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If you don’t already know this about me I read A LOT of self-development material. As one of the most important areas within our life, romantic relationships are a “hot topic” and there are some amazing dating coaches and bloggers who post amazing (and very often hilarious) insights into the world of dating. It doesn’t matter whose blog or YouTube channel you land on, chances are, you’ll find something around “ten signs you should never ignore” or ” the top five relationship red flags.”
For this blog post however, we’re going to come at the subject from a slightly different angle. You see, if you read these posts they very much focus on the behaviour of the other person in the relationship. There’s no doubt that this is indeed massively important – but for me, it boils down to one very simple question.
Do I like myself in this relationship?
Uncomfortable, right? You bet. There’s nothing more unsettling than having to question our own toxic behaviour and coming to the realisation that if your best friend were acting this way; you’d be horrified.
So what do I mean by toxic behaviour? Well, basically anything we allow to happen that fundamentally goes against our moral compass or oversteps our boundaries. Some examples might be.
There are a myriad of different scenarios that I could give you around poor self-behaviours but if you continually have that deep internal loathing of the person you are in a relationship, then you have to deal with that before anything else. In my opinion, it’s the major and most important red flag of all. And why? Because, most of the time, it’s the one thing you can actually do something about. So, if you’re cheating or stringing a decent human being along, then the solution lies squarely with you. “That’s all very well and good” you say “but what if the source of my unhappiness is down to the behaviour of my partner?” Well, on the assumption that you’ve been clear from the start about your desires/values/wishes; if your significant other is continually disregarding them, chances are, they’re not going to change anytime soon. So do the right thing. Take responsibility for your experience of the relationship, even if that means telling the truth, facing your demons or just walking away.
Not just in relationships but in all areas of life, people so often choose (what I call) the “Bandaid Solution” by sticking a metaphorical plaster over the injured area of their life and just hoping “time will heal”. Sometimes this works but often the wound just festers underneath the surface. So, if you’re in this situation, why not rip that sticking plaster off and expose the hurt? Sure, it will sting like hell for a time but trust me, it will heal much faster in the end.