Since I wrote a book that deals primarily with toxic relationships, it is only appropriate for me to dedicate my first blog to relationships. This is undoubtedly an extremely complex and complicated subject, and different viewpoints on it abound. When it comes to relationships, we all have our own experiences, perceptions, desires, wishes, expectations, requirements and red lines. Many people take on a markedly different persona from their usual one when they are in a couple. Have you ever noticed that people behave and act differently when they are single or when you meet them without their partner? More often than not, they seem to be more genuine and in line with there true self. However, once they are in a couple, they often act out of character, at least to a certain extent and in certain areas of their life. They either try to overly adapt to the their partner, or force their partner to fit the idealized perception they have of them. Either way, these two strategies lead nowhere but to dissatisfaction and fighting in the long run.
The majority of couples I know, or have encountered, are not healthy ones. Unfortunately, that is the reality of the modern-day coupledom. It does not necessarily mean that they are toxic or severely damaging to both partners, but they certainly do not contribute to an emotionally serene life nor to personal growth. More often than not, relationships are a battle field where partners try to get the upper hand and settle scores. Or at the very least, they get on each other's nerves more often than not. Instead of cooperation, respect and love, there are competition, rivalry and envy present, and they play out at conscious or unconscious levels. Many relationships are not partnerships but resemble ownerships. Partners try to control each other, take advantage of one another, and stay together for all the wrong reasons – ouf of fear of being left alone, to avoid public humiliation and judgment, because of financial reasons, for the sake of children, out of comfort, the list goes on and on. Any excuse comes handy when they try to rationalize why they are staying in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship with a person they have stopped loving a long time ago, or have never truly loved at all. The longer the partners have been together, the more resentment and bitterness they feel. Instead of letting go and moving on, they get hooked to one another and engage in the game of push and pull, causing frustration and disappointment.
There are many reasons why the current state of affairs in the love department is so bleak. I will tackle them in the following blogs, because they are the elements that usually play a decisive role in making a relatioship a success or a failure. In my opinion, the fundamental ingredients of a healthy relationship are love, respect, patience, understanding, interest in one another, communication, loyalty and reliability. Cheating, lies, deception, punishment, ignorance have no place in a loving relationship. If being in a couple with your partner does not contribute to a greater quality of your life, to a happier and more fulfilled life, to your personal growth, then the relationship is probably not going to last and will cause more damage to you as time goes by. In this case it is better to take heed of an Italian saying that goes »meglio sola che mal accompagnata.«