What No One Tells You About Good Relationships post image

What No One Tells You About Good Relationships


A lot of us have grand ideas of what a “good relationship” with the “right man” looks like. If you’re single, you use this vision as fuel to keep you going through the lonely nights and bad dates, telling yourself that one day all the pain will be worth it, that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and he will be everything you’ve ever wanted and make you happier than you ever thought possible. If you’re in a relationship, you question if you should stay when things get rocky or problems arise. These doubts make you wonder whether he really is the man for you because aren’t you supposed to “just know” when the right one comes along? And if that is the case, then are these moments of uncertainty a sign that it’s not right?

It’s no secret that our society idealizes love. Starting at early childhood, we get inundated with idealized portrayals of eternal love. From Disney movies to Nicholas Sparks novels, we develop expectations of what love should be, how it should feel, what it should look like…and we feel disappointed when reality doesn’t quite align with that vision.

Here’s the thing that no one really tells you: good relationships don’t always feel all that good…but it’s not for the same reason bad relationships don’t feel good.

Bad relationships are the ones filled with all the drama. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. When I say “bad relationship,” I mean everything from a toxic, codependent situation, to a relationship with a man who won’t commit in a significant way, to a match that is simply incompatible.

These “bad relationships” are a great escape from real life. They give you the chance to lose yourself in someone else’s drama… or your own created drama. When you’re spending hours trying to figure out how he feels…where this is going…what he meant when he said X…why he’s taking so long to text back, you don’t really have to face yourself. You lose yourself in the emotional high of it all. It’s even better if you’re dealing with a guy who comes with a lot of emotional baggage. Investing in his problems is like a vacation from dealing with your own.

But in a good relationship…a relationship where you’re on the same page, when you aren’t waiting anxiously for the next text, a relationship where wondering if he likes you just seems ridiculous because you know exactly how he feels…well, those are the relationships that bring you face to face with who you truly are. Sometimes they will bring out the best in you, because we all have inherent goodness within us. And sometimes they will bring out the worst in you, because a lot of us have been burned or are holding on to traumas from the past that we didn’t even realize were still buried within us.

MORE: 4 Ways to Get the Relationship You Want

Sometimes there will be nothing wrong in the relationship but you will feel sad or anxious or upset. You won’t be able to blame this on the fact that he didn’t call or text or that you’re not his girlfriend or he hasn’t said “I love you” because he never leaves you hanging…he was proud to call you his girlfriend…he adores you and you know he does. The feelings aren’t coming from him, they’re coming from you. If you’ve been hurt in the past, this feeling of unease is your deep-seated trust issues. If you can’t seem to trust that he’ll be there for you, then out come the fears of abandonment.

In a good relationship, your actions, your mindset, your behavior, the things you say, etc. all impact someone else. Sometimes you will really hurt your partner and will realize how insensitive you can be. Sometimes they’ll say something innocent and it will become a huge fight because that innocent comment hit an open wound that you didn’t even know existed.

Sometimes you’ll feel unloved, sometimes you’ll feel insecure, sometimes you’ll feel angry, sometimes you’ll want to just run, and sometimes you’ll feel really lonely, and that will surprise you because how can you be lonely in the company of someone who truly loves you?

Some will make the mistake of thinking this is the wrong relationship and they’ll leave. Some will blame their partner for “making” them feel that way and issues will continue to arise until the relationship implodes, and others will realize that you can’t let love in from the outside if you don’t feel it on the inside and will do the inner work to get there, as hard as it can be. They will face their demons, they will deal with the pain from the past, they will communicate openly and honestly with their partners about their fears and their doubts and they won’t hold on to anger and resentment. They will realize that all relationships, even the best ones, take work, but it starts with working on yourself.

There’s this idea that in the right relationship, everything will just be perfect. He’ll be the other half of your soul, you’ll reach a level of happiness you never knew existed, you’ll feel secure and comfortable and confident. A good relationship can give you these things for sure, but not on its own. It has to start from within. If you don’t already feel good, if you still have issues to work through, if you have a void within, you will never fully be able to trust him, you will never truly feel “good enough.” No matter how many sweet things he says or does, you will never be able to give and receive love freely.

MORE: 5 Common Misconceptions About Love 

When we’re single, we’re often unaware of the work that needs to be done because those parts of us that are hurt and need to be healed don’t get accessed. Or maybe we do know but think the right guy will make it all better. Love forces you to face yourself. Love brings up all that is unloved within us. And you can’t hide who you are when you are in a good, loving relationship. Instead, you are forced to face it and deal with it. Your partner will always reflect back who you really are (and vice versa). And everything that happens will be much more emotionally significant.

When all you’ve had are bad relationships, it’s hard to really know what you’re doing when a good one comes along. You’re not used to this feeling of things just being right. You’re not used to just coasting along on placid waters and you can’t trust it. Instead, you stand on high alert, waiting for a storm to roll in and knock you overboard. For some of us, it might genuinely feel weird to just know how a guy feels about us and not have to guess and decode and look for clues. It can be unfamiliar and we may take that to mean something is amiss and we’re overlooking something. Maybe we pick him apart, maybe we start fights, maybe we feel despair because this isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

QUIZ: Are You Sabotaging Your Relationship? 

