Should you stay in a Relationship that is Just Comfortable?

too comfortable

Should you stay in a Relationship that is Just Comfortable?

Many of us have been there. You love someone but you aren’t in love with them. The relationship is very comfortable. There may be places where you don’t see eye-to-eye. But by and large, you have fun together, run a good household or just enjoy each other’s company. The person is perhaps a good choice for a mate. They are stable and kind. But that euphoric, weak-in-the-knees feeling has left the building. So should you stay in a relationship that is just comfortable but doesn’t give you fireworks or butterflies? There are really two schools of thought on this. The first is a very practical view. That is, stay with your partner. The reason, there are relationships and even marriages who do have that spark. Also, the candle that burns twice as bright often lasts half as long. Then a terrible breakup occurs and you are left all alone. The other scenario is one waits around forever. Instead of having the loving experiences available, one waits alone for a proposition which may never come. Why not, as the song says, love the one you’re with?

Sometimes these relationships that are comfortable used to have novelty. Kids, careers and a pileup of years have made them too comfortable. Here experts say the spark can be rekindled. One way to do so is to share novel experiences together. Travel to exotic lands, take part in exciting activities like sky diving and bungee jumping, learn a new skill together such as cooking or swing dancing or interact through a new sport such as karate or kayaking. These can reignite the spark. Another way is through reminiscing. Some relationship experts say merely having a date night can do it. This will inject some romance—you know interacting as a couple again instead of the person who takes care of a list of household duties. Then there are those who use their sexual interests to jumpstart their relationship. They may start to talk about and fulfill each person’s deep seeded fantasies, the ones they never spoke to another soul about. Some couples explore tantric sex or BDSM together to reignite that spark.

But then there is another school of thought, held by the fiercely independent who are not afraid of making it on their own. This type is perfectly happy by themselves. They won’t accept anything less than earth shattering love. If they work at it and can’t get it from their relationship then they end it, sooner or later. If the person they are dating doesn’t provide this feeling than they’d rather not be dating them. This type is generally focused on an important passion, mission, artistic pursuit, their children or career. They say if you really aren’t in love then you are just going through the motions, or else settling for a paltry mediocrity. Which interpretation is the right one? That all depends on the kind of person you are. If you are fiercely independent why not go for the love that will fill the space in your heart? See if you can reignite it with your current lover before you do something drastic. But if they cannot fulfill you why stay with them? Those who are a bit more practical and believe their relationship suits their needs should instead try and find ways to rekindle the flames. For more on this read the book, Keeping the Love You Find by Harville Hendrix.

What’s the Best Way to Breakup with a Hookup?

hookup

What’s the Best Way to Breakup with a Hookup?

Whether you are dating again after a divorce, staving off marriage, are too busy for a serious relationship or believe monogamy is antiquated system with no place in the modern world, you are immersed in the exciting albeit confusing, hookup culture.  And anyone who has spent any amount of time in it comes to a point where they have to break up with someone that they aren’t actually dating. The whole experience can feel like a double edged sword. You didn’t get the benefits of a relationship exactly but you still have to go through the worst part. Some people try to hint around as if they are all-of-a-sudden completely unavailable. But lots of people, of both genders, fail to take the hint. Of course, you may ask what the best way to breakup with a hookup is, but it all comes down to who you both are and how you relate. Do you do normal couple things but are still in the incubator stage of your relationship? Or is this a drunk dial booty call on a Friday night? Just as the punishment should fit the crime, the type of non-relationship you share with this person should determine the way you break up with them.

