Relationship Burnout: How to Recognize and Overcome it

Relationship Burnout: How to Recognize and Overcome it

When you burn out, you are completely drained. You no longer have the energy, strength, or motivation to move on. Caring has been pummeled out of you. Now, you just want to rest. Nothing can be more fulfilling than a happy relationship. But when one is going off the rails, nothing can be more painful, or exhausting.

We usually recognize the signs of burnout at work. Some savvy coworkers at a bad job can even tell who will have an awkward episode, who will make a scene, and who will leave quietly after they become incompatible with their job. Sometimes it comes out of the blue for everyone. A coworker just up and moves to Colorado and begins making handmade furniture. But the signs of relationship burnout, though similar can be harder to spot. In the work sphere long hours, hard work, and little return for a sustained period often result in burnout. In your love life, if you feel you have worked so hard and gotten nowhere, and your toil and energy have been met with little progress, the same result occurs. When you have tried and tried, and meet nothing but a wall each time, it is time to move on. But we are too close to that wall we fail to see the writing on it. We get stuck in how we remember our relationship back in the happy days that we forget to face facts, and see it for what it is today.

Though all relationships have their ups and downs, if you feel there is no way to get back on the upward track, you are experiencing relationship burnout. But for many, the alternatives scare them into not leaving. Some are fearful of the dating scene. They think they have been out of it for too long, or they just have no enthusiasm for it. This relationship has left a bad taste. People with relationship burnout have no optimism toward their love life. They have no gitty anticipation at finding a new, better suited mate. Those who are experiencing this particular kind of burnout often feel drained emotionally. They don’t laugh as hard at jokes, and are not as moved by inspirational speeches. They have spent all their emotional capital fighting the battle of their relationship, and in other realms in life have none to spend. Flashbacks of negative scenes with you and your partner play in your head as if a film on a loop, until you cannot stand it anymore. It is the stressors of the day and fights with your partner you remember most. That’s when the world between your ears becomes a loathsome place to reside, an emotional prison.

If you are a complete pessimist about love, you are probably experiencing burnout. It may be time to talk about splitting up from your partner, or at least spending time apart. Once it is over, give yourself time to relax, recharge, and reflect. What did you learn from this relationship? Are you ready to move on? Keep asking those questions until you have positive answers for them. Now is the time to reinvest in yourself. Get the negative emotions out of your system. Start to date again only when you feel comfortable. Don’t feel guilty about where you are with someone who is interested in you and you aren’t interested. If you are with someone worth your time, tell them up front, you just got out of a bad relationship and what that means. Whether you aren’t ready to date yet, or aren’t ready to get serious. Do not feel pressured to have someone in your life. But do not be scared of it either. Trust your senses and yourself. You will know when you are ready. Get in touch with your inner light and search for your authentic self. Pursue your interests and passions. When your life and your heart are ready, you will be able to have the kind of relationship you can feel good about.

When you have been by yourself for long enough and are ready to try again read, Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships by Kira Asatryan.

Do Age Gaps Matter?

olderboys

Are you interested in or dating someone who is much older or younger than you? Of course, when we are young age gaps matter significantly. Enormous changes take place in our teens and early twenties. But after that, as development slows, the gap tends to shorten. One issue that may occur is knowing that an older spouse or significant other is likely to pass away first (huffingtonpost). But is this any reason to stay apart? None of us know when our time is up. Another consideration is whether or not you want to have children. Someone who is far older may be past their prime, or may not want to have children who will still be young when they are far older. This can be a stumbling block for any couple, as many people do not want children at all today, no matter what age they are, or are limiting the amount of children desired to one or two due to the enormous financial burden children, and down the line college tuition, puts on a family. Many couples who have a large age gap are in happy, well adjusted, monogamous relationships and couldn’t be happier.

Some women believe when they date an older man that he is only interested in her because of her youth. But this is often not the case. How he treats her, the things he says and does and how they interact can be an indication of this. Of course, the whole cougar thing exists as well. So guys have to watch out for this scenario today too. Dating someone older can give you access to their experience, knowledge and skills. Some people love to learn new things from their partners and feel they can learn more from someone older and more experienced. Others love to lead and teach their significant other, and dating someone younger provides this ability. Of course, all relationships have their problems, and an age gap does not eliminate them. In fact, a large age gap can cause problems in one person’s family or the others. However, just like any other relationship woe, this can be overcome with patience, commitment and showing the family how much the couple cares about one another.

“All heart and no brain — useless. All brain and no heart — dangerous.” – H.H. the Dalai Lama

wisdom and compassion

In life there needs to be a balance of heart and mind, although people tend to lean more heavily in one direction than the other.  When people refer to the brain, we typically think of rational thinking and a cold attitude, while with matters of the heart, we typically think of emotions and warmth.  In order to make wise decisions that we won’t later regret, we need to find a healthy balance of our emotions and our rational thinking.  Another way to describe this has been documented by various spiritual and religious teachings as balancing wisdom with compassion.

In some Buddhist teachings, compassion and wisdom are said to be like the wings of a bird; you need both to travel smoothly through life.  This concept is important for those going through a difficult time such as a divorce because it’s so easy to take one side or the other; either being overly cold and rational or overly heated and emotional.  You must use the wisdom you have gained throughout your life to see clearly what needs to be done in difficult moments, but also have the emotional capacity to consider the feelings of others before making decisions.  Without compassion, people make what they think are logical or “smart” decisions and hurt others in the process.  Without wisdom, people make what they feel are compassionate decisions and hurt themselves in the process.

Acting solely from your heart or your emotions fosters impulsivity and unclear thinking.  If you act based only on what you think is logical and to your own benefit, this fosters selfish rewards and alienation from others.  Both extremes ultimately lead to disappointment.  The best way to establish a healthy balance of heart and mind is to become mindful in times of difficulty to your thoughts and feelings.  You can then consider how you want to respond based on the outcomes you believe are the most desirable for yourself and for others.  If you tend to be more logical in your decision-making, practice being mindful of the people in your life and how they will potentially be affected by your decisions before committing to them. If, on the other hand, you tend to be more emotional in your decision-making, practice being more mindful of the big picture and how your life could potentially be impacted in positive or negative ways based on your emotionally-based actions.

Creating balance between wisdom and compassion takes patience and effort.  The decisions you make with this balance, however, will always lead you in a more productive and positive direction.  If you can learn to find this balance during your divorce, you’ll have acquired the strength of character to face future obstacles and to teach others how to do the same.