3 Tips for Avoiding Pain and Heartache in Your Romantic Life
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There are, unfortunately, a lot of things that can cause of misery in life — but heartbreak often does the most damage to our sense of wellbeing and our ability to look forward, optimistically, to the future.
Yet there is no heartbreak equivalent to a personal injury lawyer, and no insurance that you can take out on your emotional wellbeing. Instead, all you can do to protect yourself from a broken heart is to be careful of how you act, and to try and put your trust in the right person.
There’s never a guarantee that you won’t experience heartache, and a lot depends on the actions of the other person. But since you can do something about how you act and behave, here are some tips for avoiding unnecessary pain and heartache in your romantic life.
Realise that the thrill you feel at the start of a relationship is different from love — love is something you discover and build over time
A lot of people are constantly hopping from one partner to the next, not because they never connect with their previous partners, or because things are just unbearable, but because they are looking for the wrong thing.
It’s common that serial monogamists will stick with a partner as long as the new-relationship-thrill hangs around. But when that seems to fade, they take it as a sign that it wasn’t real love, and go looking for real love with someone else.
It’s important to understand that the thrill you feel at the start of a relationship is different from love. That thrill is part animal attraction, part the thrill of the chase, and part your own subconscious projections onto the other person.
Love is something that you discover and build over time. Love is the little comments and habits that make you melt. It’s the inside jokes, and the shoulder to cry on during tough times. It’s looking forward to waking up next to your partner.
Make sure that you’re not confusing the two things.
Be truthful and express yourself carefully — even “white lies” can sink everything
They say that honesty is the best policy, and they’re right, especially when it comes to relationships.
If you begin your relationship on a bed of untruth — even if you’re telling “white lies” you only guarantee that bigger lies will be built on top of them over time, and that the trust and health of your relationship will be seriously wounded, or destroyed, sooner or later.
Commit to being completely truthful, and express yourself carefully, instead. If your partner asks “do I do anything that annoys you?” answer gently but truthfully. It’s better than saying “no” and then spending months or years being irritated by their everyday habits, until you lash out during an argument.
Take responsibility for how you act in the relationship, don’t try and force your partner to change how they act
We might all want our partners to behave more in one way, and less in another, but the truth is that no one changes unless that change comes from within.
In your relationship, you should take responsibility for how you act — because that’s in your control.
But you should not try and force your partner to change how they act. It will not work, and it will cause tension, anger, and hurt feelings. At best you can gently ask if they’d be willing to do things differently, then leave it at that.
Ultimately, the best way to get your partner to change is usually to “be the change you want to see.” Act a certain way yourself, let the example rub off, and hope for the best.
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