If you shared meals, hung out in bars or spent a significant amount of time together, this person is owed a face-to-face breakup. Just be honest with them. Sit them down and let them know that you want a plutonic relationship and still want to remain friends. If you aren’t feeling it anymore, say so. When you act like a couple the lines between hookup and relationship tend to blur. You’ll want to clear things up in a way that leaves no room for confusion. If this is the drunk hookup, let them know that it’s been fun but you just want to be friends from here on out. If you really aren’t attached a phone call might suffice, if it’s just a case of text and grind. Then there are those times where you just went out on one date and you are 100% sure the chemistry isn’t there and never will be. Just tell them so. Here perhaps over the phone might be alright as well. If you two have been hanging out a long time, or worse yet were at one time thick as thieves, this is the serious, sit-down breakup.  Perhaps they said or did something that soured you. Maybe you met someone else who flips your switch and lights you up like Las Vegas, or things just coasted into boringsville fast. Whatever the case, you have to sit this person down in a quiet, comfortable setting and explain why. Don’t let it feel like you are stomping on their heart. But they do deserve the truth. If you think they’ll make a scene, do it in a public place like a restaurant or coffee house.

Do go out of your way to let them down gently. Don’t gossip with your friends. Word does get around and then how will you look when it reaches your former hookup? If you are dropping this person, drop them. If you drunk dial them a week later and get it on, you’ll be in the same situation all over again. Erase them from your phone and email. Maybe keep them on your social media pages or else your actions may seem hurtful. Resist the urge of calling them and starting the cycle all over again, or don’t break up with them at all. Don’t dwell on the situation. Learn from this experience and integrate it into your future pursuits. Certainly even the most short-lived relationships can leave you with a good memory. Sometimes it helps to close with that memory and how you’ll cherish it. It leaves both of you feeling good. For more on traversing the harrowing landscape of love read, Sex at First Sight: Understanding the Modern Hookup by Richard E. Simmons III.

Are you Dating Someone out of Convenience?

COUPLE-BORED

Are you Dating Someone out of Convenience?

Sometimes you’re in it for love, but other times you just want someone to be there for you. Lots of times, especially in the beginning, it’s hard to tell whether it’s a relationship where you are truly into this person or if it’s all just out of convenience. There are times when you literally date someone out of convenience. But there are others when you think you are into someone but it turns out that you were in love with being in love.

During the honeymoon phase, lasting up to two years within a relationship, everything can feel amazing. But after that, when you move into the more comfortable phase, trouble can occur. This is when you really get to know each other’s idiosyncrasies. The fog of infatuation finally lifts and what you have before you is the real person whom you say you love, but who you are really just starting to get to know. The best thing to do is to take a reality check after certain milestones in the relationship. If you are just keeping this person around so you aren’t alone, then what are you really getting out of this relationship? If you feel more comfortable and they know and don’t mind, then go ahead. But if you are leading someone on, you will break their heart for no reason, and they may never forgive you.

Once you hit the three month mark, you can usually tell if this is the sort of person you can see yourself with in the future. Lots of people blow the person they are dating up, only to become deflated when that person doesn’t live up to some extremely high imaginary standard. Instead, take time to reflect now and then on their behavior, how the relationship is going and how you feel about this person in light of what has happened. Do you feel better or worse about the relationship? Are there any hang-ups you or they have that might prevent you two from being happy together long term? If so, what are they and how can they be addressed?

Evaluate what emotional baggage you and your lover bring to the table and what that means for the relationship. Can you be comfortable and open with one another? Is this a cooperative or adversarial relationship? Does this person have your back or will they abandon you at the moment of truth? If this isn’t someone who is trustworthy, don’t spend another minute with them. You need trust and mutual respect in a relationship for real and lasting love to take root. For more on this topic be sure to pick up a copy of, Real Love: The Truth about Finding Unconditional Love & Fulfilling Relationships by Greg Baer.

