Relationship Advice

The way we act in a relationship is based on a number of factors. Unfortunately, some of these factors will be good and others not so good. But regardless of how they would be classified, overall, they determine the way we are, the way we behave in a relationship. If your relationship isn’t all you would like for it to be, perhaps you need to take a look at where you are getting the input from that you are using as your guideline.

Our parents. We learn a lot from our parents… although not all we learn is ideal. Not only is this the first relationship we are subjected to, but it occurs during our formative years when we are highly impressionable. If our parents fight, don’t communicate well, or learn to deal with stress in a positive, constructive manner, then chances are, we won’t either.

Our past relationships. This can be a brutal example of reality. We can be raised in a close-knit, happy family and grow up with these exact same expectations. Then, your first partner treats you like “dirt,” verbally abuses you, and eventually leaves you for someone else. Now, your perception of how perfect relationships are has just been demolished.

When you enter into a relationship, you bring the residue of every past relationship with you and into it…

  • if you were belittled, you tend to be withdrawn.
  • if you were cheated on, you are on guard.
  • if you were verbally or physically abused, you lash out at the first sign of trouble.

We are defined by our past, even if all of our past is not classed as healthy. That is why you cannot use a cookie-cutter mentality for all relationships.

The media. Believe it or not… what you see on TV and in the movies is not always reality. Take a look at a family sitcom from the 1950’s. They were “living” in the ideal setting, everyone acted wonderfully with each other… and there was total harmony within the household. Now, compare this scene with a family sitcom from today. Reality has certainly set in and the networks are no longer afraid to show how relationships in families really are.

You would have never witnessed the 1950’s family man coming home drunk and smacking his wife around. They never fought over money… and infidelity never showed its ugly face. Now, it is commonplace on TV. If you are going to base your perception of relationships on the media, at least be realistic.