Someone may be perfect for you, but they still won’t be a perfect person. And you’re not a perfect person. And the relationship won’t be perfect but it will force each of you to deal with your issues and work on yourselves to be better because in the right relationship, you want to be your best self…not just for your sake, but because you’re accountable to him and you don’t want to cause him any hurt and pain. But the path to becoming your best self isn’t always a smooth one. There are bumps and sharp turns and it can be dark and scary sometimes…but it’s OK. It’s normal, in fact.

The road to becoming our best selves takes time, patience, and a lot of work. It involves gaining an awareness of what you need to work on and finding the tools to get there.

Here are a few key things you can do to make a “good” relationship even better:

… (continued – Click to keep reading What No One Tells You About Good Relationships)

7 comments… add one

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Piku

Fantastic. I identify with all you said. Thanks for helping me see through my weaknesses. I can work on them now. God bless you.

Reply February 4, 2016, 4:38 pm

Kiera

I have been in and out of a relationship for 1year 8 months with a guy who is confused on if he wants to be with me or if he wants to be single. I was his first love he is 23 and I am 26. He says he does not like commitment because he feels like he has to answer to someone and he hates it. We have been broke up for three days and he keeps calling me asking me what should he do. I am tired of him not knowing what he wants, and I don’t know what to do because I am very in love with him but this is killing me…. What should I do?

Reply January 11, 2015, 1:55 pm

Shirley

hi cleaning a long distance relationship he lives 3 hours away when were together our sex life is great and we get along really good although he’s kind of like a know it all mad upset there’s no way to get is attitude so disgusting it’s kind of like off he doesn’t text back right away but he used to how you’re moving to where he lives who knows apartment in February I hope I’m hoping this will make the relationship girl and that we get more involved with each others lif but we are both divorced and live been through a lot I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing wrong if anybody has any comments please let me know because I really want to get closer to this guy and I don’t want to annoy him by Father me mother kind of cookies very busy with work always on the computer

Reply December 24, 2014, 3:59 pm

Cati

Best. Article. Ever.

Reply December 24, 2014, 7:41 am

Chloe

Man this sounds exactly like my relationship to a “t” or however that saying goes lol! But no it does! This stuff definitely works! I started my relationship with my guy off with loads of fears and insecurities because I’ve been very hurt in past relationships and was even a victim of domestic violence… I felt an instant attraction to my man and always felt like we are very compatible. I could tell he felt the same towards me because his eyes always light up when he sees me, we talk for hours, he is always trying to be close to me, and texting me throughout the week, I could just tell!! But at first too I couldn’t understand why our relationship wasn’t working back then. I’d text him something sweet and he would take a little longer then usual to reply and I would text him a multipaged text about how he hurt my feelings by not responding and he would reply sorry I was busy doing something but I always thought no he always has his phone on him so that’s impossible! I’d constantly be getting my feelings hurt over the littlest things. I was constantly on edge just waiting to get hurt or stood up and when I participated in these negative thoughts all the time it’s like my fears would become reality… Then I found this site and at first I followed all the advice but it was more like I was just pretending to have the confidence and “playing a game” but the more I kept faking it while reading the daily emails and any article that would help the more I started truly gaining confidence and loving myself for who I am… I started acting towards my relationship with my man from a place of love and happiness instead of fear and nagginess and my relationship finally started to get better. I realized if he stayed with me through all my nastiness he must truly care and I need to start treating him better. Since my attitude adjustment I went from being stood up occasionally to hanging out with my bf every weekend and never getting stood up! I feel like now I can talk to him about anything and he is my best friend. We still haven’t put an actual title on it but he has been hinting it and I want to too but I want to be my completely best self before I do that because I think he deserves the best in the world and I want to make sure I can give that to him. I’ve also noticed now that I’m trying to change the patterns/behaviors that he didn’t like in me, he is trying to change the things I didn’t like in him. It that’s all we can do is try and we are both very appreciative for one another’s effort! Thanks guys 🙂

Reply December 23, 2014, 4:11 am

Stefanie

Sabrina, you nailed it. Thank you.This should be required reading for everyone posting on the forums.

Reply December 22, 2014, 4:01 pm

FubarMind

Omg please help me. I am that person, and I’ve been in this relationship for a full year now. My man doesn’t want to even hold my hand. We live together and at this point it feels like he just keeps me around to help him pay the bills. Seriously, where do I start? HOW do I even start to fix this? What is wrong with me? I have no friends, I had gotten rid of most them in the beganing BC he had been cheated on by his ex and lost his children due to that messed up relationship. I understood, I got rid of the men in my life, I barely talk to anyone and my femail friends drifted away (BC lord knows they have their own life and issues and my best friend has moved half way across the US). If he ever once truely cared and loved me I don’t feel it at all now. He’s just… Thoughtful. Sometimes. Like hell bring home my favorite Debby cakes every once in a blue moon. But other than that he just seems… Greedy. Like someone who was an only child and only knows how to take, take, take. Won’t hold my hand, hug, kiss me, but wants me to draw on his back, clean his nails, pluck his brows – that tyoe of thing… He’s that way sexually as well. Seriously, I’m miserable. I care about him a lot, I deal with some seriously craziness in my head in this relationship and I just really need to know where I can even start. I want this to be a relationship, not just… A roommate, who he occasionally plays video games and watch TV with. Where. Do. I. Start?

Reply September 12, 2015, 2:32 am

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