Starting a new year always reminds me of what it was like back in school. We had new books; pristine blank pages that were waiting to be written on. It’s an exciting time of the year and the perfect time to put a jolt of positive perspective into your love life.
There is never a more exciting time, then the start of a year. It’s like we subconsciously associate a new year with a fresh start. The chance to build what we want and do it right this time.
And that’s just the thing, this year can be different from the rest, if you want it to. Finding love doesn’t have to be delayed any further if you are ready to put into place the steps necessary to make it happen.
There is something wonderful about meeting someone that you can share and build your life with.
It’s easy to think that just because you feel something strong for your partner that you will always be on the same page.
Unfortunately, healthy and strong relationships are not built on feelings alone and growth within each person is inevitable.
So, what do you do when you grow at separate rates or in different directions? How do you still insure unity within change?
If you are worried that the stress, confusion and conflict in your relationship is caused by certain growing pains, here are 5 ways to tell if you are reading from the same book or writing separate ones altogether:
1: You just don’t seem to have as much in common anymore
You no longer seem to be able to relate to things that you used to connect on before. Whether you or they have changed and grown as a person, this could now mean that different interests have developed. As your character develops and you learn more about yourself, it’s no wonder that who you connect with changes because your own interests, morals, priorities and thought patterns can become totally different.
2: You crave more attention apart then together
When you have more fun away from them, then with them, it’s a good indication that you are drifting apart. Unity takes work and compromise in a relationship, but you should always be craving to be with them, more so than apart. Your partner should be adding to your joy and existence, not hindering you from feeling happy or moving forward.
3: You are starting to resent them for everything
This is because you have become frustrated with who they aren’t, as you have become more who you are. You may find yourself starting to pick at them for small insignificant things, because internally you may be frustrated that they aren’t on the same page as you, or simply because you feel you can no longer connect with them.
4: You feel like you have to explain everything to them
You become increasing frustrated with them, because you are either constantly pulling them up to your level, or having to explain your new thinking and actions towards them. When we develop emotionally and mentally at a different level to our partner, it makes us become less patient with them. We expect them to be on the same page and get annoyed when they aren’t.
5: Indifference has set in, along with a lot emotional space
The opposite to love is not hate; it’s indifference. When you start to feel nothing at all towards your partner, because of the lack of connection, understanding or unity, that’s when you know your relationship is in deep trouble. Wanting space either physically, emotionally or mentally from your partner is a strong indication that you are growing apart in different directions.
So here’s what to do…
Growing at different rates is something more common than we think, that’s why it’s important to date someone from the get-go that you see compatibility with.
When two people start off as one and then slowly drift apart it’s integral that you bring it to light. If you are feeling the void increasing between you both, then you need to have a talk about it.
Avoiding or accommodating for the elephant in the room isn’t going to solve the issue.
This isn’t just about liking the same common interests, but wanting the same things and both being able to adapt to change whilst communicating how you both feel.
Unity is not always built on convenience and common interests, but on choices , sacrifice and awareness of what is causing division.
Love isn’t meant to be complicated or painful. It shouldn’t take an extreme habit or behaviour for anyone to realize that they are either ill matched or in a toxic relationship.
Whilst some people can change over time due to circumstances or unaccounted for baggage, there are almost always sure signs to tell if someone is right for you.
Dating successfully is about being able to identify the difference between someone who will add value to your life and someone who will hold you back.
No one wants to invest time and energy into someone who is going to let them down, so here are 9 red flags to look for early on:
Communication is lacking
Are you sending novel texts and they’re giving one word answers? Yikes. Are they taking their sweet time between responses and very rarely initiate the conversation? If someone can’t put in the effort required to communicate from the beginning, they already don’t value you.
They are critical of your every move
Either they pull you apart or always seem to put you down. Even if it’s only a joke, someone you are dating should be lifting you up right from the get-go. If the person you’re dating comments negatively on your physical appearance or can’t be proud of your successes and accomplishments, you MUST let them go. You deserve so much better than this.
Levels of respect don’t match
With a relationship comes respect for one another, whether that be their space, time or boundaries. Lack of respect for another human being is a huge insult. Where there is little respect, there is immediately a lack of trust or growth in a relationship. Don’t let someone else determine your worth, especially if they can’t even see their own.
It’s not easy
If you are feeling anxious, confused, or like you’re trying too hard to make it work early on, chances are this isn’t the one for you. Being fabulously single and taking your time to find the right one will be worth it in the end. When you find them, your first thought should be “well this is refreshing and effortless!”
Sex is brought up…alot
Sex is a great thing, but if you notice your date brings it up really early on and frequently, chances are their mind is on one thing and one thing only. Perhaps they are looking for a friends with benefits vs. a long term commitment.
Their plans always change
You have a date scheduled for Thursday, but they text you that something has come up last minute (zero details included of course.) This could be because they are making you an option instead of a priority. Another option beat you out and they chose to take it.
You can’t trust them
They’re inconsistent – their words do not match their actions or vise versa. Or maybe you have a gut feeling that just won’t go away; trust is integral to a relationship, even in the beginning so don’t ignore the signs and the power of intuition.
They have a wandering eye
Cheating starts in the mind and heart before it even becomes physical. If you don’t feel like the only man or woman in the room when you are with them, then it could be an indication that they aren’t wanting to full commit.
They won’t delete their dating profile
HUGE red flag! If they still want to have an active profile online, it’s because they aren’t willing to commit and want to keep their options open. Even if they say they aren’t ‘active’ on it, it warrants the question as to why then do they feel it necessary to still have it at all?
Most of us know the experience of heartache or being taken advantage of. It’s not something we would wish on anyone, especially our close friends.
So, when we see someone close to us fall victim to a toxic relationship it’s only natural to want to rescue them from it.
However, it’s not always as simple as telling them what they should do or how they should leave. When it comes to toxic situations there is usually a lack of self–love and therefore an absence of confidence or direction, which in turn gives us the strength to break free.
So how do we support them in such a way that they learn to rescue themselves?
Here are 5 quick tips to help you guide them whilst still keeping your friendship intact:
1: Hold them accountable
Accountability may not always come across as love, but it is an action that helps keep things in perspective. In most cases, your friend will either be in denial or justify their partner’s actions. They may have moments of weakness, vulnerability or guilt, so it’s good to keep an eye on them and say something to help them see beyond the circumstance.
2: Remind them of their worth
When we lose our value, we fall prone to being taken advantage of. Encourage your friend daily with positive affirmations and help remind them of their own worth. We find strength when we realise just how valuable we are and what we are worthy of.
3: Set some boundaries
For the sake of your own happiness and the friendship, it’s important to set some boundaries. You don’t want to constantly be feeling drained or responsible for their progress or lack thereof. We cannot force people to make better choices, we can only guide, model and encourage them to do so. It’s easy for them to start to use you as a crutch, so just make sure you aren’t accommodating for their fear or lack of understanding to want to break free.
4: Suggest some exit plans
When we can bring achievable strategies into place, we feel more certain about the outcome. Do some brainstorming of how the toxic behaviour can be resolved, whether it’s going to a counsellor or getting financial advice. In times of emotional turmoil, the best thing you can do is up your emotional intelligence.
5: Know your limits
If your friend refuses your support or to get help and starts to play the victim, that is a sign that you need to walk away for a period of time. We cannot rescue people who don’t want to be rescued. Ultimately it is up to them to want to do the things necessary to break free.
However, helping them should never come at a cost of losing your own peace and happiness.