are destined to fail.
So, what is this big, scary monster that can destroy our happiness and bliss?
Comparing your relationship to anyone else’s.
Everyone is guilty of doing this – if you claim that you don’t, you know that you’re just lying to yourself so save it. With everyone constantly oversharing their love life on social media and constantly word-vomitting all over us with how “incredible” their partner is and how “amazing” their relationship has been – it’s almost impossible for us to not pin our relationship against theirs. It’s human nature.
But, psychological studies find that comparing your partner to someone else’s partner – say your friends’ SO – can be the key source of stress and conflict within your relationship.
You can be perfectly happy with your SO, but, the minute you feel as though someone else’s partner is delivering more in that relationship than your own partner does, you subconsciously feel as though your SO is slacking. The reality is, your partner may not be slacking at all, but now you feel as though they aren’t putting in the work you deserve just because someone else is doing it in their own relationship.
The truth of the matter is, every relationship is completely different. Every couple has their own “relationship timeline.” Some may be working at lightening speeds while others take their sweet time – neither of which are horrible. Just because someone decides to get engaged after five months of dating doesn’t mean your partner should be getting down on one knee tomorrow.
You can’t compare every aspect of your love life with someone else’s. It’s important to remember that many of times, you’re not seeing the full picture. People love to overshare their happiness and bliss, but neglect to promote any problems or bumps in the road with others. Why? Because they want to promote the idea that their life is “amazing,” “incredible,” and “simply the best.” Sure, Sally may share five pictures of the brand new necklace that her boyfriend got her, but she’s not going to share the texts from the latest fight they had.
It’s also important to remember that everyone shows love and affection in different ways. Your friends’ SO may shower them with gifts constantly because that is how they decide to show their love. Your SO may not do the same, but they may show you love in other ways – calling every night, showing up for you when it matters, making sure you’re always supported and reminded they’re there. These things are important, as well – if not more important than the materialism.
It’s true that every single relationship has problems – there is no such thing as “perfect.” So, when you’re busy comparing your partner to everyone else’s, you’re devaluing everything your SO brings to the table. It’s unfair, it’s selfish and it’s disrespectful to the love you have for your partner. In turn, it devalues your relationship entirely. You may be completely happy in your current relationship, but, when you start to compare it to everyone else’s, you set yourself up for complete and utter failure.
You begin to doubt and question everything you once felt. Why? Because of outside sources that have nothing to do with your relationship at all.
Overtime, you’ll end up sabotaging something that could have once been healthy and functioning – but now, has become flawed and broken.
Focus on where you are in your own relationship and what makes you happy – in time, it will pay off more so than not.