Written by: Cally Worden
All relationships have their peaks and troughs – the lows are what make the highs feel so good. But when yours is on a downwards trend it is tempting to look upon the relationships of those around you, and view them through pink specs. These images can quickly turn green as your aching heart starts to burn with envy.
It’s Not Fair!
When all is going well, your relationship can feel like a bubble of perfection, bouncing around unaffected by anything else that is going on in the world. You giggle as you boing off the exterior of other apparently happy relationships, full of the smugness of it all. It is a these times that we tend to pay little heed to the true relative health of the relationships of our friends. Unless of course they hit their own downturn and need our shoulder to cry on. Then we are there with a box of tissues and a glass of Chardonnay, or a chat over a beer. But since your own relationship is fine you feel somewhat detached from the emotion of it all.
Then your bubble hits a sharp spot, and in an instant your hopes, dreams and relationship aspirations fall to earth with a bump. Gazing up at those happy-bubbles still gaily bouncing around you find yourself outside the club. And it’s not fair. Not fair at all.
The Mask of Deception
Yet. When your love life is in the doldrums and your friends appear to be basking in wedded (or non-wedded) bliss, take a second to reflect. All may not actually be as it seems. Most relationships, especially the longer-term sort, have their difficult periods. Even very close friends may not share the true extent of their misery during a rough patch. There seems to be an unspoken etiquette that dictates a mask of deception must be worn at such times, at least for a while. It’s a bit like saying ‘If I pretend everything is okay, it will be’. There is some truth in this.
Retaining a positive attitude during a rough patch can help you and your partner to work things through. Sharing the warts-and-all details makes you dwell on the negatives, and is something to be avoided, at least at first. What this means in practice is that of those happy-bubble relationships that surround you, at least a portion of them may be closer to their own sharp spot than you imagine.
When your own relationship status is not what you’d like it to be, take a moment to reflect on the reality of the other relationships around you. Life is rarely perfect, for anyone.
We are bombarded daily with information about shiny happy celebrity relationships. It’s easy to get swept along with the glitz and glamour. Although we all know these celebrity lives are no reflection of the relationships experienced by us ordinary folk we often fall in love with the romance of it all. When our own relationships (inevitably) fall short of this millionaire-lifestyle perfection we feel let down, and start to compare our relationships with those around us. Although closer to reality it is important to remember that no-one else’s reality is the same as ours, celebrity or not. Comparisons are unhealthy, and unhelpful.
Live Life for You
The apparent fairytale of anothers relationship can be seductive and entrancing. To get the most from our lives and our relationships we need to stop obsessing about other people. Live in the moment of your own existence. Relationships ebb and flow, come and go. Enjoy them for what they are, not what you wish they were. You may find that this acceptance brings levels of happiness within your relationships that you never imagined were possible.