Being in a romantic relationship that doesn’t feel quite right, but isn’t terrible, is a predicament. In some ways, it may feel too good to leave…but in other ways, not good enough to stay.
So what do you do in this situation? If you stay and things remain the same, there may always be underlying discontent that keeps you from having the relationship you truly desire.
But if you go, you might feel like you’re losing something valuable and may never find something better. Not an easy place to be, is it?! But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.
Within any relationship, and especially a romantic relationship, we often create patterns of behavior that others depend on. And patterns are great…when they’re healthy…such as patterns of honesty, respect, consistency, mutual compromise, etc.
Of course we want to feel like we can depend on our partner! This is one of the many blessings of a healthy romantic relationship.
However, we also want to grow and change in our lives so that we feel purposeful and fulfilled. If nothing ever changed, we wouldn’t progress.
The “problem” with growing and changing is that, in order to do so, old patterns need to broken. And when old patterns are interrupted, the people in our lives who have come to rely upon them may not be supportive or receptive to change.
Here’s a simple example: Let’s imagine that you and your partner have been together for a long time, and you have always been the one to take care of the home, make dinner, and shop for groceries. This pattern worked really well, and you were happy to do it.
Then…five, ten, fifteen years down the road, your life has changed and you have different priorities that require more of your time and energy. You now need help with taking care of the home, making dinner and shopping for groceries.
But your partner thinks…wait a second, what’s going on here? Why should I have to change my patterns just because you changed yours?
There is no fault in this situation. The person who is asking for help in a way they didn’t need before has every right to do so. And the person who is being asked to help in a way that will affect their daily routine has every right to voice their reservations.
In a healthy relationship, both partners can come together to work out a plan in which both people willingly accept the outcome. It may not be a ‘perfect plan’ for either, but it can at least be a plan in which both parties choose to cooperate for the benefit of the relationship.
But if you and/or your partner approach a problem with the intention of ‘getting your way’ and aren’t willing to negotiate for the benefit of both parties, that’s a sign of an unhealthy partnership.
When established patterns of behavior are being challenged by one person, but not by the other, you may hear things like, “you’re not being yourself” or “this is totally out of character for you”, which may cause you to start questioning yourself or feel guilty.
At this point, you can either decide to comply with how others think you should be, or honor who you are becoming and be willing to let others be uncomfortable with that.
Yes, you may be losing something good (the harmony from an old pattern that used to work), but you may gain something even better (permission to be who you really want to be)!
If your partner doesn’t support you in being who you really want to be, it may be time to ask yourself who they really are and what this relationship means to you. You deserve to be in a healthy relationship, and you deserve to be YOU!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,
P.S. If you’d like to take advantage of a free 30-minute relationship strategy session, and receive valuable resources to help you reach your goals, contact me here. I’d love to connect with you and support you in any way I can.