The stress in your love life makes you often feel like the complete opposite situation: a less stressful love life is an oxymoron, right?
Well, by a less stressful love life, I don’t mean, they’ll be no difficulty, pain, disappointments, or heartbreaks because that’s probably not possible. But it does help if you aren’t making things more difficult than they should be for yourself.
I know you don’t want to keep sabotaging yourself that you’ll eventually end up unhappily looking for happy solitude — even though you’d want to grow toothless with someone you love.
And I’m sure you still don’t want to end up stuck in an unhappy relationship for the rest of your life.
That’s why I think ditching these beliefs will help.
Give up this belief that reeks of neediness and unhealthy self-esteem.
American author and blogger, Mark Manson has this to say about healthy personal boundaries:
“Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others.”
Hence, instead of just interpreting it as never accommodating or putting up with normally unacceptable behaviors or treatments.
Or better still, stop complying with whatever someone says or does even when you shouldn’t.
You should try to take many steps further and be always responsible for your actions and emotions while giving no f*ck about the actions and emotions of others.
Use this insight to give up the belief that you have to put yourself at a disadvantage to the advantage of a romantic partner or anyone.
It’s one thing to be unable to say “no” to whatever a partner asks or suggests because you want to avoid conflict or disappointing them.
But something entirely different to believe you have to overly compromise, make a lot of sacrifices, and endure some kinds of obviously unacceptable treatments so your relationship can thrive.
All of which can be avoided if you can own and take responsibility for your actions and emotions by saying no to a partner’s request or suggestions when it’s what you feel deep down. Saying no to giving up your needs for theirs, or even to their unacceptable treatments.
While letting them take responsibility for their feelings of disappointment or whatever as they understand and respect your boundaries. And if they don’t, you should be better off without them.
Read Also: 7 Reasons You Suck At Relationships
Give up this attitude toward the past.
It’s weird, isn’t it? Being a self-aware person with decent standards for yourself that you’d want to be in control of your life. Only to often feel powerless when it comes to your past.
If only you can go back in time and right the wrongs. If only you can unmake those mistakes. If only you’ll get a second shot at it, you’d do things differently. If … If … and If … I could go on and on.
But the unpleasant reality is that you just can’t do anything to change the past.
That’s why it’s unwise to define yourself by your past mistakes that led to a series of failed relationships. Or by mistakes that resulted in your incessant failure to have one in the first place. When all that matters is actively seeking out and unlearning those mistakes — while learning productive things that can transform your situation.
Just as you shouldn’t overbeat yourself for mistakes you made that hurt your partner in any way, when you should be taking responsibility for them, apologizing, and making amends.
Do I even need to mention that you should give up trying to judge your partner by their past when you should be looking forward to, building, nurturing, and writing your special love story together as co-authors?
Recommended Reading: Four Reasons Why Some People Have It Hard Falling In Love
Give up this mindset that reeks of a lack of integrity.
Trustworthiness and reliability, or lack thereof, sometimes depend on the level of investment one has in himself.
A situation happens, and you decide to avoid doing the needful: being honest and telling the truth — because you don’t want to hurt your partner, rock the boat, or because you want to avoid conflict.
Many people with deep-seated insecurities and neediness won’t only choose to do this after making mistakes that can hurt their partners’ feelings. They’ll even go as far as refusing to voice out their negative feelings especially when their partners have done something hurtful.
And sometimes, for the same reason: fear of hurting their partners’ feelings, they’ll refuse to be upfront with the truth whenever their partners ask them for their opinion on something sensitive like how an outfit looks.
Well, the blunt truth is, if you often choose to white lie even about your deepest negative feelings toward your partner, you won’t only be disrespecting them by choosing to be resentful of them instead of telling them the truth, you’ll be making things more stressful for yourself than they should be.
To enjoy a less stressful love life, you need to have a high investment in yourself to be able to voice out your feelings even when they might be hurtful to your partner. Because it’ll tell them that you’re respectful enough, to be honest even when it might be hurtful. And will, in turn, make you come across as a trustworthy and reliable person.
You wouldn’t want your partner to find out that you’ve been dishonest about something and be wondering what else you’ve lied to them about. Or if they even know who you really are.
As cliche as it sounds, you can give up this behavior and be more invested in yourself by deciding to live with integrity and in sync with who you are — which includes all of your feelings.
Further Reading: 5 Changes to Escape Mediocrity In Your Love Life
Give up the obsession with how your love life stacks up against others.
Speaking of the insecurities we talked about in the previous points, if you want to enjoy a less stressful love life, give up the urge to consistently compare your love story to that of others.
This is the reason why a lot of us struggle to be happy even when we find ourselves in situations we should be grateful for.
You want to let go of the feelings of jealousy, anxiety, and feeling like you’re lagging behind or missing out on something better when you compare your love life with the carefully curated versions of other people’s love stories you see on the internet. You want to let go of what Theodore Roosevelt once called the thief of joy.
When comparison comes into the picture, your insecurities and doubts easily get the best part of you making you see how “average” or “below average” your partner, relationships, and love life is in comparison to that of others. If those crazy sex, champagne, beaches, etc, don’t define your love life, it’ll feel like something is completely flawed about your otherwise great and unique love life.
But when you realize how unique you are, how unique your partner is, and how unique your life is, as a whole, you’ll understand how useless it is to compare your love story to the exaggerated reality you see on Instagram.
Yes, you’ll understand how disrespectful it is to have seemingly unrealistic expectations for your partner(s) inspired by the top 1% of other people’s relationships you see. When you should accept, love, and appreciate your partner and relationship for everything they are. Because that’s part of what trust and intimacy are about.
In the same way, you won’t see any reason to feel terrible about being single because all of your friends are coupled up. And you won’t have to pressure yourself into relationships that you aren’t supposed to be in. How refreshing will all these be?
Give up the need to stay back when you should be long gone.
When you stop making things more difficult for yourself than they should normally be, you realize there’s no justifiable reason to hold onto a relationship that doesn’t serve you.
Because you won’t see any need to go against your better judgment and stay in a relationship that’s gone wrong or never meant to be in the first place.
You might have subconsciously internalized societal-influenced belief that there must be a demonstrably wrong reason or reasons to leave a relationship.
This can cause you to believe it’s okay to stay in a relationship that’s anything but fulfilling and satisfying. And at worst, it feels like a painstaking prison without the hard labor but the thought of having to stay in it for a lifetime just feels meh.
You might also have this toxic belief that walking away from a relationship even when there are demonstrably wrong reasons like incessant abuse, cheating, you name it feels like losing all the efforts you’ve put into it for nothing.
Sometimes, you might even be compelled to believe that forcing things to work even at a significantly earlier stage (with virtually no life built around the relationship) is a great idea — because it feels easier than being single again or finding someone else.
All these remind me of something I read some time ago and it reads:
“It’s just that not every relationship is meant to last until death do you part. Relationships have lifespans; some are long, some are short, and yours just came to the end of its life. Not every love story is meant to be an epic poem. Some are short stories, and that’s fine.”
If you make peace with the fact that not every love story will last until death do you part. If you can be honest enough with yourself to accept the reality of a relationship you wanted to work so badly. And if you can make peace with the fact that it’s okay to be single until you find yourself in something worthwhile, your love life will be less stressful.
John Emmanuel is a results-obsessed relationship blogger and founder of Top Love Hacks, dedicated to helping you level up your dating and relationship game by motivating you to be in control of your love life.