I’m a fan of documentaries about air crashes. And almost each time I watch one, I hear the phrase: “An air accident is rarely caused by just one event. Usually there are several factors, connected like links in a chain”.
Lately, I've been thinking this concept is valid not only for air crashes, but also failed relationships. Just think about it: there may be a major cause that defines the end, but the “crash” process starts long before with complaints, frustrations, white lies, insecurities and deep emotional imbalance. These are just some of the factors that put relationships in danger.
This post contains no magic formulas nor ways of avoiding drift. Instead, I simply share five mistakes I’ve made in relation to myself, while loving someone else.
1. Forgetting about your interests and hobbies. If you fear that being yourself is not enough, you run the risk of dissolving into your partner. In an effort to maintain their interest in your personality, you might convert yourself into them. Mirroring your partner is helpful in counseling sessions, but in a relationship that works, the integrity of your own soul and mind are important.
2. Reducing your communication with friends. It’s natural when you are in love to spend more time with your partner than with your friends. But, it’s quite worrying if there is no more pleasure in communication with your friends because the only thing you think about is that rush of dopamine you feel when you hear your partner's voice.
3. Doing everything in the name of a pseudo-compromise. You can still be assertive about what you want without disrupting your partner's happiness. Pretending that you don’t see the elephant in the room may transform the elephant into a lion who will tear apart the appearance of harmony.
4. Being too dependent. If there is nothing more painful than a few hours without your partner’s warmth, attention and approval, this might be a sign that you are too emotionally dependent. Don't focus all of your energy on receiving reactions from the person you love.
5. Radically changing your future dreams and plans. Life is unpredictable and even if we plan something we know that it may turn out another way. But there is nothing more awful than realizing you've lost the interest in your own dreams because you're trying to adapt to your partner's view of the world.
Someone else might tell you that if you’ll avoid disintegrating into your partner, you may have a healthy and fulfilling relationship. But I will tell you something else: don’t keep your integrity for the sake of the relationship. Do it for yourself and for your own well-being.