Tag Archives: love life

The Relationship Masks Are Slipping, But What Can You Do If You Don’t Like What’s Underneath?

The early days of a relationship are always a show of sorts. We put on our best faces for dates and try to paint ourselves in the brightest light possible. If we really like someone, we may even change our views to please them or tell white lies about our true natures.

But, when the relationship gets underway, that mask has to slip. In many ways, this is a good thing. When you let down that guard, true love can come in. Sure, the promise of your ‘perfect man’ might have caught your attention in the first place. But, you may not know he’s ‘the one’ until you seem him at a weak moment.

That said, this slipping of masks is often a painful process, and can be fraught with unpleasant surprises. It may be that there’s a habit or quirk to your partner’s personality which you really don’t like. When you think about it, it makes sense that they would hide this. Who goes on a date and grandstands their worst personality traits? Over time, you may come to realize that your seemingly gentle boyfriend has a nasty temper. Or, perhaps that attentive man spends more time on his phone than you first thought. The issue which makes itself known may be even severe, like a gambling addiction, or something like depression.

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Sadly, this period is where many relationships end. And, believe it or not, that’s rarely due to the realisation that Mr Perfect is only human. In fact, most of the time, our attempts to change our partners put the nail in the romance coffin. You know how it is; you look past his temper because you think you can cure him of it. You assume that, because he’s with you now, his depression should evaporate.

But, here’s a horrible truth; love isn’t an instant fix. While it is a crucial part of life, it can’t just clear the way of problems. What’s more, approaching a relationship with thoughts of changing a person is the worst thing you can do. It suggests that you love your idea of them, not who they are. And, we all know that love is about accepting someone for their true selves. In fact, the only real time change would be the best route open to you is if this bad personality trait puts your partner at risk. Otherwise, you should attempt to help your partner when you notice these issues. It isn’t easy, but it may be the only way to keep your relationship healthy. And, we’re going to look at a few of the ways you can achieve it.

Recognize their triggers

For the most part, traits like these come with triggers. It’s likely certain things set off that raging temper, for instance. Equally, there may be certain situations which drive a gambler to hit the casino. As their partner, it’s your responsibility to notice. Do this without comment or judgement. Observe and accept the situation. Then, do what you can to help them avoid situations like these where possible. If you see your raging man getting mad, grab his hands and do a quick dance around the room, or something equally fun. This will distract his attention, as well as reinforcing your relationship. You may also notice that he’s more liable to gamble when worried about money. If you’re at the stage where you’re living together, do what you can to keep finances in check, or discuss ways to make more money. Again, this will help with communication, as well as distraction. It may be best, though, not to outwardly tell him about the triggers you’ve noticed. Making him aware of your observations could turn to a trigger in itself. He’ll also then be able to tell when you’re distracting attention, and that could drive him further towards the places you don’t want him to go.

Point him down a better path

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Picture Credit

This step is tricky. Get it wrong, and you could slip into the territory of trying to change your partner. But, if you take your time here, you may find that you can point him down a better path. The trick here is not to speak in definites. Merely make suggestions which you think would improve a situation. Do this subtly, so that your man doesn’t feel you’re preaching to him. It could be that leave a program on television discussing ways to deal with anger. Or, you may want to look at sites like Casino Guru which could at least recommend reliable casinos if he is going to gamble. If mental illness is the issue, talk to him about his treatment options. Through discussions, he may find he settles on a new approach which could work well. And, you can achieve all this without ever directly attempting to change the way your lover behaves. Instead, he’ll come to associate you as a reassuring presence who helps him make his own decisions.

Focus on the future

Focusing on the future is always a good idea in a relationship. If things start to stagnate, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment. But, it becomes even more critical in cases like these. If, for instance, your partner is depressed, a focus on your plans as a couple could be a considerable incentive for recovery. If it’s a mutual decision, a determination to have kids in the future could be all it takes to encourage your partner to get help. Equally, this could encourage them to face up to addictions, be they gambling or anything else. The knowledge of future parenthood could even help with anger management problems. After all, no one wants to be that parent who shouts all the time. Bear in mind that it’s essential you let your partner lead conversations like these. If they aren’t ready to discuss this kind of thing, pressure could push them further into a negative place. But, if you’re both in the same headspace here, the future could be the best tonic.

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8 things to strengthen one’s relationship

Given the last 13 years of somewhat unsuccessful relationship “experience”, I have tried to gather and combine a list of things or tips, which I think would make or help in having a satisfying and working long term relationship.

