Every relationship has its ups and downs. Every couple argues. For many of us, it’s clear when a relationship has run its course. But there seem to be many couples who view every argument as a reason to end their relationship--although they manage to get back together once they’ve cooled off.
Many couples use texting as a way to communicate and social media to air both grievances and good tidings. I’m not saying that communicating by text can’t play a role in a relationship, but it lends itself to being easily misconstrued. And social media is most definitely not the place to make rash announcements about your relationship status, no matter how upset or angry you are at the moment.
Every relationship will encounter its tough situations, dilemmas and issues, but not every disagreement has to spell the end, and not every problem is insurmountable.
When tempers flare, our ability to think clearly, empathize, and resolve problems is dramatically diminished. Discussions are far more likely to be productive and disagreements resolved when both people are calm enough to be open to hearing the other person’s perspective, and to express their own concerns without casting blame.
Below are eight issues that often cause conflict or uncertainty in relationships, yet don’t necessarily mean that you and your partner should call it quits.
1. You’ve had a big fight
Even the most solid partners have their quarrels. A fight doesn’t necessarily indicate that the relationship is over. It’s important to use these disagreements as opportunities to gain better understanding and insight into each other rather than seeing them as a sign of a doomed relationship.
2. Your and your partner don’t like the same things
It’s perfectly acceptable – and healthy – for each of you to have your own likes and interests, as well as those you enjoy doing as a couple. This offers the ideal balance of togetherness and individuality.
3. You or your partner find other people attractive
Physically attractive people are everywhere, and it is natural for each of you to take notice. However, you need to work on curtailing your jealousy, ensuring that you don’t make your significant other feel insecure. In a solid, committed relationship, partners are not oblivious to external influences. They are, however, mature enough to know that acting on a sudden desire is not in the best interest of their relationship.
4. Your relationship takes a lot of time and effort
Just as with everything else important in life, relationships take work. We need to make them a priority, and not just assume that they will run by themselves. Have a discussion with your spouse or partner about what works for your relationship when it comes to the inevitable balancing factor.
5. Letting insignificant things get in the way
We often start to focus on the little things our partner does that we don’t like. Just because he or she always talks during your favorite show, that is minor. Instead, focus on the big picture and all the positive things you do for one another. If something really bothers you, talk about it constructively, but let the pettiness go.
6. Your partner doesn’t do what you say
Although small power struggles may occur from time to time, neither of you should make unreasonable demands of the other. If you don’t like your partner going out a lot with friends, that's your issue, not theirs. It's also not a reason to break up. Instead, allow each other to be individuals. If this continues to be an issue, look at why it bothers you and focus on resolving that, versus blaming your partner.
7. The past rears its ugly head
We all have a past, and it’s inevitable that our prior experiences will impact us. But they don’t, and shouldn’t, define your current (or future) relationship. We shouldn’t hold our partner’s past against them, nor should we continue to carry around our own baggage. Use these experiences as lessons to make wiser choices moving forward and break habits that didn’t serve you well, rather than being a reason to end your relationship.
8. You are not always happy in your relationship
A relationship is not the answer to everything. Your partner can’t MAKE you happy, and your relationship, no matter how wonderful, can’t fulfill you completely. It may not be time to throw in the towel just because you’re not happy. Look at why you're unhappy, and change it. Although our partner offers love and support, we are each responsible for ourselves and our own happiness.
Of course, there are numerous valid reasons to end a relationship, but the points listed above can be resolved, and are not good reasons to call it quits. By taking time to cool down, have productive, calm discussions and take responsibility for ourselves--while allowing our partners to do the same--our relationship will become stronger than ever.