As we finish up Halloween I’m thinking about some of the scary things in relationships. Relationships can be great opportunities to move into an amazing future with someone you care about. They’re also challenging regardless of how perfect you are for each other. I’ve always talked about communication as being one key to surviving and thriving in your relationship, trust, forgiveness and love are 3 other very important keys. Let’s first talk about some of the scary things in relationships that can hurt them.
Our own fears and pasts: Everyone brings stuff into a relationship, primarily what happened to you before you met that person and the beliefs you have. You also bring the present into your relationship but for most of us it’s our past that has greater potential for damaging than our present does, mostly because we’re able to do something with our present and can’t do anything about the past. Our past does make us who we are and does shape our decisions in the present and future. So for example if you were hurt or cheated on in the past, unless you have overwhelming trust and love in your current relationship it will be something that hovers in your consciousness whenever you have to make a decision regarding your relationship or partner. Fears, however irrational can also affect your relationship. It can limit the experiences you can have together, and hold you back from communicating with your partner.
But what I find most scary about relationships is that some people don’t try them. Life has painful experiences in it. That’s just how it goes. You will fail, you will struggle, you will be hurt by others in life. But I believe that hiding away because you’ve been hurt in the past or are scared you will be again in the future can only do more damage than giving relationships a try could. Relationships aren’t always easy but every relationship I’ve had has added value or taught me a valuable lesson that has made me a better partner for my significant other. I may hope that this relationship is the one that lasts, but I know that life has twists and turns you can’t predict that I won’t have to start over again with someone else, whether it’s 50 years from now or just 2. But rather than fear the future or past, or let my fears hurt my relationship, I’m choosing to step forward and trust that my partner will support me through my concerns and challenges and I can support him through his.