3 Things That Can Kill Modern Relationships
#3 — Expecting perfection is the fastest way to find unhappiness
A few months after a harrowing breakup, I decided to put all my energy into myself. After five years of toxicity, it was time to find me again.
I focused on bettering myself. To find the right partner, I had to first be the right partner. Along with reading more, I also started following many self-help gurus and motivators on Instagram.
Of all the people I followed, one person — Steven Bartlett, stood out from the rest. The reason? His words were direct, to the point, and 100% no BS. He wasn’t interested in being nice. He was interested in telling the truth as it is.
Steven Bartlett is a 27-year-old entrepreneur, speaker, vlogger and social media influencer. He is the CEO and co-founder of Social Chain, a company of like-minded individuals disrupting the ever-changing social media sphere.
If you scroll through his Instagram, you notice that every single post of his provides value. This is one reason he has become the top influencer whose posts I read on a regular basis.
After years, I have unfollowed most self-help gurus, except a few like Steven who drops truth bombs frequently.
Here are three things that kill modern relationships, as said by Steven Bartlett.
We prioritize the wrong thing
The person you are dating should be your second priority. And you should want to be their second priority. Your first priority should be you, your ambitions, your life and your future.
If you can’t find happiness, security and emotional stability alone, you’ll struggle to find it together.
The honeymoon stage of a relationship is a wonderful time. Through it, my partner was the most important person to me and vice versa. After some time, he becomes my top-most priority.
In new relationships, this is seen too often. I started giving up my hobbies or plans with friends to spend time with them. I always prioritized him, even when my needs went unmet. Eventually, things fell apart.
Months after the breakup, I started talking to a new person. As my feelings developed, I noticed patterns from my old relationship repeating. I realized I was making the same mistake again by not making myself a priority.
I decided to step back and stay single for a while. This was the time I learnt to be happy by myself. I took the time to rediscover myself and not depend on another person for my happiness.
A year later, I am in a relationship where we both encourage each other to be our best selves. Self-care and time apart is no longer a threat but something that brings us closer.
Nobody can make you happy except you. You can be everything you want if you have the patience to build yourself, create security, understand your emotions, and heal from your history.
No relationship can survive if you don’t take care of yourself first. You cannot pour from an empty cup. No matter how much you love someone, you cannot make them your first priority. Your life outside of the relationship is as important as the relationship itself.
If they truly love you, they will want you to prioritize yourself and support your dreams and ambitions.
We ignore too many red flags
If you want long-term success in your relationships, you have to get better at accepting and addressing uncomfortable truths as fast as possible. Unaddressed issues that could have taken a few days to fix, can hurt a relationship for years.
When you refuse to accept an uncomfortable truth, you’re choosing to accept an uncomfortable future.
In the early stages of my relationship, I was always the cool girlfriend. I wanted my then-boyfriend to like me as much as I liked him. This led to me overlooking behaviours that otherwise I would not have tolerated.
Minor issues like him partying and smoking up every weekend did not seem like a big deal at the beginning. I assumed he would change these habits later on. We were just kids then, and I thought it was a phase. These seemingly slight issues led to large cracks in my relationship.
Red flags are often subtle and easily disregarded when feelings are strong. I failed to set standards and place firm boundaries in the beginning of my relationship. I didn’t want to be the clingy or needy girlfriend by voicing my objections.
Enforcing boundaries with someone you have strong feelings for will be difficult and uncomfortable. If they see your value, this will only make you more attractive in their eyes.
False Instagram expectations
Social media makes everyone else’s relationships look perfect, so now imperfect REAL relationships feel disposable.
Expecting perfection from a relationship is the fastest way to find unhappiness.
Social media bombards us with information every single day. We watch the highlight reel of everyone else’s life and wonder why our life is so boring.
Perfect pictures taken at the right angles and run through many filters with #couplegoals make us feel like we do not have the best.
‘Why can’t my boyfriend be more like hers?’
‘Why can’t I be this happy with my love life?’
‘They are always travelling, we never go anywhere.’
‘Why can’t he post more pictures of us?’
These are thoughts I have had in earlier relationships. Before I knew it, I was comparing my real-life partner to someone I barely knew on social media. My partner isn’t Insta-perfect, but he is #goals in real life. And that is all that matters.
Real relationships involve two flawed human beings. My partner is not perfect, and neither am I. The guy I saw on Instagram, who I thought is the perfect boyfriend, later turned out to be a jerk.
Get out of the grass is greener on the other side mentality. Instead of false social media perfection, search for fulfilment, depth, vulnerability, realness, friendship, and substance in your relationships.
Social media has transformed the way we view relationships. It is much easier to find someone than before. At any point, we have hundreds of options at our fingertips.
With too many choices, we take the ones present in our life for granted. We are always running in search of the next best thing. The next person will make us happier, or the other person will give us more attention.
Real relationships are messy and flawed. They take consistent effort and patience to grow and maintain. While social media has given us options and goals, it has also skewed our understanding of building powerful bonds. It is not the highlight reel that is important — what happens behind the scenes decides if a relationship lasts or not.