Why Relationships Rarely Last

We’ve all been struck by cupid’s bow at some point. But not all of us are blessed to get it right during the first few attempts. The lucky ones chance upon their SO (Significant Other) fast in life and are spared from a host of failed relationships. While the not-so-lucky ones race through a gamut of romantic escapades, clueless about what it takes to avoid the vicious cycle of break ups.

However, it’s not sheer luck alone that sustains healthy relationships. It’s a multitude of components; from the ongoing effort of understanding boundaries of attachments, to staying committed through ups and down.

1. Too Hard Too Soon

Falling in love is a beautiful and liberating affair, albeit detrimental if you fall too fast. Getting to know the other person well enough before committing to them is vital. You need to know what you’re signing yourself up for, since unlike gyms, there are no free trials in relationships.

Thanks to our raging hormones, we’re often tempted to move at a fast pace. But if you’re in the early stages of getting to know someone, taking things to the next level too quickly probably isn’t the best idea. Your ideals of how someone is like as a partner could bare a stark contrast to who they are in reality. A good friend won’t necessarily be a good boyfriend. So enjoy the present moment you have together and don’t get caught up in mindless fantasies.

2. Baggage

Your quondam relationships didn’t work out for a reason. Taking emotional baggage from them onto future ones is not only toxic for your mental health, but also be terribly unjust for your current/potential partner.

You’ll not only be riddled with self-doubt and paranoia, but also be prone to comparing your current partner to the previous one. No two people are the same; instead of harping on the traits your current boyfriend doesn’t have, think about the ones he possess and be appreciative.

Just because your ex-boyfriend cheated on you, doesn’t mean the next guy will do the same. If you don’t give potential love interests the benefit of the doubt, you’re not giving them or yourself a fair chance.

3. Two People Shouldn’t Become One

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t remain as individuals. Your partner should be a part of your life, not all of it. Being interdependent, whilst necessary in a healthy relationship, should be practised in small doses. Your worlds should revolve alongside, not around, each other.

Recognise your aspirations and work towards them while supporting your other half with his. You can still be the woman behind your successful man without compromising your values and social life. With the right balance, you can have girly nights out and alone time with your partner without suffocating each other with overdependence. Having your own space will also give you more conversation topics when you get together.

4. The “I Can Do Better” Mentality

Many of us are guilty of this. When arguments arise, we might think—‘maybe I can do better’ or ‘I can find someone else who will treat me better’. When you think that the grass is always greener on the other side, your mind and/or heart will start to wander elsewhere in search for something ‘better’.

It’s a matter of choice. If you want the relationship to succeed, it’s your decision to work through the problems you have, together. Escaping the root of the problem by looking at external sources of comfort may turn into a vicious habit. Regardless of how frustrated you are, or how close you’ve come to giving up, remember that there’ll always be a Mr. More-Perfect out there. Greed is insatiable, be careful how much you feed it.

5. Love Alone Isn’t Enough

As visceral as your love is for each other, that isn’t enough to keep a relationship afloat. Lack of communication, distrust and inability to compromise are just a few things that could tear two people apart.

Entering a relationship and assuming love is enough to sustain it is naive. There are a multitude of factors that come into play when you’re attempting to maintain a relationship—communication, trust, mutual respect, the list goes on. If love is enough, couples wouldn’t break up as fast as a Facebook status change.

Also read:

7 Couples Who Became Lovers After Being Best Friends Share Their Story

6. He’s The Only Reason You’re Happy

Having a partner should be a bonus in your life, not the answer to your happiness. You shouldn’t be relying on someone else to make you happy. Giving someone full authority to determine your happiness level is unrealistic, and destructive for your emotional health too.

If you give him the power to build the bridge in your life, he can also take it down. Be emotionally independent because you are the driver of your own happiness.

7. Ungrateful Tendencies

It’s terribly easy to get comfortable after the honeymoon phase. While there are perks, we tend to take things for granted. We let our guard down, and become complacent. That’s where things might go downhill due to self-entitlement and unmet expectations.

Be thankful for the little things your partner does. No, he’s not obliged to take you out to dinners, or go to flea markets with you every week just because he’s your boyfriend. If he takes time off to go on dates with you, be appreciative—better yet, tell him how much you value his gestures.

8. You Don’t Know What You Want

It takes time to assess who we are as individuals. Different stages in life warrants different needs and wants. This is exceptionally crucial when you are a work-in-progress; still in the midst of figuring yourself out. Getting involved with someone before determining who you are as a person isn’t wise.

What you want in a partner now could differ drastically in the near future. If you’re not certain about what you want in your SO, you may end up running in circles, undecided about who or what makes you happy.

9. Lust Ain’t Love

Decision-making doesn’t come easy when our hormones are surging. You may trick yourself into thinking you want a romantic relationship, when in fact, you’re just horny. And young. And curious. Yes there are tons of hot people around, but sexual compatibility alone won’t solve the real problems like whether you guys can ever decide where to eat for dinner.

10. We Bolt When Things Get Hard

Healthy relationships take time and effort to nurture on a constant basis; they don’t just happen. When times are difficult, we may be tempted to give up. But deciding if we should fight harder or let go can be a dilemma.

As Bob Marley said, “everyone is going to hurt you, you just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” Being supportive and physically/emotionally there for your other half when times are hard is a challenging task. But when done right, it paves the way for a strong, long-lasting relationship.

Finding The One

We’re all searching for someone to share our life with. The one person who appreciates our quirks, finds immense pleasure in making us laugh and sees perfection within our imperfections.

It might take a little more time, effort and mental strength for some to find their Mr. Right. But even if there’s a special someone out there for us, it all boils down to a matter of choice—to what extent we’re willing to work through the issues and make our partner permanent in our lives.

This article was first published on 9 December 2016 and last updated on 21 January 2024.

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