Note: The following are some of the personals experiences and observations that I’ve made of many couples (and former couples). They do not, in any way, represent a single person or a group of people.
When is it love? When is it overwhelming? When do our actions, words, demands and emotions become too much for our partners to bear? When and where do we draw the line between being lovingly affectionate and just darn ole’ suffocating? When is it being trusting and when is it being taken for a ride? When is it being demanding and when is it being a doormat?
By the way, I was referring more to dating couples, ya? Do take note that a lot of the observations below go hand in hand with a lot of other factors. A relationship is not just about one factor but about interwoven connecting equations. In other words, if you think your partner is an ass just because he/she is shy around your friends, it’s hardly a good excuse to dump him/her.
So on with it…in my humble opinion…
1. It is suffocating for the other person when:
- You call your partner every waking minute of the day demanding 1) where he/she is, 2) who he/she is with and 3) what he/she is doing.
- You get all clingy by wanting to go everywhere with him/her.
- You write mushy emails with lines like “I wish I could give up all I have just to be with you right now” EVERY DAY.
- You always bitch about his/her friends and tell him/her “YOU CAN’T SEE THEM when I’m not around.”
A relationship is about TWO people; that means TWO very separate and individual lives. Going out with someone doesn’t mean you merge and become one with that person. It just means incorporating that person into your life. You still need to have friends of your own, connection with your family and a productive environment at work. You should always have your own space to continue growing as an individual because you know what? That’s why your partner fell in love with you in the first place – because you are who you are and not a mirror-image of anyone.
2. It becomes demanding and in the end, tiresome when:
- He/She is tired, had a long day and you insist on having it done your way, eg go out clubbing, etc.
- He/She thinks of you, gets you a little something and you throw a tantrum because it’s not what you want/like.
- You dictate how your partner should talk, act and dress the way you want him/her to.
- You set schedules and demand that your partner carries out his/her life around it.
- You ask for a phone call every half a day, a visit every day and this and that.
Always always be considerate and appreciative. Being a relationship doesn’t mean that your partner becomes beholden to your every whim and fancy. It doesn’t mean that your partner is obligated to put up with your flaws and moody behaviour even though they know about it. Patience has its limits and when people are tired of being mistreated, unappreciated and prodded around (people aren’t cattle or computer games either), all they have to do is walk out. It is just as easy as that.
3. It is inconsiderate when:
- You complain about your partner not opening up and when he/she does, you ignore them.
- You get physically affectionate with other people in front of your partner and tells your partner off for being jealous YET when your partner does the same to you, you demand the right to be jealous.
- You want it your way all the time. And that includes getting you stuff that you don’t need or is over the top in terms of price.
Not only are you being inconsiderate, in some instances, you stand a chance of coming across as rude too. Your partner is another human being with needs, desires, emotions and a brain as well. If it is so hard to be considerate towards another human being, then why be in a relationship – which demands some level of consideration, tact and diplomacy being accorded to an individual?
4. It is being a doormat when:
- Your needs are completely ignored and thus, you are the one who has to do the comprimising all the time.
- When you have to constantly apologise for his/her faults.
- When you are belittled for sticking up for yourself and bullied into believing that your partner is 100% sure about you and your flaws.
If you feel that you’re getting the shorter end of the deal, SAY something. A relationship is also about you, your needs and your desires (contrast this to being too demanding). A relationship is making an effort to let someone completely different from you into your life without having to give up what makes essentially you. The moment you let yourself apologise for another person’s errors, let your partner belittle you, you are giving up what is essentially you – your pride and self-esteem. Trust me, those aren’t endearing qualities and neither are they healthy in a relationship.
5. It is being taken for a ride when:
- Your partner makes you pay for every single thing without OFFERING to help ease off the expenses.
- Your future (career or education) is at stake for the mistakes that your partner made.
- When you decide to give your partner everything (like car, house, money for no apparent reason) without covering your own back first.
As a boyfriend/girlfriend, you are under no obligation whatsoever to pay for your partner’s expenses. You are not married to each other, even though you think you may be, and thus am not bound by law or moral obligation to assist your partner in EVERYTHING. Yes, you can help once in a while but it wouldn’t hurt for your partner to pull up their own socks and help themselves. Besides, if you start now, what sort of lesson are you trying to teach your partner? Be dependent on others for everything OR ask help only when is needed? If you must loan money or buy this or that for your partner, weigh the pros and cons first AND always cover your own arse. Don’t be an idiot and buy a car for your gf/bf and put their name on it ALONE.
It is not easy being in a relationship – a lot of us can attest to that. It is even harder to draw the line BUT if you AND your partner can find that fine thread of balance, you’ll stand the chance of tasting what a really meaningful and positive relationship can be like.