Why Catches Stay in Bad Relationships

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Why Catches Stay in Bad Relationships

Have you ever seen someone who was a real catch and then see their partner and wonder what in the world they were doing with that person? Most people have experienced this. There are those in bad relationships who don’t feel they can leave. Others seem to go on and on while the couple tries for the umpteenth time to make it work. The truth is there are a lot of catches who stay in bad relationships and just become complacent, but why? Turns out there are many reasons. Sometimes one partner makes more than the other. You get used to a luxurious lifestyle. The relationship or marriage is on the rocks. But you can’t leave. How can you ever live like you used to, after getting used to being a jet-setter? The truth is human beings have an emotional need for intimacy. If you love champagne and caviar more than the person who’s feeding it to you, this will always be an unhealthy relationship that if you let it, will consume you. These are silk handcuffs, a prison made of dollar bills, and even though it sounds fun for a while, sooner or later one realizes that true happiness is making a connection with one’s lover, not making a connecting flight to Barbados to try and fill an emptiness in their heart.

Some people stay together because they don’t want to hurt the children psychologically. Studies have shown however that children growing up in single parent homes grow up just as well-adjusted as those that grow up in dual parent homes. What’s more, relationship static affects children. So staying together but fighting, arguing or other strife can negatively impact children’s mental health. Children know whether their parents get along or not. So any amount of pretending isn’t good. What’s more, you model how your children will interact in terms of love. If you settle for something less and don’t pursue your happiness you are teaching them to do the same. Then there’s codependency, a problem for many couples. Having a partner there reassures lots of people. In fact, there are plenty of people who are scared of being alone. For more severe cases a spouse or partner’s inappropriate behavior gives them attention and sympathy from outsiders which would not be available without the significant other and their bad behavior.  Whether you are with someone just to be with someone, or there is something more involved you must realize that this isn’t a good reason to be in a relationship. In fact, it only perpetuates a negative cycle. You have to truly love yourself to be happy. Focus on yourself and that happiness will resonate. Find ways to overcome the problems and self-esteem issues you suffer, and ways to feel good about yourself. Remember that you deserve a healthy, happy relationship. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. For more on this topic, read Why Good People Can’t Leave Bad Relationships by Cindi Sansone-Braff.

Stop Agonizing and Break up with Him Already

breakup

Stop Agonizing and Break up with Him Already

Some women stay perpetually torn over their relationship. They know deep down inside that this isn’t the right person for them. Yet they stick with him. Why? Fear of being alone is one reason. Low self-esteem is another. But sometimes you love that person and want them to change. Or else you don’t want to let them go even though the relationship is complicated and you don’t see how it can work. But if you aren’t satisfied with your relationship stop agonizing and break up with him already. You’re not alone; so many women are on the fence in their relationships. Certainly humans are hardwired to try and stick together, not go through the pain and misery of breaking up. But there are so many worthwhile reasons to get rid of a relationship that isn’t beautiful, comforting and satisfying and looking instead for one that is. When you first start the breakup process you feel scared. But you will be surprised at the calm and tranquility that will wash over you. Bad relationships are stressful. The fact that you don’t have to deal with that stress anymore will lift a huge weight off of your shoulders. When you are committed to dealing with relationship stress like this you can become numb to it. But when you start to break up you realize suddenly how much stress the relationship has actually put on you.

In a relationship that’s going nowhere you start to feel stuck. You start to realize how a bad relationship can hold you back. Untethered and not worrying constantly can allow you to focus your energies elsewhere; work, school, kids, hobbies and pursuits. You may find that you’ve made great progress in those other areas since your time and energy was no longer focused on trying to buoy your relationship.  It may seem scary to start the proceedings for a breakup but in the end you will feel happy, and proud that you overcame a bad situation and pursued your own happiness instead of staying stuck in the wrong place going nowhere. You will learn lessons and grow wiser and stronger because of it. Everyone deserves to have a relationship that is sincere, direct, nurturing and filled with closeness and intimacy. If that isn’t what you have and it isn’t working tell him bye-bye. Because when you do finally find that relationship that gives you all that, you’ll feel silly, wondering why on earth you stayed with someone who didn’t make you happy, and who you didn’t make happy. Don’t judge yourself for waiting. But the longer you do wait the more entrenched this relationship is going to be. Once you have gotten rid of this relationship your healing process can begin, and the transformation into a whole new you, a whole new life. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum.