Magazine article Psychology Today

Are You in the Wrong Relationship?

Magazine article Psychology Today

Are You in the Wrong Relationship?

Article excerpt

THERE ARE many elements J, to consider when evaluating an intimate relationship and its potential. One, of course, is the amount of work each partner feels he or she has to put into it to keep it going. But there are a number of signs that could help you know whether a relationship is wrong for you-before you invest too much into it. All of them draw on your own sense of self as a measure of the long-term viability of a relationship.

By the way, it's possible that some of these signs appeared m pnor relationships-though you didn't get out when you could have. If so, give yourself a break: You had a different point of view back then, and there's no need to feel regretful about your past or panicked about a current relationship.

Taking in the following points will help you sharpen your radar. It could lead you to more honest conversations with your partner or a realization that you need to shift your own ways of being in a relationship.

1. YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU

Everything you've liked about yourself-who you are, what makes you uniquely you-has faded or gone. This happens often in relationships, it happens gradually. Otherwise, we would notice and pay attention right away.

Sometimes partners try to exert control over us and call their behavior "love." Over time, such actions strip away who we are or who we want to be. Then, one day, we wake up, look in the mirror, and don't recognize ourselves. This is a sign-a bad one.

In truth, a loss of self may not be 100 percent the other person's fault. If it characterizes all of your relationships, the common denominator may be you. It's easy to lose oneself in a relationship. It's often a consequence of seeing love as requiring self-sacrifice, rather than as healthy compromises and growing together. Understanding the nature of love usually leads to thinking about your upbringing and what you learned about the experience of love as a child. So be aware and work on finding yourself again, no matter what it takes. If you can't, you'll never bring you to the relationship.

2. YOU'RE CONSTANTLY TRYING TO PROVE YOUR WORTH

It's bad enough that you have to constantly seek your worth in the world. But if you have to do it in your relationships, something is wrong. Relationships are the one place where you shouldn't have to prove your worth.

How can you tell whether you're constantly trying to prove your worth? …

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