Your relationship should take work, but it shouldn’t be hard – The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Nathaniel McKissick, college columnist

Editor’s note: All content in the opinion section reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a position taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Should romantic relationships be difficult? You may have heard as much from a parent, aunt or uncle, friend or sibling when you yourself were in the throes of a tumultuous relationship, but were they right? ?

While it’s true that relationships take work, they shouldn’t be downright difficult all the time.

Of course, a healthy relationship can sometimes be difficult. It takes open communication, the ability to be honest with your partner, and the maturity to handle criticism, but should it take you to the precipice every day? Absolutely not.

Why do people stay then? Aside from cases of physical and domestic violence in which leaving is physically dangerous for them, experts have a number of theories.

According to Peaceful Mind Psychology, people with low self-esteem and the perception that their life would be worse if they were single were more likely to stay in unhealthy relationships. There is also the sunk cost error in which people are more determined to pursue or commit to something if they have already invested a lot of time or financial resources.

Psychologists believe that our developmental years and the parenting styles of our primary caretaker greatly affect how we navigate romantic relationships in our later lives. We search for characters in a romantic partner that mirrors those of our guardian – the good, the bad and the ugly.

“If you and your partner are constantly at each other’s throats, lying to each other, or finding resentment building in the relationship, it could be a mismatch of attachment styles or attachment types. It might also be time to consider couples therapy or a formal end to things.

The depiction of unhealthy relationships in the media certainly doesn’t help either. We’ve all seen it dozens of times: toxic relationships presented as idealistic love fantasies.

We followed Carrie Bradshaw through six seasons of ‘Sex and the City’ as she doggedly pursued the toxic Mr. Big, and watched ‘Gossip Girl’ Chuck Bass and the roller coaster of a love story of Blair Waldorf on many occasions. Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant from “Scandal”, Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun from “The Notebook” and Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from “Twilight” – the list goes on.

Ultimately, however, all of those rocky relationships ended in a holy marriage — or a generally happy ending despite the many red flags. In a world where people yearn to replicate the relationships they consume in movies, books, and TV shows, this only perpetuates the myth that relationships should be tough.

According to very good spirit, a healthy relationship is marked by honesty and trust, mutual respect, affection, clear communication and a mutual exchange between the parties. Romantic relationships that lack it need to be re-evaluated.

If you and your partner are constantly at each other’s throats, lying to each other, or finding resentment building in the relationship, it could be a mismatch in attachment styles or personality types. It might also be time to consider couples therapy or a ceremonial end to things.

“There are worse things in life than being single, and single people can still live contented and happy lives.”

People often stay in rocky relationships because of high highs after a period of low lows, but a healthy relationship shouldn’t – and doesn’t swing – as much.

According to Medical News Today, people usually stay in unhealthy relationships to spare their partner the hurt of breaking up. The more dependent participants believed their partner was over them or the more they believed their partner was committed, the less likely they were to leave.

Whether it’s selflessness, an aspiration to look like Carrie Bradshaw, or simply blatant complacency, no one should suffer from a relationship that causes them constant coercion.

There’s worse in life than being single, and single people can still live satisfied and happy lives. If there’s no physical threat stopping you from leaving, don’t stay in a relationship that makes you unhappy or anxious.

Contact Nathaniel McKissick at [email protected] or on Twitter @NateMcKissick.

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