Dealing with a Relationship that’s complicated

a problematic couple

Dealing with a Relationship that’s complicated

Sometimes you meet someone. Things move along smashingly well. Little problems come up and you try to accommodate them. Then more problems come up and you are trying to deal with or accommodate them more and more until you are just overwhelmed. You’re dealing with a relationship that’s complicated but you don’t even realize it, since each problem seemed to creep up slowly, all on its own. Some people are in denial about the complications in their relationship due to how emotionally attached they are to a person. The truth is that dealing with so many complications can leave you exhausted. And are both people getting equal time and energy bestowed upon them?

There are all kinds of things that can complicate a relationship. There are someone’s pet peeves coming to bare one right after another. Working through infidelity can make a relationship very complicated. Sometimes insecurities can creep in. Falling out of love, squabbling, or hurt feelings on both sides can all make a relationship difficult. Manipulation or neediness can also complicate a relationship. Once things get complicated, it can be draining, and a lot of hard work. Relationships are supposed to be fun. But if yours is weighing you down, think about whether you’ll be ending it or trying a new tactic to renew your relationship.

No problems in any relationship are solved merely by dwelling on them. Each relationship is different and brings with it different problems. However, the issues you bring to the relationship are the same. Start to realize what emotional baggage you have from past relationships or from your parents and how they affect this relationship. Does this tie in or exacerbate the complications? Next, approach your partner. Pick a good time to talk about the situation. Put your electronic devices and all other distractions to the side and invest some time into talking about the issues. Get rid of blame. Jettison shame. Talk about how you feel. Ask how your partner feels about that and start a beneficial dialogue going.

If you have too many big problems perhaps tackle a little one, celebrate that success and use the momentum to try and affect a larger problem. If the problems are too difficult, if your partner is hurting you or taking advantage of you in some way, if the patient is dead with no hope of revival, or you feel that you give and give and get nothing in return, then don’t be afraid to break up with the person. Give it your best shot. But when it’s not worth it or doesn’t feel right any more learn to walk away and cut your losses. For more advice read, Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to A Complicated Relationship by Howard J. Morris & Jenny Lee.

How does Someone Become Needy?

needy

How does Someone Become Needy?

Neediness isn’t good for a relationship. It lowers the person’s self-esteem and self-worth. It puts pressure on the relationship and ultimately pushes their lover away. The anxiety, constant worrying, the accusations or the constant need for reassurance become overbearing, robbing the other of psychic energy. A little self-doubt of course can be seen as modest and endearing. But it can become really draining to have to reassure someone time and again. Sooner or later the needy partner is seen as a liability and is cut loose. So how does someone become needy and how can they avoid it?

There are many reasons why people become needy, and a combination of reasons could be the case too. Here are some speculations. Unavailable parents, trauma, or abandonment causes neediness. There are unseen wounds that spring open when the person starts to enter into a new romantic relationship. Some people are never satisfied. The problem could be a traumatic event in their past. Or the problem could be temperament. Some things are never good enough for certain people. They have a hard time being satisfied. Development could play a role. Some people get stuck in the idealizing phase of their development, when they entered into their first romance. But they idealize love too much and fail in their adult life to be able to do the nuts and bolts of what it takes to make it work long term.

If the person acts immaturely, the problem is development. It could also be what Freud called the Unresolved Oedipus Complex. This is desiring what you can’t have. It’s like loving your parent and desiring them but knowing you can’t have them, this wanting what you can’t have and a constant inner tug-of-war destroys their relationships. These people tend to make the same mistakes in their love life over and over. Attraction to someone who is unavailable makes them more alluring to many. But it always ends in heartache. If you find yourself with this problem seek the help of a mental health professional. Work on building your self-esteem. Volunteer, do things that matter to you, count your blessings and make plans for the future. Plan goals and reach those goals. When you have a series of accomplishments you’ll feel better about yourself and feel less needy. When you feel needy, double think calling or texting that person. Put little systems in place for yourself to control your neediness. Have a good friend be your mentor and call them if you feel needy. It will improve your relationships if you practice a little bit of patience and some good judgment. For more advice read, Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Healing from Abandonment by Susan Anderson.

