How to Have a Terrible Breakup

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Every relationship you get into in life appears to be unique. Even if you have a certain type of person you always seem to date, one boyfriend or girlfriend is rarely exactly the same as the other. The same can be said for the breakup. At the close of one particular romantic relationship during my undergrad, I was shocked to find myself devastated not by the breakup that had just happened, but instead by a relationship that had ended 6 months before. The older relationship seemed significant enough for me to mourn twice, while the newer one I shrugged off with ease. This left me with a lot of questions, the most important two being: Has this happened to anyone else? and Am I simply a terrible person?

It turns out, there are different ways to manage (and perceive) a breakup. Some lead to devastating mourning periods mixed with pain that lasts for years, while others make the pain a little easier to take.

How to Have a Terrible Breakup.

“I am unloveable”

There are usually a few reasons behind a ... Read more »


Are You Blinded By Love?

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Love is Blind

We have all heard the saying “Love is Blind,” and chances are we have seen couples that seem to prove it.  Why else would a really tall person marry a really short person?  Because most of us don’t believe differences like height are dangerous to relationships, we often find love-blindness humorous and perhaps a little strange.  

 

But when we see a couple who seems to be blind to serious faults in their partner, we begin to worry.  And maybe we begin to worry if we are being blind to something serious in our own relationships.  We may even begin to question the wisdom of being in love if it only makes us blind.

 

Fortunately, love may not be as blind as we might think and having blinders on might not always be a bad thing.  In a recent review of research, Garth Fletcher and Patrick Kerr of the University of Canterbury discovered the truth about love and what it does to our perceptions of our romantic partner.

 

The Two Errors

When it comes to judging the characteristics of a partner, there ... Read more »


Why Millennials Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Commitment

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Commitment

Have you ever turned down being in a romantic relationship because you thought it would require too much of your time?  Maybe you felt there were more important things to do and a relationship would just be distracting.  Sometimes we feel like dating and relationships will drain our energy and take away from other areas in our life–that a relationship is just one more thing to do. If you have ever felt like that, perhaps some recent research will help you reconsider.

 

A small team of top relationship researchers at Florida State University found that college students in committed relationships were actually better off in a range of outcomes compared to those who were not.  

Good Behavior Leads to Good Health

 

Those who are in committed romantic relationships are less likely to participate in risky behaviors like drug abuse, binge drinking, and frequent uncommitted sex, which have all been shown to be related to poor mental and physical health.  These behaviors are also tied to having trouble holding a job later on, or being able to maintain fulfilling and stable relationships ... Read more »


The Dangers of Being “Put On a Pedestal”

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Pedestal

 

When my husband and I went to therapy a while back, I started to realize for the first time that I was afraid he thought I was capable of more than I actually was.  It eventually came out that I was deeply afraid I wasn’t achieving enough and that he felt like he’d gotten duped into a “bait and switch”–that I was way better when we were dating than I was now that we were married.  You can probably imagine how scared I was that he would wake up one day, see the “real me”, and decide to leave because this wasn’t the life he signed up for when he married me.

 

A recent article talked about how this exact phenomenon occurs in a lot of relationships.  The researchers found that there’s a certain point where partners feel over-idealized by their spouses and how this may start to cause trouble in relationships.  It doesn’t matter whether the spouse actually over-idealizes them or not–it’s about the partner’s perception of this over-idealization.  When people feel like their partner has placed them on ... Read more »


Did You Convince Yourself You Were in Love?

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Have you ever wondered if you convinced yourself that you were in love when you got married?  Or convinced yourself that your relationship was better than it really was?  If you have, you might’ve experienced some anxiety about whether you chose the right person to spend the rest of your life with or not.  A recent study reassured us that we shouldn’t worry too much about it if we’re already married because the way we remember things is probably not even close to reality.

 

In the study, for 8 months about 300 individuals in relationships came in each month to mark their emotional progress with their partner on how ready they felt to get married to them.  At the end of the 8 months, they each told their relationship history from beginning to end (current) to the researchers.  After extensive analysis, the researchers found that there were 3 types of relationships and people who were in each one told their relationship story very differently.

 

Types of couples:

1. People who stayed the same on how ready they were to get married to their partner.

These people ... Read more »


7 Lies Society’s Telling You About Your Marriage

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Myths about Marriage

The following are 7 common myths about marriage that have been identified in couples therapy and couple education settings by current research.  We have expert Dr. Jeff Larson here to help us debunk some of these based on his own and others’ research findings.

Myth #1:  If my spouse really loves me, they should instinctively know what I want and need to be happy.

You have to communicate clearly about your needs,  wants, and expectations for your spouse to have any chance at fulfilling them.  So, the reality is:  If my spouse really loves me, they will openly and respectfully tell me what they want and need and not expect me to be able to read their mind.

 

Myth #2:  I can change my spouse by pointing out their inadequacies, errors, and other faults.

Such blaming, especially if it rises to the level of criticism, has been shown to predict divorce.  The reality:  I can positively influence my spouse’s behavior with communication about how their behaviors impact me, but nagging never works.

 

Myth # 3:  My spouse either loves me or doesn’t love ... Read more »

10 Ways Your Thinking is Twisted…

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Cognitive Distortions

We all have those moments in relationships where we wonder if we’re crazy or if it’s our partner, right?  One common problem in many relationships is our thinking and expectations of our partners can become distorted or problematic.  Sometimes the way we think about ourselves interferes with our ability to even find a good relationship partner.  Below are 10 common ways our thinking in relationships can become “twisted” and hold us back from happy and fulfilling relationships.

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking

You see everything as black or white.  There are no shades of gray with this type of thinking.  This lead to fault finding with our partners or unnecessary guilt about ourselves.  When we think in all-or-nothing terms we often make mistakes and  automatically think, “Because I messed up, I am a total failure.”

2. Overgeneralization

You assume that because something bad happened once, it’s bound to happen again and again.  For example, if you get rejected for a date, you assume that every time you ask someone on a date from here on out, they’ll say no just because it happened ... Read more »