One of the greatest human pitfalls is our expectation for things to be perfect and to stay that way. We base much of our lives by way of comparison, leading us to experience disappointments with our lives. There’s a saying that everything looks perfect from far away. This is the ultimate reality of relationships, and the lives of people in a general sense. When we see the life of someone else, we’re only seeing it from a far-away distance and on a superficial/surface level. Facebook is a perfect example of how we tend to view the lives of others. We tend to see only what is being revealed to us, paired with our personal beliefs and biases that we add to our personal experience. We see someone’s “profile”, revealing the best pictures of this person, the best situations happening in their lives, and their greatest supporters or friends and family that comment on their life status. It’s either this or the other extreme where someone uses their Facebook account to complain about their life, but still, we’re being shown only what the person wants us to see about them.
Many of us don’t want to work toward keeping a relationship strong, although this is a requirement for any lasting relationship, whether it is only a friendship or a marriage. There are going to be times when things become stressful in your relationship, but how you handle the stress and how you treat your partner as a result will ultimately create the level of strength in your relationship. As mentioned in a prior tip, the APA has researched ways to make a marriage work, but these require effort from BOTH people, and will not simply happen on their own.
We need to realize that as imperfect beings, we cannot have perfect relationships. Communicate openly and honestly about the things that bother you in the relationship and be committed to working on those things with your partner, opposed to simply expecting your partner to magically change overnight. If things are getting old or boring in the relationship, try something new, instead of waiting for your partner to do something or going to someone else for excitement. Get creative, be compassionate, keep your love for your partner in mind, and be realistic about the imperfect and ever-changing nature of reality.