Advice for Dating Over 50

Seniors-Dating

Advice for Dating Over 50

If you are over 50 dating can be a whole different world. Most people are independent at this age, perhaps with adult-age children who are hopefully out of the house by now. These are the divorced empty nesters. They don’t take any guff and know exactly what they are looking for. Today, it’s much easier than in the past because of the internet. But even then sometimes there’s no one that strikes our fancy. A lot of singles in this age group don’t want to be alone but don’t want to feel as though they are settling either. It isn’t easy but a lot of people get in their own way, too. Here is some advice for those dating over 50. First, consider the law of attraction. What you focus on in your life is what you bring into your world. If you are focused on the idea that there are no good men or women left then that is the situation you will dwell in. But if you are secure and happy, entering into each situation in an open-minded and lighthearted way then perhaps the right person will find you. That’s because this newfound positivity will sooner or later attract those who are also secure, open and happy, the exact type most of us would like to date.

Consider how you feel about dating. It often fills 50-somethings with anxiety. Sometimes we just have an unlucky streak. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to put dating aside and later on try again. When you come back to it in a week or two with fresh eyes, take a look at your meeting and selection process. Consider reworking your dating profile. What does it say about you? Who does it attract? Perhaps freshen it up with a new photo, an anecdote or insight and then ask a friend their opinion on it. A lot of people at this stage are afraid. They’ve lost out in one or more serious relationships. They may be bitter or carrying baggage. Perhaps they feel as though they’ve been through the meat grinder and don’t want to do it again. This idea that there is no one of high enough quality is a projection we use to protect ourselves from certain fears about love, while also protecting our status. Here, it isn’t us that have the problem but the available dating pool. Sooner or later those that say these things start to sound like a broken record. It becomes a battle worn, thin piece of armor other minds can easily pierce. Instead, jettison excuses. Deal with whatever interworking makes you feel negative or reticent. Talk it out with someone and work toward a new perspective on your life and your love life, one that’s positive and edifying.

Dating at this age is not easy. We often run in the same circles. Start to break out. Explore new hobbies or old ones you put aside in the days of yesteryear when the demands of kids and career got in the way. Read articles and books about dating at this age. Attend singles events. Try a different website or app for meeting someone new. Pursue interests that are social through Eventbrite, Meetup, a local civic organization or a charity close to your heart. Network with friends and others to see if they know someone who is single that would be a good match. Those who are friends will have other friends who you might have things in common with. Another thing, don’t so easily cast others aside. Some people make their wants and desires in a mate so extensive that they price themselves out of the market. Everyone is imperfect. But judgment has to be set aside for an exploration of who exactly the other person is. A first date is like an initial interview. Often it tells you little of the person before you. Give it until the third date before you say no for sure. Some of the happiest couples weren’t so hot for each other when they first met. It takes time for anxiety to wane, understanding to grow and love to blossom. For more advice for those of the female persuasion pick up a copy of, The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50: 7 Steps To Attracting Quality Men by Lisa Copeland.

How do you know if you’re Just Settling?

Angry

How do you know if you’re Just Settling?

When we first get into someone there’s that tingly, rush of excitement we get down deep in the belly. We get caught in this electric net whenever we see them, or get a call or text message. But after a while a long-term relationship gets comfortable. About four or five years out experts say is when a lot of trouble begins. We all get caught up in our routines. Sometimes a relationship gets old and needs a little spicing up. At other times we are discovering our partner more deeply and with it more incongruities arise. They need to be dealt with or new channels of modes of communication are required in order to keep things moving when we get stuck on thorny issues. This can get tiresome. But then there are times when we are with someone where things don’t really fit. We put up with it because we want to be in a relationship or appreciate the person’s finer qualities, but just can’t get past this certain thing or set of things about them. So how do you know if you’re just settling or if this is a relationship that needs a little tweaking? How do you know when things need a little more work or you’re just settling?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to get away from your significant other, even if it’s just for a short time so they are not influencing you. If you can, spend time with yourself, clear your mind and try and see the relationship from another angle. Others like to talk to close friends or a mentor and get a beat on what they think. Sometimes a little insight from someone close to your heart is all you need to refresh your outlook. Then there are those people who simply draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and list the good qualities of the relationship on one side and the bad qualities on the other. Evaluate how you feel generally with this person. Are they difficult to be around? Does respect dwell here? Is this relationship fulfilling most of the time? Does it make you happy? Is it weighing you down or lifting you up? Do you see no way of bringing it back? A relationship should bring out our best, not force us to seek solitude in work or other pursuits. If you feel more comfortable away from this person than in their presence, this is your sign.

