4 Things You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty Doing In A Relationship
Have you been in love? Those butterflies in your stomach. The anticipation for the first date. Experiencing the Hotel Transylvania ‘zing’! As we dabble our way into adulthood, it is no secret that we begin to explore our romantic interests too. It is a period of breaking hearts and getting our hearts broken and if there’s luck on our side, a loving committed relationship blossoms. However, a relationship doesn’t negate the fact that we’re our own person and there are things we shouldn’t feel guilty doing in a relationship.
1. Bringing up difficult conversations that matter to you.
The truth is you are both two separate individuals who were brought up in different circumstances and have had different life experiences. This means all of us grow up learning different coping mechanisms and ways to navigate discomfort or conflict. A type of coping mechanism that many may possess is avoidant coping. In her article, Elizabeth Scott, MS, a wellness coach, health education and author describes avoidant coping as ‘trying to avoid stressors rather than dealing with them’.
This in relationships can manifest in the form of avoiding confrontations of any sort and concealing inner feelings and thoughts. Persistent avoidant coping can suppress our emotions and avoid us from standing up for ourselves. We just opt to agree with our partners instead of expressing disappointments and conflicting topics.
However, causing conflicts in a healthy manner which is to bring up difficult conversations that matter to you is vital. Not only do they allow for fruitful discussion to take place, but develop understanding and mutual respect for your partner’s needs. It’s great to practice mindful and respectful conversations with your partner that allows open communication and improved relationships.
2. Giving yourself some importance.
A relationship is about commitment to each other and many may say it is no place for any sort of selfishness. However, giving yourself some importance is actually very healthy in a relationship. You can only give what you have within, they say. If you don’t invest in your well-being, peace and love within you, the chances of you having a healthy relationship are lowered.
Thus, exercise being loving and helpful to your partner within your means and limitations. Yes, we would cross the mountains and the seas for them but only when we’re in a position to do so. Perhaps after a hectic day at work, what you would want is rest and self-care and not a movie night or cooking dinner for them. This is not something to feel guilty over as you know you’re willing to accommodate if the tables turn. Relationships are 50/50. But sometimes they’re also 60/40 or 30/70 and that’s okay.
3. Seeing yourself as your own person.
This happens a lot in relationships where partners’ separate identities become mushed together. While the process of separating ‘I’s turning into a ‘we’ could give a sense of belonging, the ‘we’ need to exist without losing the ‘me’ in it completely.
The process of losing ourselves can happen so slowly that we don’t realize it’s too late until we’re questioning who we are outside this relationship. Maybe the whole idea of “soulmates” and “other halves who complete us” are to be blamed. It teaches us we’re incomplete and not whole without a special someone that gives way to losing ourselves in relationships.
Thus, don’t feel guilty for allowing space for individuality. Space for individuality can extend into many aspects of our life; from communication, interests, to a circle of friends. Even when we communicate with our partners, we can spend some time talking only about ourselves and our “stuff” instead of just the relationship. We are allowed to have our own hobbies and interests that we don’t share with our partners. We should also give the same space for our partners to do the same; to exist independent of us.
4. Having hopes for the future and still being a realist.
Ideally, many of us have an idea of a happily ever after in our heads (I’d like to blame Disney). We don’t want to be a part of this whole dating game. We want to be in a loving, committed, long-lasting relationship that ends in marriage. It’s great if that happens, but what if it doesn’t?
The truth is every relationship might not end up in a way we see fit or hope for. Sometimes, life just happens or people fall out of love. Right person, wrong timing is a very real thing. It is okay to have hopes for the future while knowing there is a chance we might not end up together with them. We shouldn’t be pressured to feel like a bad person/girlfriend/boyfriend for not being completely immersed in the idea of happily ever after. Instead, it’s alright to focus on the present and do everything we can to make a healthy relationship last.
Being in a relationship with someone could be a very beautiful experience. But for the beauty to remain beyond the honeymoon period it needs hard work as well as honest communication. What may and may not suit our relationships can differ from couple to couple. But they shouldn’t in any way make you feel guilty for having difficult conversations, giving yourself importance, being your own person and being a realist with hopes