You’re in the perfect relationship… except you’re not. Something about the two of you has just felt off lately. You can’t quite place it—it SEEMS like you guys are getting along great and communicating, but you’re obviously not based on some of the arguments you’ve had recently. And there’s the uncomfortable foggy tension that sets in once in awhile that you can’t totally explain.
Well, you wanna know what? It might be you. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Everyone can be a shitty boyfriend/girlfriend sometimes; it’s nothing that can’t be fixed if you’re willing to give yourself and your relationship a long, honest look. If you find that several of the below things ring true in your current relationship, it’s time to come clean to yourself and your partner and remedy the following issues as you see fit. Even if it ultimately means stepping away for the time being and returning when you’re a little less mental.
1. EVERY FIGHT ENDS WITH YOU IN TEARS
There’s a disconnect and it’s not because your spesh someone is an emotionless asshole. Maybe it’s in the way you process information. It could be more about where you keep and how you communicate your expectations. There’s also a chance that you two are just on totally different pages in general and a poor fit. No matter what it is, if you walk away from the majority of your fights in hysterics while your lady or dude just sits there like, “Wait, I thought we were having fun watching Dateline…”, you’re not communicating properly. You’re way more worked up than you need to be. And while all of the things that lead to you feeling driven to this state of sadness aren’t totally your fault, you setting up camp there is.
2. EVERYTHING THEY DO IS STARTING TO DRIVE YOU NUTS
That’s your fucking problem. Maybe you’ve gotten through the part of the relationship where everyone’s on their best behavior and keeping all of their odd little hobbies and quirks to themselves, but it’s on YOU to accept your partner for who they are. Or let them go. Either your tolerance for another human existing within 100 yards of you has decreased or you just don’t like who this person is at their core. It’s still you. If you can’t wholeheartedly appreciate (I didn’t say love/get involved with) all of a person’s different colors, then they’re probably not meant for you.
3. ALL OF HIS/HER FRIENDS HATE YOU
Herd mentality aside, it’s highly unlikely that an entire group of people would just randomly despise you. You can put a certain amount of blame on your partner for unnecessarily trash talking you to them during your harder times, but most people can see through a couple’s random bullshit and recognize that you aren’t 100% of the problem. Unless you are.
4. YOU MAKE MORE MONEY THAN THEY DO
Any time one person in the couple is making more money than the other can be problematic. It sucks to feel like you can’t keep up with your partner financially and it sucks to feel like your freedom is limited to the confines of their bank account. When you make less money than your partner, it’s your job to continue to do you and graciously accept the fact that you’re not the one footing the bills for all the fun times. And when you make more money, it’s your job to be KEENLY AWARE of the fact that your partner is under an enormous amount of stress. It’s a stifling, all-consuming stress that’s built in to us as mammals that desire survival. Make sure that you take plenty of time to verbally remind them that their emotional contributions to the relationship are just as important as your financial support.
5. YOU WAIT UNTIL IT’S ALL OVER TO SAY YOU HATED IT THE WHOLE TIME
You’ve probably been in the reverse situation yourself and never stopped to put your finger on it. You’re driving home from a long day at the beach with your friends and boyfriend and you’re all amped on life and talking about what a great day it was. Then… nothing. Silence. Crickets. You ask your boyfriend what’s wrong—didn’t he have a good day too? Then he tells you his bizarro world version of events, telling you that something that happened in the first fifteen minutes of the day pissed him the fuck off and he’s been holding on to it all day long. Even when you guys were in the canoe having what you thought was a fantastic time, he was fuming. This confuses you because you thought you two were laughing and bonding and doing all of the things you’re supposed to do at a summertime day function but YOU WERE SECRETLY HANGING OUT WITH SOMEONE WHO CURRENTLY HATES YOUR GUTS. BIG TIME! And all of that could have been cleared up on the hour long car ride out to Malibu or when you two walked off to wash your feet with the public hose. And now the day you thought was so freakin’ great was all just some sort of ruse! So ask yourself—“Is this the kind of bullshit that I pull? Would I rather be silent and punishing than set my partner and myself up for the win of a great day at the beach?” If you answer yes, then it’s probably time to check back in with your therapist about some of the anger management and abandonment issues you’ve been working on.