  1. Honesty; Possibly the most important thing of all. Always be honest and truthful to each other, on all things in your life, be it as a couple or individual. Honesty helps you feel more comfortable and assured on where you stand in your love affair.
  2. Be respectful – Mutual respect is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. The wishes and feelings of each other are valuable even when you disagree. Be genuine and show interest in your partner’s life and hobbies – such things can only bring you closer as a couple.
  3. Trust – This is the foundation of a happy and fulfilling relationship. It take time to build trust and can be lost in a split of a second if one feels betrayed. Examples of being trustworthy are: being reliable and following up on your promises, share what you feel and always say the truth, be a safe place for your partner, be consistent (not only when it is convenient or things are going well).
  4. Be considerate – Keep each other in the loop, ask for holdinghandssunseteach other’s advise in decision making, especially when this will affect your life together as a couple.
  5. Affection – don’t just say that you love your partner; demonstrate it. Kiss each other good morning, be passionate, hold hands in public, take pictures together – make memories… surprise each other with a romantic date or a gift.
  6. Know your Priorities – Although we all lead busy lives, we should always find time for our partners. If you don’t see this as important, perhaps you should spend some time to think about this and why you are hanging onto a relationship which you don’t feel devoted to. If we all invest as much time on our relationship as we do texting, playing games, on social media and watching TV  or films, we might actually have a meaningful relationship.
  7. Security – Show that your partner can count on you to be there in times of need; be it emotionally or physically.
  8. Be a team  – You are stronger together, as a team. Make plans, ensure you have shared goals and same purposes and views long term. Work together.

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Would you choose a Mr. Big or an Aidan?

In the past days, due to lack of new series in Summer, I have restarted to watch Sex and the City. My favourite character of the series is Carrie Bradshaw, for tons of reasons. She is a writer, she has curly hair, she is stylish and most of all she got brains! Despite all this, she had so many heartbreaks, her life being a roller coaster of adventures and disappointment; a rather realistic life if you ask me.

I’m in the third season at the moment, and she has just met Aidan, the guy who makes furniture for a living, the guy who she feels so at ease around, and their relationship is just plain sailing; easy. She starts to compare this relationship to her 5 minute long relationship with Mr. Big. Realising there is no drama in her current love life, she starts searching for defects, brainstorming on what is wrong with Aidan… What could he be hiding from her? She gets paranoid, she gets frustrated. She wakes up in the middle of the night wondering. She is so used to living on the edge, fighting to get something done her way that finding a guy who is willing to compromise and who is very understanding pressures her into doubting herself and the future of their relationship.

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We all had a Mr. Big in our life at some point;

  • Someone who doesn’t listen
  •  Someone who doesn’t care of the things which are important to you
  • Someone who never bothers to organise or plan any activities for the both of you
  • Someone who is full of excuses (aka full of shit!)
  • Someone who wouldn’t want to join you in work or family functions…

Someone who you should never be with, yet for some unknown reason you fall for him deeply, and despite what your friends and family say… you hold on, even if barely, until everything falls apart, and your heart is shattered into million pieces.

And then you learn, you learn that you should find yourself an Aidan; one who is worthy of your time, effort and most of all your heart!

My question is this – why do we all need a Mr. Big before we can settle down for what we truly deserve? A true romantic; low on drama but enough to get your blood pumping… a gentleman.

Steffi Advice #5: Will you settle down for much less than you deserve?

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Dear Steffi,

This year I will be 30 years old, and I think it is high time I settle down, get married, have a family of my own. I have been seeing the same man for just over a year and I think we are old enough to take our relationship to the next level, since we both share the same goal of having kids. I will propose to him this summer. Although he is not the man I thought I’d be with, he has proven to be loyal and committed. He doesn’t have a good job, but maybe that will change if we get more serious. He says he cares about me but he is not passionate around me. When I tell him my worries or ask for help, he doesn’t do much about them. He doesn’t mistreat me and that is to me, very important. I have been in lots of long relationships but never found someone who wants to have a family with me. Should I risk it all and propose? My friends are not being supportive.

Hard-Headed

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Dear Hard-Headed,

Just like you, I have not been very lucky with all things love and relationships. I have had 3 major relationships, but they all turned to dust after around 3 to 4 years. I spent months wondering what I have been doing wrong, and what could I have possibly done so bad in my life to deserve this; but I have not yet found an answer. So every time, I pulled myself together, and tried again. I’m 28 years old, and I must admit that I am not where I thought I’d me in my love life. But that does not mean that I’d jump the gun as soon as I hear someone saying that they want to get married and have kids. It is currently one of the goals I want to reach, but is he the ideal partner to do it with?

Are you ready to live a life with no passion and no public affection? Have you even thought how this would affect your future children? And he does mistreat you, if he doesn’t listen to you, if he doesn’t help you…. If he doesn’t try to cheer you up when you are down! It is not the words that make up a man, it is his actions. If he doesn’t help you now, when it’s all about you two, how do you expect him to help you when there are little children running about? I wouldn’t call it a family, if there is no respect, no empathy, no affection and no support…

Being a lover of literature and romance, I consider myself to be a very old fashioned person when it comes to love and relationships. I would never settle for someone who doesn’t find time to make me feel special, and the occasional romantic surprise.

Much Love x x x