What about your habits of mind? Are you constantly saying to yourself that your relationship isn’t that bad, and citing worse ones? Have you tried and tried again without any impact? What about the other person. Have they been trying to change and to communicate better to help bridge the gaps between you? Do you think if you wait it out, someday your partner will have a clue? Wishful wanting without any clear indication from the other partner is one of the symptoms of settling. Do you feel sorry for your partner? Usually, the person we love is one we respect, even admire. It’s hard to love someone you feel sorry for. There are those who stay in bad relationships simply because they are afraid of being alone. But then they have their own issues to work out which are coming through into the relationship. Today, we don’t have to stay with someone we don’t love. There are so many options no matter what your age, deal or preferences. Women especially may be prone to the settling syndrome. According to evolutionary anthropologists, women in the Stone Age settled because they may not have had the chance to mate again, being hunter-gatherers wandering in small bands. But in the modern age we have eHarmony and Tinder. So evaluate carefully. But realize that the answer may come, as all important ones do, when you least expect it. If you do decide to go down that road after healing read, How To Get A Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back by Henry Cloud.

Why all Relationships are Valuable

BREAKUP-STRESS

Why all Relationships are Valuable

Sometimes a relationship ends and we can’t help but feel that it was all just a huge waste of time. We invested so much in the person and the relationship and now we decry the loss of all that time and energy. It’s only natural to feel this way. But if you can take a step back and look at your love life as a continuum and a progression, you’ll see that all relationships teach us something valuable. There are lots of lessons to be learned that you can apply to your new relationships. Not only can it teach us about love, but even greater than that, a breakup is one of the most useful tools for teaching us about ourselves. Any relationship, if reflected upon in the right manner, can show you areas where you need improvement. Here are some things to think about after a relationship has ended. First, reflect on what didn’t work here. What was the crux of the issue that tore you two apart? You can use it as material for reflection so that next time you will have a better shot at making things work. Now we can see more clearly what love actually is and what it should be.

You can so easily perceive now what traits you don’t want inhabiting your relationship, things that previously you were more apt to put up with. Anger, jealousy, substance abuse, neglect, an inability to communicate and more may have been at issue. If you have one or some of these issues you can work on them. Or you can work to avoid a mate who has one or many of these. Then move to refine your search and what qualities you require in a mate. You can understand more clearly what type of behavior doesn’t work well with your personality, and what you will and will not put up with. If we look closely we notice that each new relationship entered into has certain elements that are the same. Your patterns of behavior are the same or similar or you are attracted to the same type of person. We can learn from these patterns. Nothing promotes growth better than examining our behavior in a relationship and how that behavior contributed to its end. Of course it may be ultimately the other person’s fault. But it takes two to tango. It is truly a rare breakup indeed where one person is completely at fault for everything. If you cannot isolate your own negative behaviors you are doomed to repeat them.

After a relationship ends there tends to be a change in one’s self-respect. It can be shored up or degraded depending upon the outcome and what has occurred. A relationship can show you where and how to apply your self-respect. If we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, our relationship will inevitably show us that this is a poor choice, for all involved, and the relationship in total. If you allow yourself to be taken advantage of, your self-esteem degrades, the other person’s respect falls and the balance of power is knocked off kilter. It’s important that we assert ourselves. Our relationship is one place where we establish ourselves, where we negotiate, where we speak up for ourselves, show our value and learn to discuss things and talk about our needs, hopes, dreams and desires and how to fulfill them. It you are shut up and your needs and desires are not allowed to be communicated then this relationship is not for you.

Grief is never fun. But it is one of the biggest catalysts to personal growth. Throughout our lives we continually confront the cycles of beginning and ending. With love it seems particularly painful when it ends. But this cycle is no different than the others that occur in life. Loss is to be expected at the end of any relationship, whether you were sad to see it go, or relieved. We feel deeply connected with and identify with those whom we love deeply. Some people try to pull away from grief. It’s important to let yourself grieve and not paper over your feelings or pretend like everything is okay. Instead, allow yourself to grieve in a healthy way. Find someone you are close with to talk to. Do some soul searching. Make plans. Use this experience to fuel a personal transformation.  Each loss, though painful, teaches us to love ourselves more. We become more confident, mature, knowledgeable and self-aware. Remember that a relationship is a mirror. Nothing will reflect back on you or help you to see yourself more clearly like one. When we come up with a way to overcome our obstacles, we will find ourselves in the right relationship, one that is healthy and satisfying. For more help on getting back on your feet after a breakup read, Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person by Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.