#MonthOne: Let’s talk about relationships

Welcome to my new monthly series!

Every month I’ll be discussing a different topic, by sharing a post every Friday.

This month is all about #relationships, whether that’s romantic relationships, friendships or family relationships. We enter into more relationships than we realise, and each relationship requires something from us, and provides things to us.

The first request I’ve had is to discuss insecurity in romantic relationships and how to cope with those feelings.

We all have insecurities. Every single person in this world has at least some insecurity, whether that’s because of the media, or your environment, there are things that will play on your mind. When you enter into romantic relationships, those feelings can become more heightened and can cause problems if we aren’t able to identify them and work towards improving how we feel about ourselves.

How can I get rid of my insecurities that make me feel vulnerable in my romantic relationship?

I’ve used the term ‘get rid’ because I want to express how it’s not healthy to aim for getting rid of your insecurities, you are who you are and although you don’t have to let those feelings define you, you may find you have to work slightly harder to feel good about yourself.

Be aware of your feelings. 

Whenever you feel unhappy or negative about yourself, try to think about whats going on with you. Think about your day, what happened to upset you? What was going on in the situation? Instead of training ourselves to think about what is going on with us emotionally, we find it easier to start an argument with those closest to us to release our frustrations. This can cause problems if we’re struggling daily with frustration. It’s worth sitting back, and thinking about what upset you that day. Maybe you already know exactly what it was and what you’re angry about and you’re not sure how to improve your mood or process your feelings. That takes me to my next point.

Communicate how you feel to your partner.

Romantic relationships are one of the biggest emotional commitments you can make. You choose to allow another person into your life, and that can be scary, but it requires you to communicate your needs to that person, and them to you, to ensure you’re both happy. Once you know what’s upsetting you, or what you think it might be, tell them. Tell them how you feel and express your feelings to them healthily, tell them over dinner when you both have some time, or later in the evening when the kids have gone to bed. I’m sure your partner will appreciate this conversation way more than being at the receiving end of a row with you!

Trust them.

This sounds basic but I was never much of a trusting person until I met my current partner. I became aware of my negative feelings as I practise self-reflection, so I communicated how I felt to him very early on and he helped me consider my feelings in reality, rather than just in my head all the time. The reality is every person in your life will probably hurt you at some point, you can’t control their actions. What you can do, is ignore the fear of loss, or fear of pain and instead control your ability to trust and your own actions. By trusting your partner, you are creating healthy tools for yourself. You need to trust others in order to live an open life, otherwise you’ll shut yourself off and become isolated from those that want to be there for you. Give it a go, just let yourself trust them more every day. Maybe that’s not making an issue out of them going out with their friends if you have done so before. Maybe that’s letting them know more personal things about you if you haven’t shared much. Opening up yourself is scary but it’s so important for fulfilling relationships. On the same note…

Keep your independence.

When you feel insecure about your partners interest in you, you may struggle with your partners absence as absence can remind us of loss. This can be in the form of wanting your partner to spend every day with you and constantly be by your side. Or just not wanting them to spend time with others without you. Although this can be healthy during the ‘honeymoon period’ when you first get to know one another, I don’t believe it is healthy when you’ve been together for a while. In my experience, trusting your partner and having the healthy communication lines, means that spending time apart doing your own things is a positive thing. It means you don’t just have plenty to talk about when you do come together, but you also have a chance to miss one another and that keeps you both interested in the other persons life.

Stay away from negative people

Negative people act like oxygen to a burning flame. If you’re feeling vulnerable and low, being around other people that feed your negativity is not healthy. They’ll encourage the negative discourse that you’re having with yourself and those around you. Not because they’re bad people, but because they aren’t able to help you at this time, they aren’t emotionally available for you. Maybe the person you trust is that negative person, in which case I would find a different confidant. Find a counsellor, confide in a friend you haven’t before. You are not stuck, you are not an island. You are a strong person who is going through a bad time, feeling low does not define you, ever.

Be kind to yourself

The only person who can fight back to the negative thoughts you are having is you. You hold all the power for yourself. You’re the one who can say to yourself ‘you’re having a bad day, but you are not a bad person’. It’s vital that you talk to yourself, which may sound silly but you’re already talking to yourself via the negative thoughts anyway. You’re talking to yourself every day without realising, forming your experience of your world. Tell yourself you’re smart, you’re funny, you’re attractive. If that makes you cringe, you’re focusing on what other people would think of that. Your mind is your power-house. Nobody can see in unless you let them. Be your own best friend, be your greatest fan. It won’t give you an ego; feeling as though you need to be more positive to yourself suggests you are nowhere near being egotistical. I think this is a difficult one because British people are naturally negative and humble about their achievements or who they are as a person, it’s not OK. It’s not OK to tell yourself you’re ugly, or that you’re stupid. There’s enough people telling you shit about yourself all day without you adding to your own misery. No-one else knows you like you know you. And they never will.

Forgive yourself

Do you ever think about things you’ve said or done to your partner and feel really guilty? Guilt is the most common feeling that people deal with day to day. It can come in the form of letting your friend down on plans – or manifest as worrying that you should phone your parents more. Whatever the guilt is, forgive yourself. Let’s rationalise. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to say ‘I’m really sorry but this time I can’t make it, I’d love to re-arrange with you’. You are ALWAYS allowed to take time out for yourself and phone your parents a few days/weeks later/whenever you’re ready. You need to have a discussion with yourself and allow yourself, give yourself permission, to let people down. You’re going to let people down whether you want to or not, it’s how life goes. Give yourself permission to do that and move on. Validate your own choices, don’t wait for someone else to validate them for you. Or you could be waiting your entire life.

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The next Friday blog post will be on Ways to prepare yourself emotionally for a new partner

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9 Comments

  1. August 26, 2017 / 11:15 am

    Really enjoyed this. Beautiful poem at the end. A lot of things are easier said than done and people don’t make time for reflection these days. Great work!

    • August 26, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      Thank you lovely! Is there anything about relationships/friendships that you’d particularly like to read about next?

      • October 22, 2017 / 7:37 am

        I would love to hear your thoughts on how to support a friend or family member who is ill or disabled. Having to deal with a life changing experience like that takes a toll on those around them, too.

        • October 22, 2017 / 11:58 am

          Hey! Thanks for commenting and bringing a question. Would you like me to discuss how to support somebody you love emotionally when they’re going through a difficult time? And also how to support oneself?

          • October 22, 2017 / 4:18 pm

            Yes, that would be great. I think it is something my readers could benefit from. Would it be okay if I shared a link the post?

          • October 22, 2017 / 4:25 pm

            I can absolutely look at writing this up within the next few posts. Of course! Feel free to link any of the mental health related posts if you believe they’ll help. 🙂

          • October 22, 2017 / 4:50 pm

            Thank you so much. My blog is mostly about disability culture so mental health is certainly a big concern for us.

          • October 22, 2017 / 5:26 pm

            Mental health is also a big passion of mine so I hope your readers will enjoy it. I have posts on anxiety amongst others which may also be of interest 🙂

          • October 27, 2017 / 5:26 pm

            I have popped a post up answering your question- I hope!! Hopefully it’s helpful to your readers. Thanks again for your question 🙂

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