Fiona's Blog: Why don’t I have the perfect relationship and why is it okay?
The age-old dilemma. You’ve been in a relationship with somebody for a while now, and suddenly things just aren’t as perfect as they were in the beginning. You start to notice all their little annoying quirks, you begin bickering over little things and you start to wonder, “What the hell have I got myself into??”.
First of all, I want to assure you this is perfectly normal. Almost every couple I know has gone through this stage. You come out of the honeymoon phase and it feels like the rose-tinted glasses that made everything look to amazing have been ripped off your face and you are pushed into the cruel reality of who you are dating. But really, though it can seem so fast and brutal, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Usually this means you are both getting comfortable around each other, you don’t feel the need to put on a show. They aren’t getting dressed up anymore for every date? Great that means they feel they can truly be themselves around you, and isn’t that an amazing feeling?
The truth is, love is not perfect, and it never will be. You will never find somebody who ticks every single box, never fights and always has exactly the same opinion as you. And good, because that would be so boring! I love having discussions with my partner about politics and everything going on in the world, and when our opinions differ slightly, it only makes for a more interesting conversation (as long as everyone involved is staying civil of course).
Arguing is bound to happen at one point or another, because we as humans (unfortunately) can’t read minds, and sooner or later something is bound to happen that upsets one of the people in the relationship. We aren’t all amazing communicators who know exactly what to say. As long as the argument doesn’t escalate, nobody is getting hurt and it can be resolved, then I really believe that it can be healthy to argue with your partner every now and then and it definitely isn’t an absolute tell-tale sign that you should break up immediately. In fact, a healthy disagreement can be a sign of trust, as you both know you are in it for the long haul and don’t think bringing something minor up will cause a breakup or massive fight!
People need to learn how to communicate their wants and needs more effectively, in a less defensive manner, the rest will follow. Don’t bring up past fights purely for a mean dig, but also don’t beat yourself up for having a fight every now and then.
In the age of social media it is so easy to compare yourselves to others. Everybody seemingly has the perfect relationship you are seeking, and you begin to believe maybe you and your partner aren’t supposed to be together. But just because Jenny’s boyfriend brings her flowers every day or Vickie’s girlfriend buys her lots of expensive trips, doesn’t mean their relationship is perfect. Everybody has flaws, everybody has fights and nobody can get everything right. We as humans are not perfect, life is not black and white. But we can love each other and learn from each other and have the most perfectly imperfect relationships that we can.
Below are some resources for understanding unhealthy or abusive relationships, as well as some signs of healthy relationships. If you do believe your relationship is becoming abusive or unhealthy, please reach out to somebody, you can also call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, remember: abuse is not always physical.
Women’s Aid has recently launched the website LoveRespect, which is all about healthy vs unhealthy relationships.
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